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Replace wet return with dry, reroute, chop, or condensate pump?

2x_Tom2x_Tom Posts: 12Member
edited April 2017 in Strictly Steam
So I have a system with a badly leaking (zero condensate gets back) wet return under a finished basement.

Option 1 is replacing it as piped. It's going to require replacement of all the tile (can't match what's there) then hopefully getting under a tub without having to remove it or damaging it.

Option 2 is, is it possible to turn the end of the mains around, pitch back towards the boiler then drop to the floor in the boiler room about 15' from the boiler? It's 6' below the steam main and a couple feet below the water level at the boiler room floor.

Option 3 is (this is one I'm leaning towards) rerouteing them along a wall in a lower part of the basement (still finished) then telling the carpenter to figure out how to hide them. The only issue here is the line won't be level, it will have a low point. At least the new return will have a way to clean it and get yearly maintenance, something the old one lacked. This will also lower the return line by about a foot. I don't think that will matter though.

Option 4 is a condensate receiver at the end of the mains. Getting power to it and a 3/4" line back to the boiler shouldn't be too big a deal.

Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 8,741Member
    Option 3. A wet return can go up and down and corkscrew all over the place, so long as everywhere along it is below the boiler water line. It also helps at the various bends to use plugged T's rather than elbows, though, so you can clean the thing out when you need to...
    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
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 4,836Member
    As Jamie said.
    Where are your main vents now?
    You could lay the wet return on the floor against the wall.
    An inverted "U" shaped wood box could cover it and then a wall stood on top of it.
    But provide accessible cleanouts, valves etc to flush with garden hose occasionally.
  • jumperjumper Posts: 1,216Member
    Avoid pump if you can.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 12,331Member

    Option 3. A wet return can go up and down and corkscrew all over the place, so long as everywhere along it is below the boiler water line. It also helps at the various bends to use plugged T's rather than elbows, though, so you can clean the thing out when you need to...

    JUGHNE said:

    As Jamie said.
    Where are your main vents now?
    You could lay the wet return on the floor against the wall.
    An inverted "U" shaped wood box could cover it and then a wall stood on top of it.
    But provide accessible cleanouts, valves etc to flush with garden hose occasionally.

    jumper said:

    Avoid pump if you can.

    This.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Danny ScullyDanny Scully Posts: 999Member
    You can use baseboard covers to conceal as well. I've done this with great success.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 4,836Member
    Danny, great idea. Would you consider using actual BB htrs to heat the finished basement. Just use fillers & blanks to make it continuous. Perhaps 1" or maybe still too small? Depends on the connected EDR load for the wet return I suppose.
  • megajennypostsmegajennyposts Posts: 4Member
    Cleaning the pumps always helps with the pump.
  • 2x_Tom2x_Tom Posts: 12Member
    edited April 2017
    Thanks for the replies.
    I'm not sure where the main vents are or if their are any. The basement is finished so nothing is exposed. I'm going to cut some holes in the Sheetrock where I think they should be on Tuesday and find out.
    I'll be going with the third option I think and rerouteing the line then trying to hide it. I'm going to leave basically purge setups on either end so you can always connect a hose and force water pressure from one boiler drain to the other and flush it.
    I like the dummy baseboard idea, some Slant Fin 80 covers will hide just about anything.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 4,836Member
    The typical boiler drain might have only a 3/8" passage way at best. I usually take them out of everything that mush be drained or flushed and replace with 3/4" full port ball valve with hose adaptor.
    Often just getting the small boiler drain to drain let alone pass debris is a major part/time of the flush process. IMO
  • 2x_Tom2x_Tom Posts: 12Member
    edited April 2017
    Well I ended up repiping it in 1-1/4" copper through walls, channeling a poured staircase and going exposed through the boiler room. The pictures were before I sleeved it through the masonary and added support to it in the boiler room. It's been a few days and the systems running great. I was a little nervous their would be a drip into the wet return somewhere in the finished basement but I lucked out on that one.
  • 2x_Tom2x_Tom Posts: 12Member
  • FredFred Posts: 6,769Member
    edited April 2017
    Looks Great! Be sure you don't drive a nail or screw through it when you replace the drywall. Nail guards might be wise.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 12,331Member
    Agreed- nice work! And make sure you leave access for the valves and drains in the walls.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • EBEBRATT-Ed_9EBEBRATT-Ed_9 Posts: 4,376Member
    real nice! Obviously you have some experience with a torch and a roll of solder
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