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Plugging 1/8\" Holes

Dave_64Dave_64 Posts: 4Member
I need to plug 1/8" holes on my returns (one pipe steam system). I assume the returns are iron pipe, similar to the mains, etc. so does that mean I need to use iron plugs? The vents I'm removing certainly are not iron so I would assume it's ok to use a different material. My local hardware store only carries brass plugs in this size but I know I can order the iron plugs online. Does it matter?

Comments

  • DaleDale Posts: 1,317Member
    Go Brass

    Brass with a little pipe dope is best if you ever want to easily remove any of those plugs. I always like seeing brass when I unthread anything from an old steam system, or old car exhaust manifold nuts.
  • clammyclammy Posts: 2,261Member
    nope

    It makes no difference in most cases i don't see any promblem just use a little sealant peace clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Carl PECarl PE Posts: 203Member
    Plugs

    I'd go with the brass.

    The more important question is.. why are you removing the vents?
  • Dave_64Dave_64 Posts: 4Member
    Because...

    I received advice here on the Wall that since the mains are adequately vented the returns should not be...
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,204Member
    Carl

    this vent was on a two-pipe/air-vent dry return (the rest of the system is one-pipe). The corresponding steam main will be properly vented as will the rads themselves. Venting the dry return in this scenario can cause banging, since these returns were never sized for steam.

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  • Dave_62Dave_62 Posts: 21Member
    Return Vents

    Steamhead - I thought you said to plug all return vents if the main vents were properly vented. I first asked you a general question about this, to which you replied

    "On a one-pipe system with proper vents at the ends of the steam mains, you don't need return vents. Take them off and install 1/8" plugs in the holes"

    I then asked about the returns on the indirect radiators and you said to plug those as well so I was planning on plugging all return vents. Now I'm confused. Can you clarify? To refresh your memory, look at the "Return Vents" thread from earlier in the week.

    Thanks for all your help/advice and I apologize if I've been confusing on this topic...
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,204Member
    Same thing

    The best placement for main vents is near the end of the steam mains. On a one-pipe main, you can get away with putting the vent on the return, but it's not the best place as you will be filling the return with steam unnecessarily.

    The part of the system feeding those indirects is actually "two-pipe air-vent", since each indirect has a vent on it and a return line going into the dry return with no trap on it to stop the steam. You definitely do not want steam getting into this dry return since, unlike the dry return on a one-pipe system, filling this one with steam can cause banging, and this will happen if the return is vented. This setup is shown in the first three pages of Chapter 15 of Lost Art.

    So vent the steam mains and plug the holes in the returns as we discussed earlier, and watch how much better it works.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Dave_62Dave_62 Posts: 21Member
    Thanks Again

    Excellent. Thank you, as always. You've been an incredible help!
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