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Any experience with these?

I will be replacing an old boiler that was installed in a pit, unfortunately the original contractor did not diagram or take any pics of the near boiler piping before the abatement crew came in an removed the boiler. I am going to post some more pics of the system tonight. At first I thought it was an inverted bucket trap, but it has a 3/4" line coming off the top running into the top of a 3" elbow on one of the steam mains, the 2" off the bottom is going into the wet return. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Comments

  • Enreynolds
    Enreynolds Member Posts: 119
    What you have there

    Is a Boiler return trap.  It was used to return condensate to the boiler much the same way a modern condensate pump does today.  A simplified explanation: A float in the chamber rises on condensate which in turn opens a valve to allow steam pressure  from the main to enter the chamber and "push"  the condensate back to the boiler.  The two plugs visible on the side probably originally where stopcocks for a sight-glass.  I am sure that someone here with more experience can offer more insight.
  • dgordon
    dgordon Member Posts: 7
    Trane #11 Direct Return Trap

    I'm pretty sure that's what it is, now trying to decide whether to replace it with a vaporstat or just leave it. Thanks for the reply 
  • MotownSteamer
    MotownSteamer Member Posts: 110
    Yes, that's exactly what that is

    I have one too. When I replaced my boiler I asked the installer to pipe it back in. It will likely never see action, but I like the original look and you can't have too many back up devices. From what I understand, these units were basically pressure equalizers in the coal fired, pre-limit controller days.



    Here's an old Trane publication; there's a cutaway of the #11 plus lots of other cool stuff:



    http://www.heatinghelp.com/files/articles/1392/26.pdf
  • MotownSteamer
    MotownSteamer Member Posts: 110
    And...

    this device is not a substitute for a limit controller. A Vaporstat is the better choice over a pressuretrol, but the return traps have nothing to do with turning the burner on/off. Before I replaced the boiler, my pressures were climbing all the way to the cut-out (1.5 lbs) at which point this device was snapping like crazy. Your new boiler and Vaporstat (assuming they get installed properly) should have your system humming at very low pressure.



    I assume you have a two pipe vapor system?
  • dgordon
    dgordon Member Posts: 7
    Yes

    It is a 2 pipe system. From what I've read here it is a old Trane vapor system with the boiler down in a pit. The boiler was removed before I had a chance to look at near boiler piping or the boiler itself. New boiler will be WM EGH-95. I will post some pics today,  This will be my first 2 pipe system, so any input would be greatly appreciated.
  • MotownSteamer
    MotownSteamer Member Posts: 110
    First of all...

    welcome!



    The old boiler was in a pit for a reason, so I would not suggest filling it in for aesthetics. Don't worry about not photographing the old piping. Your new boiler should be piped exactly to manufacturer specs-or better, such as a drop header.



    As you probably already know, steam systems are not just about the boiler, so make sure your traps and vents are working.



    If you don't have Dan's books already, get them. "Lost Art" has a section on two-pipe, vapor, etc. that you'll want to read.



    Oh, and look for your cross over traps now. With the boiler removed it'll be easier to inspect and repair/replace now since they are usually found over head in a tight corner of the boiler room!
  • dgordon
    dgordon Member Posts: 7
    Boiler Pit

    I was planning on raising the boiler to get the new water line above the wet returns, I haven't measured yet for my b dimension. The old boiler had 3 risers coming off the top,  one 3" and two 4". I am going to take one 4" out and pipe to the remaining 3" & 4" drops. Do you see any problem with that? I do plan on making a dropped header
  • dgordon
    dgordon Member Posts: 7
    Lost Art

    Book in hand, just got it couple of days ago. I'm sure I will be carrying it around with me for the next week. I have too say, this site is blessing. You guys are very helpful and generous with your knowledge, much appreciated.
  • MotownSteamer
    MotownSteamer Member Posts: 110
    disclaimer

    First of all, I'm a homeowner so I'm on shaky technical ground when it comes to boiler installation.



    Second, if you could take some pics of the boiler area, overhead piping, etc. it would help us advise you.



    Three risers? I've never seen that. How big is the building? Are you the contractor or homeowner?



    As to the "B" dimension, there are several ways to skin a cat. Assuming the new boiler has a different footprint (height) and there is enough room overhead, you might be able to get the coveted 28" and fill in the pit.
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