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Can failed traps, 2 pipe system, cause water in the mains ?

If several thermostatic radiator traps have failed in a 2 pipe system, inducing steam into the dry returns, will the speed of the return condensate in the wet return be affected ? Could the wet return not return much at all ?


  • Unknown
    Eddie, you're onto something

    When the returns get steam in them, the traps near there don't open. Since the radiator has steam in it, it will keep condensing, and keep filling with new steam until the radiator is full of water. The water stays in there until the boiler shuts down. It all comes back at once, flooding the system.

    I saw one once, that the radiator kept heating and the occupant opened the window and left. It filled and THEN froze solid and split. It split a 1" 90 on the sprinkler, too.

    All hell broke loose as the room thawed. $30,000 in damage to the building from a few bad steam traps.

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
    I don't know about the WET return

    but it would definitely run more water thru your Return Trap. The condensate in the wet returns comes from heating the pipes at startup, unless there's back-pressure someplace which pushes water up into the steam mains.

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