Steam Main Leak with New Floor

Original customer call: Steam leaking through floor in solarium.

Upon arrival, Mr. B. explained to me that steam was pouring through cracks in his solarium floor. He also explained that he was experiencing component failure on his low-water cut off.  Both of these are symptoms of a steam line broken under the slab. Mr. B’s original request was for me to cap the lines going underneath of the floor. Unfortunately, knowing these old houses well, I explained to him that there was a high probability that the lines fed other radiators on the second floor. I explained that the process would be to excavate through the floor, remove the steam mains and condensate returns, and then replace them. I assured Mr. Benton that we would meet with his insurance company and provide all the necessary repair work after the pipe had been replaced.

This was a sensitive repair in a beautiful 100-year-old 14,000 square-foot home. We so appreciate these old beauties and were very excited about this project. The demolition started and upon removal of the concrete we found asbestos covering both steam feeds. We coordinated with Mr. B’s preferred asbestos abatement company and upon removal, resumed the project. The demolition and replacement was executed perfectly and we were able to start the tile selection process. The customer selected a beautiful marble tile. Our tile sub completely leveled the concrete floor surface to within a fine tolerance to allow the application of the marble. Each tile was selected for the grain to match the adjoining tiles for an aesthetically pleasing finish. As you can see in the photos, the effect is stunning.

Toward the end of the project, the customer reported his carbon monoxide detector was sounding an alarm. We diagnosed the problem and did significant other repair work to ensure the safety of the residence. We were particularly proud to have provided service to this customer. He had a string of other contractors that were urging them to completely replace the system. In truth, this system has many years of service left and just needs proper maintenance. No small finding, considering it’s a $40,000 steam boiler.


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