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vapor system

John_208 Member Posts: 3
It's a condo so I wasn't able to get anywhere else in the building. I probably could If I had an excuse to go down there. Someone already replaced one of them with just a standard radiator valve. What would happen if I did that? The problem he is having is that they leak out of the stem.


  • John_208
    John_208 Member Posts: 3
    Vapor valve

    Can this radiator valve be replaced with a new style angled steam valve or do I have to rebuild it? I am also including a picture of the trap if it makes a difference or not. thanks
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    You've discovered another species of Vapor !!!!!!!!!

    the "Boston Vapor Heating Company".

    Anyone else seen one of these systems?

    It looks a lot like the Broomell/VECO/VRCO and others that used water seals on the rad outlets instead of thermostatic traps. The valve probably has a disc with several different-sized holes in it to vary the steam flow, and a spring-packing arrangement. The size of the holes was based on the size of the radiator it was to be used with.

    The Tunstall people could probably come up with a rebuild for that valve. You may have to send the valve to them, but in the summer that's practical. When you call them, tell them Gordo and I sent you.

    We've recently learned that Barnes & Jones still makes valves for Vapor systems that can be orificed to match the rad size, but have not tried them yet.

    Did you find any old Boston Vapor hardware in the boiler room, or elsewhere in the basement?


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  • John_208
    John_208 Member Posts: 3

    I am not having any problem with the traps, just the valve on the inlet.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    First thing to check

    is the boiler pressure. This type of system was designed to run on 1/2 pound or so. If some knucklehead has raised the pressure much beyond this, those old packings will probably leak. Look at the operating pressure control, it should be a Vaporstat that cannot be set higher than 1 pound. See chapter 15 of "The Lost Art of Steam Heating" for a more-detailed account of how this type of system works.

    If you reduce the pressure and then some parts of the building don't heat, you probably have an air-venting problem. Get it fixed, it's much cheaper to do so than to waste fuel building pressure!

    You can probably get away with a standard radiator valve, if the pressure is kept low. But the lack of orificing might mess up the system balance.

    I'd get in touch with Tunstall. If you have a building full of those things, it might be wise to have access to repair parts. These valves may be similar enough to the Broomell or VECO valves that the same packings might work.

    There are plenty of good steam men in the Boston area- I assume that's where you are, I wish you were in Baltimore ;-) Click on Resources, then Find a Professional and follow the instructions to locate one.

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  • Jim Pompetti
    Jim Pompetti Member Posts: 552
    Did you

    Try cleaning the orfice ,there is a small cap that comes off,you can run a small wire thru it . Most of the time I find them clogged .I have replaced one with a 17-C , Someone took it, to try to get a new one . He never came back
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