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Old Steam Engine



What the hell is this thing?! Kidding.... we are relatively new steam contractors - we have experience with only single pipe steam... This is an old trap that is spewing water out of the vent and the system is losing all of its water quickly. We've gotten some input from people that it is likely that the float is hung up, others have said that the vent on top is bad. I believe it has something to do with the internal mechanisms. Anyone have any thoughts or can recommend a suitable replacement trap for this one?

Comments

  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    edited February 2015
    What is the operating water level and the height of the trap?
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    The vacuum experst will pipe in, I'm sure, but that's some sort of vacuum air-expeller. Hopefully, some here can recommend how to fix it so you can keep the vacuum functioning. that's a very cool looking piece, also.
    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
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,844
    You never "see it all" in this business.

    How is that trap piped into the system?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • wsml955
    wsml955 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks to all that have replied,
    The trap is about 6 ft off the ground seemingly at the perfect height above the water level of the Weil EG75 that it is mated to.
    It has worked in this system probably since the beginning with an older boiler of course.. House was built cir. 1930 by the mayor of Highland Park NJ (happened to be a plumber trying to make an incredibly complex system for a 2000 sqft house...that is..you would think it would be single pipe.

    QUESTION:
    can I replace this with a normal trap?
    Wayne (908)227-4182
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,844
    edited February 2015
    Nope. This isn't a trap in the normal sense, i.e. it doesn't stop steam. Despite its fancy name, it's basically a glorified air vent that can hold vacuum, but it does not close against steam. It shouldn't have to- there should not be any steam in the dry (overhead) return that this thing is connected to.

    First, the boiler pressure must be kept low- less than 1 PSI. This means that if you have a standard Pressuretrol, you need to replace it with a Vaporstat. Vapor systems were designed to run at these low pressures. Also make sure that the pigtail underneath the present Pressuretrol is not plugged before you install the Vaporstat.

    Second, I have no doubt that you have some bad radiator traps, and the crossover traps that vent the steam mains might be bad too. If these traps are bad, they will let steam get into the dry return, and it will come out the vent on the Vacuum Trap. Remember, the Vacuum Trap does not close when steam hits it.

    So fix the traps and lower the pressure, and it shouldn't leak. Yo;u can get trap parts from Tunstall or Barnes & Jones.

    And post more pics of this system!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • wsml955
    wsml955 Member Posts: 3
    I'll be happy to post more pics. I actually got everything up and running by removing it and putting in a Gorton NO1. I found the actual diagram of the of the system as it should be and concluded like you mentioned that this is not a trap but it is supposed to be mated with one which long since had been removed. Here is a link to the full catalog for the system. It is a 40meg pdf. https://ia902509.us.archive.org/28/items/IllinoisHeatingSystemsVaporDetails21/IllinoisHeatingSystems0001.PDF
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    You mean you replaced the air eliminator? Why not fix the other stuff that was probably broken?. Everyone here beats their head against the wall trying to figure out how to convert their systems to vacuum and once it's removed I doubt anyone can re convert it. Once you have a vapor vacuum system that works, it's the best there is. I don't understand. Even if it made things "work", aren't the other things @Steamhead mentioned still wrong?
    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
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,844
    If you don't want it, send it to me!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    I see a lynching in the making here. :(
    vaporvac
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,844
    That Gorton will close against steam. But if steam is still getting that far, it will cut off the only air vent in the system. Then some parts of it won't heat well.

    Fix the traps.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,438
    I agree with fixing the traps, and that none of us will ever see it all. Gosh.
    Retired and loving it.
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    @fred I see a lynching in the making here. :(

    I hope I didn't come off that way as I'm not even sure I was reading the reply correctly. I just get so emotional with these old systems, especially vaporvacuum! I feel like it's my own system being dismantled which almost happened to me if you read my very early posts. Plus that air eliminator posted is pretty rare and totally awesome :( Hope I didn't offend anyone. ;) Colleen
    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
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,837
    vaporvac said:

    @fred I see a lynching in the making here. :(

    I hope I didn't come off that way as I'm not even sure I was reading the reply correctly. I just get so emotional with these old systems, especially vaporvacuum! I feel like it's my own system being dismantled which almost happened to me if you read my very early posts. Plus that air eliminator posted is pretty rare and totally awesome :( Hope I didn't offend anyone. ;) Colleen

    Colleen we all fully appreciate your passion for these systems and we are right there with you. I think Fred was just making a joke...sometimes sarcasm is lost on the net. Don't lose your passion and keep pushing people to fix these systems. I think your experience with the vacuum systems is a good "thermometer" for others as to how good these systems can run.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Let's see some pictures of the boiler and piping.
    KC_Jones
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    @vaporvac I am in full agreement with you. These systems should be restored to their original design/functionality. I just thought a little humor (supporting the fact you were on top of this) was in order.
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    I'm glad! I saw :( instead of :) and thought maybe I'd gone too far. :) (In fact, I'm constantly reigning myself in!) I think we may have scared off the original poster which was NOT my intent., cuz that gorgeous hunk of metal can (and should) be put back!
    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
  • ChicagoCooperator
    ChicagoCooperator Member Posts: 314
    edited March 2015
    wsml955 said:

    but it is supposed to be mated with one which long since had been removed.

    Sounds like it would have been a lost cause/pointless exercise without the rest of the system.