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question on COLD steam pipe wet

Hi guys,

I have a room above my garage in which the vertical steel piping runs up my garage wall to get to the room above the garage. It had always been boxed in and I had to remove the framing to fix an old water spicket that was that was next to it....

I noticed the piping is wet at the elbow where it makes a 90 from coming horizontal into the garage to a vertical run that goes up my garage wall....

I first thought pipe was leaking but more I think about it is it possible this is just the hot steam condensing against the ice cold steel pipe could cause this to look like a leak?

My garage has no heat so it is very cold (probably in the 40s) if I had to guess. It's not alot of water but enough to where if I touch the pipe I can feel it is wet and I see a few drops on the floor...

I had it insulated but the insulation was wet so I removed the insulation at the elbow. The pipe is definitely old but I see no visible holes....

In a nutshell my question is can steam condense on a much colder then usual pipe?

thanks in advance,


  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,376
    The steam may condense, but it would be inside the pipe, not outside of it. You've got a leak somewhere.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,324
    And an elbow like that is a very common location for a leak. You won't see a hole -- it will be seeping through the threads.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Chris_108
    Chris_108 Member Posts: 22
    Thank you. That answers my question.. I have a leak somewhere.. UGH!!
    I guess I had wishful thinking LOL

    thx again