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RICHARDSON BOYNTON

Look again. The air has to be able to get out somehow. It's probably on a standpipe at the end of the dry return and maybe on the steam main too. If there are several dry returns, each would have its own air vent.

The check on the return should be removed. Pipe the boiler with a proper header and Hartford Loop- minimum header size 2-1/2". Proper boiler piping applies to all systems. They could get away without a header in the old days since older boilers had huge steam chests.

Use a Vaporstat (1 PSI max) to control the boiler pressure.
Not sure about that trap- can you post a pic?

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Comments

  • MIKE3.5
    MIKE3.5 Member Posts: 9
    RICHARDSON BOYNTON STEAM

    I looked ar boiler replacement job to day with a boiler that was put in in the 80's from an original Richardson Boynton syetem. The supply and trap are on the same side of the rad both w/ 1/2" piping. The trap said Richardson HEAT. Not as shown in the Help library with the tube and ball check. It looks like a standard angle trap but has a 3/8" pipe plug opposite the union nipple. What is it? There is also no air emiter, header or equalizer. There is a check on the return. Can it be replaced with standard pressure steam boiler with header, equalizer, and Hartford loop?
  • MIKE3.5
    MIKE3.5 Member Posts: 9


  • MIKE3.5
    MIKE3.5 Member Posts: 9
    Richardson

    There is no aparent vent. Basement is finished with drywall except for small boiler rm. Return is now wet as per Hartford loop w/ no equalizer. It is about a foot off cellar floor. Have pics will try to send tomorrow. thanks. Yes there is a tap in the trap w/ plug. Says Richardson HEAT in bold letters
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    It has to be there

    the drywallers probably covered it. Looking forward to the pics.

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  • MIKE3.5
    MIKE3.5 Member Posts: 9
    HEAT trap pic

    notice plug on left
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    I think that's

    a water seal instead of a thermostatic trap. The plug was probably there to allow you to clean the little air vent hole.

    Anyone ever seen this version of the Richardson before?

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  • MIKE3.5
    MIKE3.5 Member Posts: 9


    Where is tiny air vent?
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    It's inside the unit

    The air vents thru a tiny hole that bypasses the water seal, then into the dry return and out the air vent on the dry return. Richardson, Broomell, O-E, VECO and others all used this technique to keep steam out of the dry return, but let air and water enter it.

    The air vent they used was probably a vacuum type. This was great on coal, but not so good on oil or gas. Replace it with a standard vent.

    Find the air vents on the dry returns and you'll have the missing link. Also vent your steam mains well. If you measure the length and diameter of each steam main, we can tell you what you need.

    Also, where is this old beauty located?

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  • Steve Ebels_3
    Steve Ebels_3 Member Posts: 1,290
    Frank

    You are a walking, talking encyclopedia of steam. Your infinite knowledge of the pieces and parts that made those old systems run is a blessing to anyone with a question.
    My hat is off to you my friend!
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Well

    I do the best I can. We really need to thank Mike for discovering what appears to be an earlier version of the Richardson system. Can't wait for more pics!

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  • MIKE3.5
    MIKE3.5 Member Posts: 9
    richardson steam traps with plug

    I went back to job and there are no signs of and vents. The basement is all drywalled, ceilins too. I can see the end of 1 of 2 mains which ends under a 2 radiator sun room. NO VENTS anywhere to be found. No vents on rads.enclosed is a pic of trap with plug. Top says Richardson with a patent number and the word HEAT in capital letters. I don't what to do about a replacement.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    There have to be vents somewhere

    at some point, the overhead (dry) returns drop into the floor-level (wet) returns. That's probably where they installed the vents. You may have to look wayyyyy up into the joist spaces to see them, but they're there.

    They have to be there. Otherwise the air could not leave the system. And if the air can't get out, the steam can't move into the radiators. It's that simple.

    If they've drywalled over the areas where the vents should be, get hold of a see-snake and poke it up in there. Replace the vacuum vents with Gorton #2 vents, then install access hatches where needed so the vents can be serviced later if needed.

    There should not be any need to replace the Richardson water seal traps.

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  • MIKE3.5
    MIKE3.5 Member Posts: 9
    plugs

    What's up with the plugs in the traps? Keep the traps as is? I'll have to cut holes in his new drywall to look for vents. That will go over like a fart in church. Also are the radiator valves ok to keep? How about the check valve on the return?
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    The plugs

    should be access points to clean the little air vent hole inside the unit. If the radiators heat up fully, that hole is fine- no need to remove the plugs. There are no moving parts inside a water-seal trap, unless they included a check valve in it like on later Richardsons.

    Leave the radiator shutoffs as is. If they stick, take them apart and clean them.

    Get rid of the check on the return- the Hartford Loop supersedes it and eliminates a moving part.

    If you use a see-snake, you can keep the holes very small and therefore easy to patch. If you've never used one, you don't know what you're missing.

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  • MIKE3.5
    MIKE3.5 Member Posts: 9
    see snake

    I have a Rigid micro, Gen Eye Jr., and a full side SeeSnake. The Micro neeeds a 1/2" hole. Sounds good. Iknow they have to be there. Finished basements stink.

    Thanks for the help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What are your feelings on an indirect hot water tank off a steam boiler? Pipe it like a regular hot water loop?
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Indirect tanks

    are a good idea. But not all of these work well with steam systems. I think the SuperStor and the Burnham stone-lined unit are OK to use with steam, but check with the manufacturers to be sure.

    The hookup is similar to a hot-water loop. Some boilers, like the Burnham MegaSteam, Smith 8/G8 and Slant/Fin Intrepid have dedicated tappings for these hookups, which makes them easier.

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