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A False Water Line for Steam Heating Systems

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HeatingHelp
HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 637
edited March 7 in THE MAIN WALL
A False Water Line for Steam Heating Systems

When 'modern' steam boilers replace their coal-fired antecedents, water levels in the system drop, often exposing purposely flooded wet returns to steam, with the result of destructive water hammer. One solution is to "trick" the old piping to hold water again, while allowing the boilers to operate at their new lower water level.

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  • Dave Stroman
    Dave Stroman Member Posts: 765
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    In Dan's book, it calls for a vent at the top of the false water line piping. I see you do not have one. Seems to still work.

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  • Mustangman
    Mustangman Member Posts: 98
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    It works like a charm. I walked in on a boiler that just blew steam right out of a condensate return pump. This was a new install by a local oil company. I called Dan and he sent me a drawing of what I needed. I had to make it from scratch. It involved a 3' piece of 8" steel pipe with 1/4" plate steel welded top and bottom. I put 3/4 thread o lets for 2 bucket traps and a drain. I put 2" thread o lets The traps were installed strategically to set the water line. I remember putting adjustable feet on it so I could raise and lower it if needed. Didn't need them. This goes back many years and I don't remember the details of all of it.. but I do know it worked perfectly.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,324
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    In Dan's book, it calls for a vent at the top of the false water line piping. I see you do not have one. Seems to still work.

    There isn't a vent -- what there is is that steam line which, as Gordo said, equalizes the pressure at the top of the false waterline loop and the rest of the system. You do need to have that connection. You could also have a vent -- but I'm not sure what good it would do.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England