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Got a steam question

I`m going to be replacing a steam condensate pump in a few days. The problem is the difference in height between the inlets on the two pumps.The new pump`s inlet is 4 inches higher than the old one and, of course,there isn`t any room to re-do the existing condensate line,so they want me to pitch the condensate line upwards into the receiver.

Lowering the pump is a major job as well since it is approx. 12 feet off the floor and sitting on a platform welded to a steel beam.

My bosses seem to think that there will be enough pressure in the line to push the condensate in to the receiver but I have my doubts.

I`m just worried that this will come back to haunt us during the heating season since this pump serves a steam main as well as a large roof top heating unit.

What do you guys think??

Thanks Jim S


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
    It will definitely come back to haunt you

    but there's a way around it.

    The problem isn't with the condensate, but with the air. The present pump acts as an air vent for the entire system, since the traps pass air as well as water into the returns. If you raise the pipe to hit the boiler-feed pump inlet, the air won't be able to vent.

    The solution is to install main vents on the dry returns above the water level that will be there with the new pump, and also on the steam mains after the traps. These will let the air out, and also pop open if a vacuum develops in the returns. I like to use Gorton #2 vents since they have the most capacity of anything out there. You can figure out how much vent capacity you need by using the charts in Dan's "Dead Men's Steam School" workbook (which comes with the video).

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