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2-Pipe Steam System Failed Traps Removing Guts?

Mindy Member Posts: 1
We have 9 failed traps and are being told that rather than replacing the traps we can either replace the guts of the traps (liners?) or remove the guts entirely.  It sounds a little fishy to us based on what we've learned.  I assume that will make the banging noise a lot worse and cause the boiler (which is 4 years old) to constantly overfill?  We are getting lots of different opinions on the remedy.  In the meantime, we don't have heat in those 9 spaces


    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,335
    Steam Traps

    With two pipe steam the traps are an important part of the system and need to be kept in good condition. Your choice is to rebuild the traps by installing new parts or replace the traps. It's usually cheeper to rebuild the traps as this can usually done without disturbing the piping. If the traps are really old or parts are difficult to obtain you may want to replace the traps with new ones. This will be more expensive and may require some repiping.

  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Traps & Orifices

    Hi- When a radiator trap fails, it needs to be quickly fixed as otherwise the steam getting into the return piping will cause more traps to fail. All the bad traps should be fixed at the same time. Doing them one at a time will still cause other traps to fail.

       With a 2 pipe steam system, on each radiator you either need to use a TRAP which prevents steam getting into the return piping (hence the word “trap” as it traps the steam, keeping it in the radiator) OR an ORIFICE which limits (meters) the amount of steam entering the radiator. ( you can use traps and orifices together)

    TRAPS:   There are rebuild parts for most traps and below are several of the main sources,

    Source for complete traps & parts:

    Rebuild parts for Steam Traps (Thermostatic,  F&T)

    Barnes & Jones


    Tunstall - Use the link below and look at the menu option Tunstall Steam- It has info on both trap parts and orifices there.


    State Supply (carries parts from the two above sources)


    ORIFICES:  You can make you own or better yet get them from Tunstall.

    Attached is an article on using orifices that may be of help to you.

    Orifices may initially seem the most economical way to go. However the radiators may need several orifice changes to get the correct sizing for each radiator so if you are having a pro do the job, the labor could add up and therefore just replacing the bad traps may be a better way to go.

    You have to use either a trap or an orifice!  Just removing “the guts” entirely will cause problems and make the system inoperable.  Setup properly, 2 pipe steam systems work extremely well and provide silent , comfortable, and economic heating.

    - Rod
  • Trap problems

    Why not turn your pressure down as far as it will go, and maybe those traps will start working again.

    The over-filling could be a result of high pressure from a plugged pigtail causing the water to be blown out of your boiler, triggering the auto-fill. Turn off the auto-fill valve, and see if the water eventually comes back.

    Post some pictures of your radiator and boiler piping, as something seems not right if it has been hammering since the installation.--NBC
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