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Steam trap?

Guys, What is this and how do I replace it?

Comments

  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,210
    Looks like a condensate tank, what is it doing besides leaking?

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • theRheemGuy
    theRheemGuy Member Posts: 4
    Thanks! Its just leaking. The pumps are working. I guess there's a flapper in there that turns the pumps on?
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 481
    This is a duplex condensate return pump set. The pumps are controlled by the mechanical alternating float switch; that thing on the right side (when looking at the pumps) of the tank with all the liquid tight flexible conduit connections.

    Where is the leak? The top of the tank looks rusty, probably from water dripping onto it. Doesn't look like you have pump shaft seal leaks. If you did, there would be water leaking out from the pumps, just below the motors.

    This is possibly a Hoffman or Domestic brand unit. Doesn't look like a Shipco. There is a nameplate on the tank's top, in the front right corner. Can't make out what it says though.

    If you have steam or hot vapor coming out the vent pipe, this is usually caused by failed steam traps out in the system. When a steam trap fails open, it allows steam into the return lines which vents off to atmosphere at the condensate pump's receiver vent pipe.
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,728
    Pump Guy, could you tell us what the small copper tubing does between each pump and the condensate tank. Are they for lube, cooling or a by-pass to insure a wet impellor if pump gets dead headed downstream. Thanks!
  • theRheemGuy
    theRheemGuy Member Posts: 4
    Thanks guys. It's leaking water and vapor from the top of the tank. Upper right corner in the first pic. That piece of twine is almost pointing to it. This is in the inner harbor, Baltimore. I can't find a steam guy.
  • theRheemGuy
    theRheemGuy Member Posts: 4
    Guys, Can I just divert condensate return to the adjacent mop sink?
  • Don_197
    Don_197 Member Posts: 184
    Oh God no......that condensate needs to go BACK TO THE STEAM BOILER. with a cast iron boiler (or any boiler besides domestic water) makeup water is the ENEMY.............it will cause boiler failure...........so any of the steam condensate that can make it back to the boiler is less makeup water the boiler has to tolerate. This isn't "waste condensate" like in an air-conditioning system...........the is condensed heating medium (the medium being STEAM....which is the GAS THAT CARRIES THE HEAT TO WHERE IT NEEDS TO GO. you don't want to waste it...........you want to recycle it......back into the boiler to be made into steam again.
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    Did you look under "Find a Contractor"? There are two listed, one of whom is leader in steam systems. (OK, the other company may be as well. I just don't know them.) Give Frank Wilsey a call at All steamed up. He's a regular poster on The Wall.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
    RobG
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 481
    The small copper tube coming out of the pump head is to vent air from the seal cavity inside the pump so the seal doesn't run dry in a trapped air bubble. The mechanical shaft seal needs to be in water to be cooled and lubricated.

    Once the air is vented, when the pump is running, a tiny bit of water will recirculate through this tube back to the condensate receiver.

    If this pump were mounted horizontally, the shaft seal would always be submerged, so the vent line wouldn't be needed.

    If this tank is leaking due to a failed seam weld, that's not unheard of with welded steel tanks. I usually see this if the tank is not vented to atmosphere. The receiver tank vent is the only air vent for the whole (2 pipe) system.

    When a trap fails open, that steam pressure is now in the returns, and in extreme cases can rupture the tank if it's not vented.

    I would say the typical life of a welded steel receiver like this is 10 years. On the other hand, I've seen cast iron tanks last close to a century! You can get cast iron tanks with a 20 year warranty against corrosion failure.
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
    JUGHNE
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,714

    Thanks guys. It's leaking water and vapor from the top of the tank. Upper right corner in the first pic. That piece of twine is almost pointing to it. This is in the inner harbor, Baltimore. I can't find a steam guy.

    @Steamhead is one of the best in the business and he is based in Towson. Give him a call for sure!
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    RobG
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,728
    Pump Guy, Thanks for the info on the pump tubes.

    Should the float system allow the water level to get to the top of the tank? The rusted hole is now the venting means ;)

    Could the existing pipe into the mop be the vent pipe connected higher up to the condensate drain line?
    A picture from farther back would be interesting.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,771
    Thanks all for the kind recommendations!

    RheemGuy, give me a call at the office. I should be there in the early afternoon- if you get voice mail, leave a message and I'll be sure to call you back.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    RobG