Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Reminder: If you have original wet returns it is time to replace them!

New England SteamWorks
Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems


  • Unless of course they put drains on them and you've had them flushed annually for the last 100 years or so. But likely not, and if so your wet returns now look like this:

    You're already suffering from degraded water quality. But it's just a matter of time before the water can't return at all. That's not a problem you want to have in the middle of winter...

    So change them already, and be sure they can be flushed in the future:

    You'll thank me.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,270
    Not to mention that they can and do corrode through from the inside...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Dave0176
    Dave0176 Member Posts: 1,177
    Every job I do that has a wet return I recommend replacing it, and every time we cut them open, what a mess, usually clogged almost solid.
    DL Mechanical LLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing 732-266-5386
    NJ Master HVACR Lic# 4630
    Specializing in Steam Heating, Serving the residents of New Jersey


    I cannot force people to spend money, I can only suggest how to spend it wisely.......
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    Out of curiosity, what is the function of that drip off the main into a large pipe by the boiler? I've never seen that fitting that looks like a cast iron up side down faucet connected to the larger pipe with a drain?
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,295
    @MilanD That's a Hoffmann Differential Loop system
    E-Travis Mechanical LLC
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    edited September 2017
    Thanks @EzzyT ! I'll re-read about it in LAOSH.

    EDIT: better yet - a quick google search for it has @gerry gill's company website come up #1. What a great device!
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,423
    You mean, like this? This was on a system @EzzyT and I worked on today. They're nice and clean now!
    New England SteamWorks