Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Can a radiator return condensate to wet return?

Landy
Landy Member Posts: 7
My home steam system has all radiators returning condensate through traps to the dry returns. I want to add a new radiator in a basement room and the only return I can use would be the wet return which only returns condensate from the ends of my 2 steam mains. Are there any problems hooking a radiator up to a wet return? How high above the waterline in the wet return should the bottom of the radiator/ steam trap be located?
Homeowner with new (12/2012) Dunkirk PSB-7D steam system with 726 sq.ft. EDR in a home built in 1925.

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,920
    No problem

    at all.  Except... you have to get the air out of the radiator in some other way.



    What you don't need is a trap; the water in the wet return will keep steam from going where it shouldn't.  The bottom of the radiator, however, must be at least 28 inches above the boiler water line for each pound of pressure you are running.



    The easiest way to get the air out would probably be an single pipe steam type radiator vent.  Easiest thing to do is to put it on the radiator, just as though it were a single pipe system radiator.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,821
    Hot water?

    I know this may be a no no, but what about running the wet return through a radiator and use it as a hot water setup.



    Would it be a problem if an eye is kept on PH levels?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,920
    No reason it shouldn't work...

    but figuring the amount of heat you were going to get out of it would be a real bear!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329
    On a Vapor system like this

    there are two ways to hook it up with a trap: 1- have the trap at the rad outlet in the usual manner, with an air line going up to the dry return as well as a drip line down to the wet return. This makes the drip a "B" dimension rather than an "A" dimension.



    The other option is to run the lines as previously described, but locate the trap where the air line ties into the dry return. With this setup, the drip is an "A" dimension.



    Which one to use will depend on whether the drips at the end of the steam mains into the wet return have traps in them. If not, they are "A" dimensions, if so they are"B".
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Landy
    Landy Member Posts: 7
    More info on what I want to do...

    In my basement, one room has a "wall mount" radiator mounted flat on the ceiling, with a trap going to a dry return about 6" lower than the radiator exit port. In our laundry room, my wife asked, "Why can't we put one on the ceiling there, so I have a warm room for laundry?" This room is near the end of the steam mains (a little room on left ends the south main and a little powder room on right ends the north main, both of which drop down about 50" to the wet return with no traps), but the dry returns accessible in this room are tight to the ceiling. There is a capped off radiator steam feed that used to go to a radiator in the kitchen above that I can use for the feed side, but the return is too high for the ceiling radiator to drain the condensate. That is why in looking around for options, I started wondering about the wet return. None of the other 16 radiators in the house go to the wet return. What is the best way to add this ceiling radiator?



    Photo#1 - existing ceiling radiator in basement

    Photo#2 - area I want to add radiator in laundry room

    Photo#3 - end of north main showing where existing capped pipes tie in.
    Homeowner with new (12/2012) Dunkirk PSB-7D steam system with 726 sq.ft. EDR in a home built in 1925.
  • Landy
    Landy Member Posts: 7
    My return from the main is already in the laundry room...

    I had thought of this as well. The dry leg of the return from the south main already runs along the ceiling of the laundry room (about 16' total) before it drops down to the wet return. It gets very hot and I had been wondering if there was a way to extract that heat, like adding something like a finned baseboard water radiator in place of a section of the dry portion of the return. Not sure if a hot water baseboard radiator would hold up with steam condensing in it or not...
    Homeowner with new (12/2012) Dunkirk PSB-7D steam system with 726 sq.ft. EDR in a home built in 1925.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329
    edited March 2013
    Use this option

    run the drip line from the bottom of the rad to the wet return, then run the air line up to the dry return and locate the trap where the air line ties into the dry return. With this setup, the drip is an "A" dimension, just like the one from the steam main.



    Somewhere I have a diagram of this- I'll post it if I can find it.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
This discussion has been closed.