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wet return with F& T traps?

plumb1pa Member Posts: 9
Just visited a customers house with a one pipe system and a wet return, but there were Wye strainers and steam traps at the end of both mains. Been there for 20 plus years now the boiler return water is not getting back to the boiler quick enough. Do I need the F & T traps? I will be cleaning the Wyes. Thanks for any input


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,559
    Probably not, but one would have to look at the elevations of the steam mains relative to the boiler, and be sure that the wet returns are, indeed, wet. That said, the system should drain condensate by gravity, and steam would be kept out of the returns simply by gravity. I would be a bit cautious about the strainers, too -- there really shouldn't be anything in the condensate to strain.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,094
    After 20 years the F&T's could be clogged with sludge as are the strainers.

    Quick and easy test would be to open the F&T's and strainer, clean them out and then remove the guts from both. This would be about the same as a run of pipe.

    What is there for steam main air venting?
    If there are extra plugs on the F&T, you could add air venting there if needed.
    This would avoid pipe work over.
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 994
    That seems really odd. If you have a wet return whats the purpose of the f&t? It really doesn't help as the condensate in the return has to stack higher to get the condensate back into the boiler.

    Is the wet return underground? I'm wondering if you have a leak in the return and they added the f&t to prevent the steam from getting back to the boiler instead of repairing the leak. I know it sounds crazy but so is adding a f&t on a one pipe.

    Was there a condensate pump in the boiler room? trying to think out of the box here, lol

    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,764
    You don't need F & Ts unless you have a condensate pump
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,949
    Some old Vapor systems did use F&T traps on steam main drips. In these systems the return was "non-pressurized" and the returning condensate often went through a Return Trap. I've seen Webster systems set up this way.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service