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What is it and do I still need it (Dan H. posting for Sam)

DanHolohan
DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,522
Here are some additional photos. The system had 2 steam boilers twinned together. The capacity of the 2 boilers is actually close to the real load of the building. The air vent is in "bees 018" in the middle just below the copper supply. The T is connected in 2 places to the same pipe. The relief valve, with the orange tag, is in "SFOC0707 008". The pipe to the right of the T goes to the "return tank"
Retired and loving it.

Comments

  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,522
    I'm posting this for Sam Greenblat (Dan H.)

    Replacing a steam boiler in a small apt. house. Found this in the boiler room. 1 upper pipe is connected to the steam header, the other is a drip/return coming from the ceiling. The lower pipe connects to the wet return. I have never seen this system running. There are complaints of insufficient heat on the 4th. fl. (top floor). Radiators are 2 pipe with traps.

    I know better than to just rip it out. Do I still need it? Do I remove the plugs and clean it? Did it ever have a gauge glass on it?

    This system has been worked on many times before I got here. 200 feet of pipe in a 10 foot area. A pressure relief valve attached to the header, etc. Thank You SamG
    Retired and loving it.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Looks like a Return Trap

    It appears to be connected as one would be. Where the pipe goes down from the bottom of the tank and tees into the return line, are there two check valves, one on either side of the tee?

    How is the air vented from this system?

    Please post more info and pics- I think we've discovered another species of Vapor!

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  • Sam G._2
    Sam G._2 Member Posts: 17
    check valves

    Boy, you are good. Yes, there are 2 chack valves. Both going in the direction of the boiler. There is an air vent in the boiler room (but not a large "main" vent) I had planned to change it. I will also hunt around the building to search for any others.

    If this is a "return trap" on a wet return system, should I remove it, replace it with a new style, or leave it alone?

    Thanks
  • I wonder...

    > It appears to be connected as one would be. Where

    > the pipe goes down from the bottom of the tank

    > and tees into the return line, are there two

    > check valves, one on either side of the tee?

    > How is the air vented from this system?

    >

    > Please

    > post more info and pics- I think we've discovered

    > another species of Vapor!

    >

    > _A

    > HREF="http://www.heatinghelp.com/getListed.cfm?id=

    > 367&Step=30"_To Learn More About This

    > Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in

    > "Find A Professional"_/A_



    if there's a float in there.
  • I wonder...

    if there's a float in there.
  • HeatJockey
    HeatJockey Member Posts: 37
    More info and photos

  • invision
    invision Member Posts: 25


  • Perry_3
    Perry_3 Member Posts: 498
    Here are my ideas...

    OK Homeowner here.... but not without some knowledge.

    Based on a recent thread on building a new steam system from scratch... I got to wondering how I would do it.

    I came to the conclusion that a "properely designed system" in my book - for the current generation of boilers out there (and perhaps for the old ones two) should have devices (or a single device) to perform the following functions:

    1) Act as a gunk collector on the return drains. Keep the rust and other stuff from getting to the boiler (or at least most of it).

    2) Act as an additional water reserve so that a modern boiler would have more water it could turn to steam from cold start prior to needing makeup. This would be a small tank mounted so that its mid level would be at the same level as the boiler water level; and, I thought, mounted as a kinda extra leg modification of the Hartford loop.


    Concerning this tank: could it be that it was intended to fullfil either one or both of those functions?

    I wonder if the drain on the bottom of the tank actually extends up an inch or so into the tank - that would trap rust and other particles on the bottom of the tank.

    Is the tank mounted at a level where it could have lined up with an old boiler for its water level?

    I hope my speculation helps.

    As far as what to do with it. I'd leave it alone - it probably is doing no harm even if it is no longer effective at what it was intended to do.

    Perry
  • Sam G._2
    Sam G._2 Member Posts: 17
    more info and photos



    Here are some additional photos. The system had 2 steam boilers twinned together. The capacity of the 2 boilers is actually close to the real load of the building. The air vent is in "bees 018" in the middle just below the copper supply. The T is connected in 2 places to the same pipe. The relief valve, with the orange tag, is in "SFOC0707 008". The pipe to the right of the T goes to the "return tank"




  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    There is

    where the pipes go into the top, you can see the whole assembly is bolted on with a flange. That's the valve assembly. The large size of the flange allowed the float to be removed with the valve assembly. This construction was rather common on Return Traps.

    Sam, I'd leave that Return Trap just the way it is. However, if the valves are leaking or stuck, get in touch with Tunstall. They can rebuild these things. Also clean the check valves thoroughly and flush out all the return lines. Get as much gunk out of there as you can without using chemicals.

    www.tunstall-inc.com

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  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    That dry return air vent

    is definitely too small, even if it's not the only vent in the system. It looks like a Maid-o-Mist/Armstrong/Jacobus #1, which has about the same throughput as a Gorton #1 or Hoffman #75. You need at least one Gorton #2 vent there. Look at the bushings that vent is screwed into. Either the original vent was much larger, or the air was vented into the chimney thru some sort of condenser.

    Look also for thermostatic traps installed between the ends of the steam mains and the dry returns. These act as air vents for the steam mains. I think I see one way at the top of pic #006, in the background. If these traps are bad they will mess up the steam circulation and balance.

    Sam, this system is a real find. Next time you go there, see if you can find any maker's name on the Return Trap, original rad shutoffs and traps, or anything else that looks original. This is one for the books.

    Also, where is this system located?

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  • So it's just a giant trap...

    and when it fills to such and such a point the float should open and the water should be forced into the returns(?).
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Correct

    the steam pressure coming thru the open valve forces the water out.

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  • heh, cool...

    Thanks, for the pics AND the info. ;)
  • Daniel_3
    Daniel_3 Member Posts: 543


    In the "bees" pic it says "no good pitch" on the return pipe in the middle of the pic and the return leading to the trap says "header". Wonder why that is written on there for. Hopefully the pitch was fixed but to me it's tough to tell which way it should pitch.
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