When it comes to fixing leaking steam pipe, the difficulty always depends on where the leak is and how severe it is. Steam pipes within radiators are usually much easier to fix than hot water pipes, because they're under much less pressure than hot water radiators. To fix a leak in steam pipes, you must first be able to identify where the leak is located.
Observe the system of steam pipes in question for any drips of water. Look and listen for water drippings that can help you detect any leaks in the steam pipes. Any hiss or "whoosh" noise from pipe vibration, splashing or "babbling brook" sounds from water flowing around the pipe, or small "clinking" sounds of stones and pebbles bouncing off the pipe are all indicators of steam leaks in pipes.
Using a ground microphone, survey the ground surrounding the underground steam pipe if the suspected steam leak is coming from underground. Every hydrant, valve and service line is a possible place to hear the sounds of steam leaks. Sounds travel better on the pipe walls than through the soil, so always listen at the hydrants, valves and meters. The sound of a leak will get louder the closer you get to it.
Carefully mark the location of the steam pipe on the street after locating it with the ground microphone. Move the ground microphone 3 to 4 feet each time in the direction of the steam pipe, listening and moving closer to the steam leak. When you can no longer find a stronger amplified section of the steam pipe, the leak has been located.
Then, you can dig out the leak and make a repair. Since steam pipe repairing is not a hard work, you can either do the work by yourself or hire a professional plumber to serve you. If you are deciding to do the work by yourself, be remember to wear gloves, mask, and other protective devices to protect yourself from being injured. After all, steam pipe are always in high temperature, if treated improperly, hazards can occur easily.
In fact, just repair the leak stem pipe is not enough to ensure its proper work in the future. Generally, in order to make sure that the steam pipes work efficiently, cover your steam pipes with a coat or insulate them with insulation could be a great idea, which not only protects your steam pipes, but also saves our energy bills in the long run.