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All Steam Is Not Created Equal

HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 635
edited July 2018 in THE MAIN WALL

All Steam Is Not Created Equal

Is the steam dry? Or is it wet? Or is it superheated? Pipe that replacement boiler like a professional and it will heat the building. Or cut corners and wrestle with water hammer, uneven heating, high fuel bills, and customers who won't want to pay you. It's good to have a choice, right? Make the right one.

Read the full story here


  • LarryK
    LarryK Member Posts: 46
    Was the ConEd explosion today from superheated steam or regular steam?
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,525
    Regular and high-pressure.
    Retired and loving it.
  • klong
    klong Member Posts: 4
    Solving loss of prime can be accomplished by adding a check valve before the bucket trap or having an onboard check valve in the trap. City of Indianapolis has a large Steam Utility System. Generating at 250# and Superheated to 600degf. They can go up 450# as well at different locations. Work on many systems in the area. See this loss of prime on PRV stations. Really enjoy your columns. Excellent reading. Thanks

    The Con Ed was another story... Velocity and vault steam traps not playing well with one another.
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    I’m having my apprentices read this article as it’s chocked full of good info.
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • mickeylewis123
    mickeylewis123 Member Posts: 45
    Is there any way to tell if my boiler is producing dry steam? My boiler is piped according to the mfg spec but only uses one riser out of the boiler. I've had someone quote me $10k to correct my near boiler piping - way more than i believe is worthwhile to fix something that may not be an issue.
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 887
    Great explanation.
    The one thing about steam turbines is you want all the condensate to occur out side the turbine. The reason for this is to create a vaccum at the outlet port of the turbine which creates a big differential in pressure between the steam inlet ad outlet making the the turbine run more efficient.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,276
    Actually two reasons, Jake -- one is, as you say, you want to be condensing outside the turbine, at as low a temperature as possible. You get more power that way (you see this on steam turbine powered ships when they go from mid-Pacific to the Arctic). There is another factor, though: you absolutely do not want a water droplet, or droplets, hitting your turbine blades. One or two little ones, perhaps, but a small shower? Kiss the blades goodbye (sometimes right through the side of the case) and that can ruin your whole day... There is a similar consideration on steam piston engines: superheated steam is much less likely to condense in the cylinders; again, a little water is no big deal. Any significant amount and if you're lucky it will hydrolock without breaking anything. If you're not so lucky...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England