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Steam radiators filled with water

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Posted by Ken on November 10, 2007 at 18:15:10:

Hello all. I'm having real trouble here with rising water levels. I think the drain pipe must be clogged, but I'd like a second opinion before I start tearing things apart. Here's the trouble. I have a one pipe steam system. Last week when we started using the system for the season,it fired up just fine,but the radiators filled with water to the point where it's coming out the vents of the radiators, flooding the floors and leaking through into the basement. I can drain the water back down to normal levels (and out of the radiators) by using the blow down valve which is used once a week to clean out the system, or by the valve at the end of the return line behind the boiler before it re-enters the boiler. The water rises again to the top of the sight glass within three hours or so of use, and I'm assuming it backs all the way back up into the radiators after that. Is there any way to clean out the return line without having to break off the fittings and remove the return pipe? Does this indeed sound like just a clogged return line problem? Any help or questions which would lead to the problem would be much appreciated.

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