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Steam Traps

Here’s my second post about the steam heat in my new home.  Most of the radiator steam traps look like they are as old as the house and I’m having problems with 3 or 4 radiators that either aren’t working at all (no steam) or are functioning poorly.  I suspect at least some of these are due to bad traps somewhere in the system.  The original traps are Dunham 1A and a couple of radiators have a MEPCO ½ 1E.  Some research indicates that MEPCO bought out Dunham and the 1E replaces the Dunham 1A.  



I can’t find a local supplier and want to just replace the element.  Any thoughts on this and ideas where I can get a good price for these things?  Also

I read in one of Dan’s books not to replace these in the winter but sure don’t

want to go the rest of the winter with these radiators not working.  I’d appreciate any ideas.

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,966
    Trap elements

    aren't that hard to come by -- I think I remember that State Supply has them, and I'm sure there are other suppliers.



    Be sure that you have diagnosed properly though, before randomly replacing traps.  A trap which has failed open will result in a hot radiator -- and an equally hot return pipe.  A warm return pipe from a hot radiator isn't a problem; what you're looking for is a hot return pipe from a hot radiator.  A trap which is failed closed will result in a cold radiator, although the feed pipe may be a little warm.



    The reason for Dan's comment on replacing traps in the winter is that you have to replace all of the bad ones in one go, which may be hard to do on a cold day.  Otherwise, if you have failed open traps left over, it is very likely that they will kill the nearby traps which you just replaced, which is frustrating.  If you can turn the system off long enough to do all the traps at once, then it doesn't matter whether it's winter of summer.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Brian_74
    Brian_74 Member Posts: 237
    What gets replaced?

    I don't mean to take over this thread, but as I'm in a similar situation, I hope it's okay. Is it possible to replace just the internals of the traps, or do you have to replace the entire part?



    By way of peace offering: here's one source for traps, http://www.barnesandjones.com/.

    The have lots of distributors.
    1929 Ideal Heating vapor system.
  • Trap Rebuild Parts

    Both Tunstall http://www.tunstall-inc.com/tunstallsteam.html  and Barnes & Jones (mentioned above by Brian) have rebuild kits for a lot of traps.

     If you are working on traps you might want to take a look at the new Ryobi Tek 4 IR Thermometer available from Home Depot. It isn't easy to find so here is the Home Depot part number ( SKU # 585816) if you're interested. They had them on sale the other day at $54.75. It would be great for detecting bad traps. "Santa" doesn't know it yet but she's getting me one for Christmas!

    - Rod
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,966
    Just the internals

    no need in most cases to even take the trap body out of the pipework -- just undo the top, pull out the deceased, drop a new one in, screw the top back on and you're good to go.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Thanks

    Thanks for the info.  I checked State Supply and they have what I need though they did say I would need to get the new cover as well as the internals.  I'll check Home Depot for the thermometer.

    Steve
  • Brian_74
    Brian_74 Member Posts: 237
    Cool gift!

    Lucky you, Rod! Those thermometers are handy for checking the pancake griddle temperature, too. Of course, you'll then realize that your griddle doesn't heat evenly….



    Brian
    1929 Ideal Heating vapor system.
This discussion has been closed.