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Can bucket and F&T traps be mounted too low? Pics attached.

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I am wondering if the bucket and FT traps shown in the photos are OK, and does there position in relation to the steam and return pipes change dimension B? Thank you for comments or suggestions.

Comments

  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
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    were those recently added? They certainly won't allow for the passing of air. I'm wondering what was there before? Was it a basic loop seal before? I'm seeing in my minds eye, the backing of condensate up into the main.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

    jonny88
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,545
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    I'm with you, Gerry. Not good.
    Retired and loving it.
  • JudySweetland
    JudySweetland Member Posts: 120
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    were those recently added? They certainly won't allow for the passing of air. I'm wondering what was there before? Was it a basic loop seal before? I'm seeing in my minds eye, the backing of condensate up into the main.

    Gerry, yes they have been there for years. I do not know if at one point the boiler had a feed pump, the home owner does not know either. I, not knowing added unions about 5 years ago to remove, prime and clean the traps. The in and out pipes however did not change, i kept those lengths the same. What remedy can u suggest? Thanks, judy

  • JudySweetland
    JudySweetland Member Posts: 120
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    I'm with you, Gerry. Not good.

    Dan, thanks for having a look. Any suggestions are appreciated.

  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,231
    edited December 2014
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    Wow. Whoever put those there has no idea how they work.

    Merry Christmas, all.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    Classes
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
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    Gerry, yes they have been there for years. I do not know if at one point the boiler had a feed pump, the home owner does not know either. I, not knowing added unions about 5 years ago to remove, prime and clean the traps. The in and out pipes however did not change, i kept those lengths the same. What remedy can u suggest? Thanks, judy



    I'm thinking at one time the pipes were just a loop seal that went down to the floor and then back up to the return, which should be slightly lower than the main. No mechanical devices at all. Least thats what i'm thinking may have been there.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • JudySweetland
    JudySweetland Member Posts: 120
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    Gerry, yes they have been there for years. I do not know if at one point the boiler had a feed pump, the home owner does not know either. I, not knowing added unions about 5 years ago to remove, prime and clean the traps. The in and out pipes however did not change, i kept those lengths the same. What remedy can u suggest? Thanks, judy

    I'm thinking at one time the pipes were just a loop seal that went down to the floor and then back up to the return, which should be slightly lower than the main. No mechanical devices at all. Least thats what i'm thinking may have been there.

    They have never looked correct to me, and i can't explain why! I cannot find mention of trap height in relation to steam mains and returns in the LAoSH, man. Instructions or on a thread here, unless i have missed it somehow. If i remove the traps and install Gortons in place thereof would that be an acceptable next step? Thanks, judy

  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,545
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    Judy, is there a condensate pump or a boiler-feed pump on this system?
    Retired and loving it.
  • JudySweetland
    JudySweetland Member Posts: 120
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    Judy, is there a condensate pump or a boiler-feed pump on this system?

    Dan, no there is not. This 2 pipe system has no discernible radiator traps either. The home owner does not remember a condensate pump. The previous boiler was installed in 1992 and only had 1 Hoffman 75 vent for the entire system. It seemed to fail every two years. Admittedly before replacing this boiler (still in process) i knew little if anything about steam heat. I have been helped enormously by this site and your books. Since this boiler is being replaced i am trying to ensure the system as a whole is correct and obviously do not understand the relationship of main trap height vs piping height. If there were a former condensate pump that was removed at some point would the improperly placed traps would have worked in that scenario?

  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,545
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    Thanks, Judy. I would replace the traps with loop seals, and add main vents near the ends of the steam mains and the dry returns.
    Retired and loving it.
  • JudySweetland
    JudySweetland Member Posts: 120
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    Thanks, Judy. I would replace the traps with loop seals, and add main vents near the ends of the steam mains and the dry returns.

    Ahhhh, thank you for offering a solution. Will do.

  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
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    Judy. This is obviously an older vapor system. Any chance it was set up for a natural vacuum. My vacuum system doesn't have any traps, just metered inlet valves that vents through a single Trane Air Eliminator. It works great, especially with my new twinned boilers.
    I'll have to take a closer look at your posts of the boiler room. I'm just a home owner, but I'm always curious about other systems like mine without traps.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • JudySweetland
    JudySweetland Member Posts: 120
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    vaporvac said:

    Judy. This is obviously an older vapor system. Any chance it was set up for a natural vacuum. My vacuum system doesn't have any traps, just metered inlet valves that vents through a single Trane Air Eliminator. It works great, especially with my new twinned boilers.
    I'll have to take a closer look at your posts of the boiler room. I'm just a home owner, but I'm always curious about other systems like mine without traps.

    Vaporvac, here are two hand drawings of the piping, minus the radiators. The drawings include a HW circuit for a den with baseboard heat. The shown steam vent is a Hoffman 75. The only component not described is an 8C Thermostatic Bear Trap, it has an arrow pointing to the trap but i left the description out. I have no idea if the drawing will help. I drew it out to try and make sense of it myself. Thanks for the inquiry, Steamhead also thought this system may be a vapor system when i spoke to him on the phone. The drawing leaves something to be desired but i am not CAD literate. I'd be glad to know what you think, thanks.
    Judy

    kevin_58
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Not being literate in the finer art of steam venting in any form, if the system was a pure vapor/vacuum system with the suggested loop venting where the trap is now, when was the HW baseboard added, and how would sucking off the boiler condensate affect the plus & minus pressures and changing temperatures in the vapor/vacuum systems?

