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Mystery outdoor steam pipe

SeanBeans Member Posts: 517
edited December 2018 in Strictly Steam
I walk by this pipe coming out of an older building everyday when I’m going to my van. Sometimes it’s blowing out steam like this and sometimes it’s not..

I walked out front and saw that most people have their windows 1/2 open some fully.. what’s going on?


What else could there be in an older buildings basement that would need/do this?


  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,605
    Pressure relief on the boiler? I might walk on the other side of the street...

    Maybe a sales opportunity here!

    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,021
    Just residential apartments, no bakery or dry cleaners?

    Could be the air vent for a condensate pump. The system might have bad traps and this keeps the steam out of the boiler room.
    Obviously not original to the building installation. Just a band-aid.

    Good time to present your business card!
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,317
    What @JUGHNE said.

    Many commercial buildings don't feel the need to maintain there steam traps. So the steam gets dumped. Big waste they dump more steam than needed to heat the building.

    Just like dumping gas from a gas leak or pouring oil down the drain. Big waste of money. Fixing the traps would save them a bunch of money.

    But the worst part is they are absolutely killing their boiler with all the fresh make up water
  • SeanBeans
    SeanBeans Member Posts: 517
    My company does work for the property management company. They have ALOT of properties.

    I talked to one of the managers and told him about it but haven’t heard back.

    Maybe I’ll do a follow-up.

    The first thought in my mind was the relief valve was going... which is scary.

    I’ll do a follow up.. my apartment is directly across the alleyway
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,605
    SeanBeans said:

    My company does work for the property management company. They have ALOT of properties.

    Well, you're screwed then. Either you'll tell them what to do to fix it right & you'll be 'that guy who wants too much money'; or you'll bandaid it & you'll be 'that guy who doesn't charge too much for steam stuff' & get all the crap work. :smiley::smiley::sweat_smile:
  • Phil53
    Phil53 Member Posts: 73
    Just a guess, but maybe they're trying to keep ice from forming on that downspout.