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hot water loop off steam boiler

hello to all

i have been in the trade for almost a decade but have only recently become exposed to the beauty of 'the lost art of steam heat'. why does the hot water loop need flow controls on supply and return? even when producing steam wont they both be at the same pressure and therefore have no flow. also, on one such loop there was a 3/4 inch pipe connecting the two flow controls, whats that for?

thanks for the help, michael


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