    Its hard enough to make some understand that water will boil at any number of pressures above and below 212 degrees. Let alone that he freezes at down to 40 degrees below zero and not only at 32F degrees.

    That may have been some unknowing person's attempt at fixing a problem of unintended consequences.

    Just a thought.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
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    I am wondering if there had been a wet return that went bad or was in the way. Some genius may have said "Why use the wet return when there is a dry return right there?". If the dry return is lower then the steam main then I agree with just a simple water leg, Please use crosses at the bottom for clean out later.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    JudySweetland
  • JudySweetland
    JudySweetland Member Posts: 120
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    I am wondering if there had been a wet return that went bad or was in the way. Some genius may have said "Why use the wet return when there is a dry return right there?". If the dry return is lower then the steam main then I agree with just a simple water leg, Please use crosses at the bottom for clean out later.

    Charlie, thanks for the insight. The dry returns are lower than than the steam mains. I will put unions on the loops along with a tee/ drain port so they can be removed and flushed annually.

    Waterbury Steam
  • JudySweetland
    JudySweetland Member Posts: 120
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    icesailor said:

    Not being literate in the finer art of steam venting in any form, if the system was a pure vapor/vacuum system with the suggested loop venting where the trap is now, when was the HW baseboard added, and how would sucking off the boiler condensate affect the plus & minus pressures and changing temperatures in the vapor/vacuum ?

    Just a thought.

    Icesailor, good question. I am going to reconfigure the HW Den loop in the near future. Have to do more research!

  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
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    Those traps would work if your system pressure is high enough to lift water from the trap to the return. I still would rather see a parts-less loop seal as mentioned before. Seeing the different color paint on the wall, and some large drilled holes, I would suspect that maybe a radiator was there at some point...?
  • JudySweetland
    JudySweetland Member Posts: 120
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    JStar said:

    Those traps would work if your system pressure is high enough to lift water from the trap to the return. I still would rather see a parts-less loop seal as mentioned before. Seeing the different color paint on the wall, and some large drilled holes, I would suspect that maybe a radiator was there at some point...?

    JStar, had not taken those holes into consideration, or the give away paint scheme dictating something was there when wall was repainted. I will ask homeowner, out of curiosity. Hope to talk homeowner into a vaporstat in place of the pressuretrol, so we can keep the pressure in ounces instead of 1 or 2 pounds. I assume the loop seals will work at low pressure simply due to the height of the steam main water column in relation to the lower dry return piping, no?

  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    I don't usually post here. I just read and ask occasional questions.

    I get back to the Vapor Vacuum part. It is my understanding from reading that water boils it 212 degrees, and higher under higher than atmospheric pressure. Water also boils at temperatures below 212 degrees at vacuums below atmospheric pressures. Or, how vapor vacuum systems work. Also, when dropping the system pressure to the low pressures suggested here just make the steam vapor temperatures lower. IE: if the boiling water in the boiler is 212 degrees, the steam will be 212 degrees. For the sake of discussion, if the system is tight and can drop into a -2" vacuum, the boiling water temperature in the boiler drops accordingly. Lets say that the system is now boiling at 200 degrees, and the steam vapor is 200 degrees. All is well and good when the system was new and good.

    Years later, someone decides to add a FHW loop and take the condensed water off the boiler and circulate it through the wet side of the boiler. If the boiler is steaming merrily away with 2" of vacuum and the condensed water is at the proper 200 degrees and steaming, what happens if the FHW zone comes on? Does it collapse the steam because the pressure has now dropped because the water in the boiler won't promote steam?

    If my supposition is correct, I personally think it is a hard concept for someone out there who adds a FHW zone to a steam boiler and then has to fix it. Or someone that comes in and tries to fix something that isn't working properly.

    To my very core value, I always look to see, did it ever work? If it did, and for a long period and it stopped, what was done when it stopped? When the house was nea and the steam went in, they would have added steam to the area where the FHW is now. WHEN? There is often a date on traps like that when manufactured. If so, does it correlate with when the FHW zone went in?

    I see where the paint on the wall wasn't painted over. Is it possible that there was some form of heater there that could have been piped off those pipes where a heater cold have been? I don't know. I'm not a Steamer. Where's this FHW zone. In an addition or in the cellar? Perhaps there was a radiator there to warm the cellar and it was removed for the FHW installed in the cellar? I don't know. I'm just asking.

    BTW, that's a heck of a thing to do to that nice 6" old bench plane. Someone needs to clean all the rust and dust off of it and spray it down with WD-40 and cover it with a nice a big old beach towel or something. They don't make nice old dogs like that anymore. You pay serious bucks for new ones that may not be as nice as that one. There's not many power tools as handy as one of those when doing finish work.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
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    Adding a hot water loop does and can work. The pump needs to be below the water level so it does not create suction trying to lift the water. The circulator also needs to pump away from the boiler. I also use a bypass on the inlet from the return to keep the water tempered by the return water.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating