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.

Finding steam leaks.

Options
AMservices
AMservices Member Posts: 610
I have an idea, haven't tested it yet. But if there's a leak above the water line in a steam system, this test should bring you right to it.

1st, When the system is cold, plug your air vents. It will be easier on 2 pipe systems only using 1 or 2 vents. Single pipe systems with a lot of vent, rather then unscrewing all of them you could probably just put some painter's tape over the vent hole.

2nd, run your boiler.
Wherever theres a leak, steam should go right to it because a leak is a vent, and if air can't get out, steam can't get in. Simple.

Using a thermo camera or a laser temp gun can make it easier to see, so you don't have to touch all the piping trying to follow the steam around the system.

What do you think?

Comments

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    Options
    I think if the leak is in the main, it may be a helpful idea. If the leak is in the top of the boiler, above the water line, or a radiator valve(s) or a radiator vent(s) maybe not so much. Also, it is air that gets pushed out first so it may take a long time (with the vents plugged) to see a steam leak, depending on how large the leak is.
  • AMservices
    AMservices Member Posts: 610
    Options
    > @Fred said:
    > I think if the leak is in the main, it may be a helpful idea. If the leak is in the top of the boiler, above the water line, or a radiator valve(s) or a radiator vent(s) maybe not so much. Also, it is air that gets pushed out first so it may take a long time (with the vents plugged) to see a steam leak, depending on how large the leak is.

    I was thinking it would help find leak around the radiators more then the mains.
    Air will compressed out of the mains, but it will only go through run out and riser that have leaks.
    Steam will go anywhere it can get out.
    I dont think it would take any longer then any other method of finding leaks.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    edited March 2020
    Options
    @AMservices , might as well just turn the thermostat up enough to make sure all the main and radiator vents close and then check for leaks. No? I mean even with the main vents plugged, you likely won't see a leak at the radiators until the easiest path (the radiator vent) is also closed.
  • AMservices
    AMservices Member Posts: 610
    Options
    No because I'm trying to use the steam to lead me to the leaks. It would still be guess work trying to find a leak with everything thing hot. Steam won't go where it can't get out. So anywhere its is (outside of the mains) must be a leak.
    If it makes it to a hand valve but doesn't enter the radiator, the valve is leaking and the radiator is tight.
    If it makes it to an ugly looking section of pipe that no one suspects because it never looks wet and doesn't move past it, there's your leak.
    Grallert