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is a pump necessary?

Hollis Member Posts: 105
I'm having a 250,000btu steam boiler installed. Couple of guys have looked at it but one says that for this size boiler I will need a pumped recovery tank/pump system. That direct water supply for make up water shouldn't be done. Wondering if this is really necessary?  I have never seen this before or know of this. (But I have never gotten a steam boiler of this size before)



  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,567
    i don't think that just....

    because it's big, that it requires a pump .. maybe they are used to systems that are frought with leaks ..

    maybe they just want to upsell you on equipment that's going to break so you keep calling em back ..

    how are you currently returning your water? what size boiler do you currently have?
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

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  • No pump required

    I have 55 radiators and it is all gravity, with no pump.

    If the system is working properly, then there should be no pump; however if the system has problems which you do not want to fix, then put on a pump. This would be the case in a building which is for sale, and you want an immediate, but not permanent fix.--NBC
  • crash2009
    crash2009 Member Posts: 1,484
    edited December 2011
    You can't get there from here

    I looked into doing something similar for my boiler.  Have a look at this pdf.  It appears that a decision to pump or not cannot be made until the boiler is installed.  For example: a 250,000 btu Weil McLain that is able to return 2.5 gallons of condensate, within 15 minutes, after steaming for 10 minutes, doesn't need a pump.  This one would only need a resovoir tank 8 inches by 2.25 feet.  Assumably, if this example can do better than that, it doesn't need a resovoir or a pump. 

    I think it all depends on your existing piping in your building and how well the boiler gets installed.  If my new boiler candidate suggested a pump before its even installed, that would throw up the caution flag for me.
  • Hollis
    Hollis Member Posts: 105
    right now

    The current boiler (250K) is working OK without a pump. Drains back and doesn't seem to loose excess water. Good point to have the new boiler installed to see then if one will be needed. 
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,010
    just put in the boiler

    And see if all works well or not. If not you can always add either a reservior tank or a feed tank. It would be wise to leave a tee with a plug on both the header and return in case a tank is needed.
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Size has nothing to do with it.....

    There are loads of 2 million BTU boilers that don't need condesate pumps....same with little 120,000 BTU boilers.  Very few systems need condensate pumps added if they were gravity return. In fact there are many systems that originally needed condenssate pumps, but with a new lower water line boiler, they no longer need them.  In addition to Gerry's comment, also make sure you mains are well vented, as this effects how quickly water will return from the system.  Also check for clogged wet returns.   I know one big manufacturer's install manuals require pumps for boilers a certain size and up, but that is just plain hogwash.
    The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

    Chicago's Steam Heating Expert

    Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help
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