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Location of pumped condensate return

On a two-pipe steam system that has a boiler feed pump, where should the return tie into the boiler return in reference to the water line?
There is a 1 1/2" pumped condensate return line tied into a 2 1/2" equalizer line, approximately 2" below the water line. I hear water hammer and see a leak at a 90 degree elbow about 2 feet (upstream) from the tee, where it connects to the equalizer/drip line. I think the water line may be fluctuating and allowing steam in the equalizer to sneak into the pumped return. Can this situation speed up the corrosion of the steel piping on the condensate return line? Shouldn't the connection between the pumped return and the equalizer/drip line be close to the bottom of the return near the boiler connection?
Is it possible to install a check valve on the 1 1/2" pumped condensate return near the tee where it connects to the equalizer? Will this prevent water hammer? Will it help slow down the corrosion of the pumped condensate return at this location? I appreciate your thoughts!


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,912
    Are there any normal, non-pumped, returns? If so, the pumped return outlet should tie into those -- well below the Hartford loop connection (which should be the leg of a T in the equalizer to bottom of boiler line).

    There should be a check valve in the pump outlet line.

    But I have to ask... why is there a condensate tank and pumped return at all?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England