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Good trap replacements

I belong to a church that has these Kellogg Mackey traps on all of the radiators. Maintenance on these have been neglected for years. I would assume they could be replaced with thermostatic traps?

I have a little knowledge in this because I have steam heat at my home. I have a lot more question and issues to address, but I will start with this first.

Thanks James


  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752


    B&J should have a reference for everything you need, as long as you have a model number.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,564
    deferred maintainance

    do you know that the traps are not working? are there any other symptoms of incorrect operation? do all the radiators heat evenly? is the waterline steady? this could be one of the few situations where a setback would make sense. what controls the boiler-thermostat?

    i would start this project with checking the pressure with a 0-3 psi gauge, as over pressure can kill traps, and pressures over a few ounces are just enriching the fuel supplier. check the pigtail for obstruction, and then check the lwco for functionality [will it cut the burner off when drained]. has it received any maintenance over the years? the burner should be checked with an analyser. some pictures of the boiler, and radiators would help us spot potential trouble areas.--nbc
  • Homeheater
    Homeheater Member Posts: 5
    edited March 2013
    Other church steam issues

    Thanks Nicholas,

    Just to start off some rads get very hot ,some don't heat at all, some have had supply valves removed. I have started to put some Danfoss valves with dial sensors on the very hot rads just for local control. With what I know, it seems like most rads that aren't working they might be air bound. I have looked at the end runs and all I see is one small Hoffman air vent which is probably rusted shut. There is a 92yr old layman that has over seen the boiler for a long time I am not so sure of his knowledge , but that is his emerald !!. More short info: 2 x 26Hp Kewanne boilers which is piped into 1x6" main then out to building runs. Internal order of controls are unknown at this time! my guess is they are sledged up.


    P.S. how to post pics?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,923
    Two pipe steam

    is really pretty darn simple, basically.  If a radiator isn't heating, either the air can't get out or the steam can't get in.  Look for traps stuck shut.  Look for traps stuck open somewhere else, putting back pressure on the radiators which aren't heating.  Look for sags in the pipe where water can collect.  Look for valves which are shut, or which are busted and won't open.

    You may well have all of the above.

    Check your mains venting; for two pipe it is absolutely critical.  Before you start swapping things around, though, figure out how the system was originally designed to vent; they aren't all the same.

    If you are going to be part of the team maintaing this thing, get Dan's books -- "A Steamy Deal" -- to be found under the "Shop" tab.  They are rather handy...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
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