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Leak from threads on steam return pipe

I have a very old steam boiler (probably 40+ years). Recently, I had a pipe that came out of the bottom of the boiler replaced because it had rusted through and was slowly leaking. Since then, another leak as formed on a smaller 2'' pipe where it is threaded into a 90 degree fitting ( I believe this is the steam return pipe, I'm not very knowledgeable about my heating system). Its only leaking maybe 1 drop of water every 20 minutes or so. Is it possible to seal this using rector seal or some other type of fiberglass pipe wrap? I really do not have the money to have a plumber come again and was hoping this would work. If it doesn't work, will it make the repair more expensive if a plumber has to come and then remove the pipe wrap also?

Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,645Member
    The good news is that some sort of seal as you propose will probably buy you some time, and probably won't make a repair more expensive.

    The bad news is that that sort of leaking on a boiler and piping that old almost always is the proverbial tip of the iceberg, and it is likely that a pretty wholesale replacement is in order...
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • ancona88ancona88 Posts: 3Member
    Thanks, Jamie. I am going to give the fiberglass pipe wrap a shot. I just need to make it through this winter and I will be replacing the boiler in the spring. By buy some time are you talking a matter of weeks or is it possible it could make it through the heating season?
  • Clean the rust off the whole area, wrap the pipe, and the fitting, and put a band clamp over the whole area, to supply additional pressure.--NBC
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,645Member
    ancona88 said:

    Thanks, Jamie. I am going to give the fiberglass pipe wrap a shot. I just need to make it through this winter and I will be replacing the boiler in the spring. By buy some time are you talking a matter of weeks or is it possible it could make it through the heating season?

    Quite possible to make it until spring! However, I would keep a close eye on things down there, in case something else gives way. Often the corrosion is inside the pipe, and you don't notice it until it starts to weep.
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • ancona88ancona88 Posts: 3Member
    Ok, thanks again Nick and Jamie. I will put the clamp on the wrap for extra pressure. I turned off the boiler for about 2 hours last night and let it cool down. The water droplet continued to form on the threads even after it had cooled and sat for a couple of hours. Would it be a good idea to put some type of putty into the threads before I apply the wrap ? Or will the water droplet not really matter since most fiberglass wraps are water activated anyway?
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 5,914Member
    Go to an automotive store and get a pc of gasket material 3/16 red rubber. cut a pc and clamp it with a ss hose clamp and I am sure you will be fine until spring. Check it occassionally
  • BobCBobC Posts: 4,970Member
    Go easy on the clamp, if the pipe is failing from the inside you don't want to make it worse applying to much clamping force. It has to be tight but not crushing.

    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
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