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Steam from condensate tank vent line

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I have a 2500 sq ft home with steam heat and 16 radiators on 3 levels. I have excess steam coming from the condensate tank vent and the boiler pressure is ok. So I assume I have steam traps at the radiators that have failed. Is there a way to isolate which radiators are the problem? Can steam traps be maintained or do I have to replace all of them?

Comments

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,061
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    Does each radiator have a valve at one end and a trap at the other end? And does any of your piping have traps on it, such at the end of a steam run?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,840
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    That sounds like an old Vapor system. There's about a 97% chance that condensate tank is not necessary. Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,302
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    Yes, steam traps -- most of them, anyway -- can be maintained; the guts can be replaced pretty easily (once you get the cover off...)

    If you have an IR thermometer, it's not that hard to find ones which have failed open -- the pipe from the radiator to the trap (very short) will be at or very near steam temperature, and the pipe from the trap to the return should be significantly cooler (although it may still be quite warm or even hot). If the two pipes are about the same temperature -- the trap is failed open.

    And I agree with steamhead -- I'll bet that condensate tank is quite unnecessary.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Charlie from wmass
  • jimbernhardt
    jimbernhardt Member Posts: 2
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    Thanks for the comments. I live in Indiana and on one end of the radiator has the shut off valve and on the other end is the trap. I don't have any traps at the end of a steam line that I am aware of.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
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    Can you post photos of the radiators, traps, boiler, boiler piping and mains, returns and any vents you can see. That will help wth identifying the issues. The more pics the better.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,840
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    Where in Indiana?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting