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One Pipe Steam- Wrong Pitch

HC Member Posts: 3
I have a 100 year old house with a one pipe steam system.

One radiator generates a lot of loud banging.  The professionals I have consulted have shown me that the pipe that runs under most of the house is pitched incorrectly.

To replace that pipe with one pitched correctly would be very, very expensive since pipes leading almost every radiator in the house tie into this pipe.

One professional suggested putting in a return line for the condensate that is building up because of the incorrect pitch.  This would provide the water building up a place to go and be a much cheaper solution.

Is such strategy, at least in theory, plausible? effective?


  • Wrong pitch

    At some point, the piping must have worked properly. Can you see what has changed?

    Do you know if this is a counter flow system, or parallel flow? A diagram, or pictures would help here.--NBC
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    "Pitch" as a musical term:

    Nick is right. If it worked for over 90 years without the problem you describe, what changed?

    Two years ago, I, personally might have suggested that it was pitched the wrong way. Not knowing what I know today that it can pitch many ways and still work. But I wouldn't have said that until I looked into the fact of why did it work for 90+ years and suddenly stop working properly.

    Like Nick suggested. Post photos or drawings. I love to look at photos and marvel at how the old dead guys piped things that worked so well with mo mechanical parts like pumps. Just vents.
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Problem steam pipe.

    Hi- Like the others have said diagrams and pictures would be a big help. You mentioned that  "one radiator generates a lot of loud banging", does this mean the other radiators are operating silently and properly?  In relationship to the other radiators on the steam main, where is the "banging " radiator located -  closest to the boiler, in the middle, or farthest away from the boiler?

    Which end of the "problem" steam pipe is higher- the boiler end or the end farthest from the boiler?  If you can, please take pictures of the boiler end of the piping and the end farther from the boiler. Don't take the pictures up too close, it is better if they are taken farther back as we can then trace the piping better. If we need detail we can always blow up the pictures.

    - Rod
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