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Hole in Steam Pipe

This is a strange one. Our steam pipe started leaking a few hours ago. Further investigation found that the cause of the leak looks to be a drilled hole in the pipe. It must have been sealed a very, very long time ago and has finally rusted through. Pretty sure this is the original piping and we have looked after our steam system with the help of this forum and Dan's books. My question is whether I need to have a plug installed by a professional or I can just use J-B Weld? The steam pipe is 2.5 inch pipe so the hole is pretty small. Welcome the thoughts of the steam pro's on this site.

Comments

  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,073
    edited November 2020
    It's Thanksgiving, JB Weld it for now. Since it does look drilled, you might be able to get a black iron pipe plug and let it tap itself in. Or, a no hub type clamp from big box store.
    ethicalpaul
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,677
    edited November 2020
    rubber stopper?

    hose clamp and a piece of rubber?
    ethicalpaulSlamDunk
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,216
    Finding a Skinner Clamp on thanksgiving eve just isn't going to happen.
    Sheet metal screw and a washer to slow the leak.
    Hose clamps and radiator hose will work also.
    SlamDunk
  • Nick_37
    Nick_37 Member Posts: 38
    I already have a clamp to seal it for Thanksgiving. Just need advice on the right way to repair the hole. It’s definitely been drilled and plugged at some point in its history. The seal held out for a very long time. We been in the house for 12 years and it’s not been an issue. 
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,073
    It is hard to tell if pipe was threaded to accept a previous plug. If it is, buy another one and screw it in. If it isn't, any of the above suggestions would work for another 12 years.
  • Nick_37
    Nick_37 Member Posts: 38
    It’s not currently threaded and it’s open in our basement living space hence the white paint. The hole is slightly smaller than a 1/4 inch drill bit which is why I figured the JB Weld would work given the size. Pipe looks in good shape otherwise. 
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,848
    edited November 2020
    Drill for proper size and tap and plug it?

    .332 or size Q drill for 1/8" npt

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    PC7060
  • Dave T_2
    Dave T_2 Member Posts: 64
    edited November 2020
    Put a pipe clamp on it. If it measures 2.5" outside diameter it is a 2" steel pipe. Here's one from Home Depot;

    https://homedepot.com/p/Eastman-2-in-IPS-Stainless-Steel-Pipe-Repair-Clamp-45198/313715749?MERCH=REC-_-pipsem-_-313715687-_-313715749-_-N&
    coolfx35
  • coolfx35
    coolfx35 Member Posts: 70
    i have 2 holes on my steam pipe bought High Temp pipe Repair kits from home depot $12 each, and patch it them, it's been 2 years, and no issues.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,872
    For a quick temporary fix, I've used https://cleanfit.com/blue-monster-compression-seal-tape.shtml in the past. It held back live steam for over a year before I got around to making a permanent repair.
  • Nick_37
    Nick_37 Member Posts: 38
    What did you do for the permanent repair?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,848
    What's wrong with my suggestion?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,329
    Nothing @ChrisJ 😉. I’m wondering if it was a main vent attempt, or a pin hole repair attempt...if the latter, somethings awry. 
    ChrisJ
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,872
    I silver-soldered the hole shut. I couldn't have drilled & tapped it, there wasn't enough meat left to do that.

    I imagine that the silver solder is technically another temporary repair, but it's lasted three or four years now with no sign of imminent failure, so I'm going to keep on keeping on as long as I can.

  • Lard
    Lard Member Posts: 115
    It is already a nice round hole...  I may be biased being a machinist, but it would be almost criminal to not just drill/tap for a 1/8 NPT plug and be done with it forever. 1/8 NPT works because if the hole is indeed already around 1/4” diameter, it needs oversized only a bit more for the proper 1/8NPT tap drill size.
    PC7060
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,677
    Why it existed in the first place, who knows, but whoever made it might have just jammed a wood peg or something in it.
    ethicalpaul
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 717
    The JB weld will work just fine if you clean the pipe well.
    Before you use the JB weld push a small wad of toilet paper into the hole. This will prevent the JB weld from being squeezed into the steam main,

    I like the JB weld that you mix the epoxy and hardner together.

    Jake