Home Repair Question: What is this? (Help Needed)

runstendt

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We bought a house in March, and so far it's been relatively smooth sailing, maintenance wise. However, I recently noticed an occasional, slow drip coming from a pipe in the basement. My question is, what is the thing on top of the pipe? This is where the leak appears to be coming from, but I have no idea what it is, let alone how serious a problem it might be. If anyone who recognizes what is in the pictures and could let me know I'd appreciate it. I tried to include a picture of the top in case that helps to identify it. The pipe looks like it is running into the furnace.

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Cpb2020

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@Cpb2020, thank you very much. I appreciate the info and the quick turnaround.
Any time. I should add that it could be a sign of something else going on, see:


This is about the pressure reducing or relief valve going, which is different. But I had a leaking air bleed valve due to a faulty pressure reducing valve.

The short, I think you’re fine and I wouldn’t worry too much if it is a very slow leak.
 
Last edited:

Chuckster

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(Master plumber here)

As others have correctly identified, it's an air vent for a Forced Hot Water heating loop. You likely have FHW baseboard radiation, cast iron radiation, or another type of FHW radiation.

Air can find its way into the system in a few ways, and these vents help rid the system of air. Air in a FHW system is inefficient, noisy (gurgling), and can lead to issues long term. A FHW system that's properly purged of air will be quieter and will heat more evenly.

The dripping you're seeing is common at the beginning of the heating season, and it's simply the vent doing it's job. As air passes through the line, a diaphragm releases the air until water pushes the diaphragm closed again. A couple of drips of water usually escape before it fully closes.

Usually, the heat of the system evaporates the drips before anyone notices. If it's dripping constantly, you either have a lot of air in the loop or a worn-out vent that should be replaced. Purging the system at the beginning of each season is the best approach.

Hope this helps...
 

Preacher

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I want to just give you kudos for asking the question.

There are many things that go into home ownership that are never really taught.

Stuff like disconnect your garden hose from your outside faucet during a freeze.
Change the oil in your car
and

close the vents on your crawlspace.
 

Boreas

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I want to just give you kudos for asking the question.

There are many things that go into home ownership that are never really taught.

Stuff like disconnect your garden hose from your outside faucet during a freeze.
Change the oil in your car
and

close the vents on your crawlspace.
Don't piss into a fan... Don't ask how I know...o_O
 

Preacher

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Don't piss into a fan... Don't ask how I know...o_O

LOL
I had a friend who was working on his old pickup truck in loose fitting shorts. He was trying to adjust the timing, so he was leaning directly over the spinning fan messing with the distributor and using a timing gun.
He reached a little too far and his nether regions hung too low and the spinning fan whacked him about fifteen times before he was able to move.

Apparently that many impacts on your tenders will cause them to swell over time...
 

Blues Power

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I replaced mine last year. be sure to get the correct one.
some pissing is normal but that had its day
the right way to do it is to drain the system to relieve the pressure

i did the hard way. I let the system cool a few hours and just unscrewed it and put my thumb over the hole

have the new one ready to go with Teflon tape and hand tighten it. do not gorilla it on
 

Toto'sDad

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LOL
I had a friend who was working on his old pickup truck in loose fitting shorts. He was trying to adjust the timing, so he was leaning directly over the spinning fan messing with the distributor and using a timing gun.
He reached a little too far and his nether regions hung too low and the spinning fan whacked him about fifteen times before he was able to move.

Apparently that many impacts on your tenders will cause them to swell over time...
That many impacts might cause you to never be able to swell!
 

Boreas

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LOL
I had a friend who was working on his old pickup truck in loose fitting shorts. He was trying to adjust the timing, so he was leaning directly over the spinning fan messing with the distributor and using a timing gun.
He reached a little too far and his nether regions hung too low and the spinning fan whacked him about fifteen times before he was able to move.

Apparently that many impacts on your tenders will cause them to swell over time...

He was COUNTING??🤣🤣
 

dogmeat

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there is a gauge on the boiler that shows pressure and temperature. the pressure should be 12-15 when cold and maybe go as high as 30ish when firing. a relief valve will blow off at about 35. things that help control the system are the pressure reducing valve on the boiler feed line. it supplys fresh makeup water when required. it reduces domestic water pressure down to 12-15 for the boiler. and then the expansion tank, which allows for expansion/contraction of the water when it heats/cools. it is a sealed canister with a diaphragm. one side has air pressure, the other side connects to the boiler somewhere in the lines. these 2 must be right or there will be problems. if you have doubts, have someone look at it

heres a good resource...

 

Stubee

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I actually have those on supply lines in the basement at our cottage. They were pretty effective at relieving pressure from gas in our well water and I need to replace ‘em.
 




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