Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.

If you've found help here, check back in to let us know how everything worked out.
It's a great way to thank those who helped you.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

Steam accessary...has anyone seen this before

Has anyone ever seen this type of tank on a steam system...it sits above the boiler water line and the bottom pipe is connected to the steam return with a check valve at the bottom. I think someone removed a bucket trap that was left at the job. This is a 2 pipe steam system with traps on all the radiators...if anyone has seen this type of system and can give me any info on it and where the bucket trap should be reinstalled I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks Peter Gasperini

Comments

  • FredFred Posts: 8,067Member
    @Steamhead or @JStar or @Jamie Hall will be able to tell you all you need to know. Where are you located? If you're lucky, one of them may even be able to pay you a visit.
  • PeterGasperiniPeterGasperini Posts: 19Member
    Hi Fred
    I am in Pleasantville NY
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,668Member
    edited August 2015
    Looks like a Direct Return Trap. It was used in the coal-fired days to push water back into the boiler as it built more pressure. Any names on it?
  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Posts: 1,948Member
    Looks "homemade" to me since I see a bunch of welds. I'm assuming the body is not cast?
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,290Member
    It's a Return Trap all right, basically a steam-pressure-powered pump that would return the water to the boiler if the pressure got too high for the water to return by gravity. You can tell from the way the pipes connect to the system. But I've never seen one built like that.

    This is a Vapor system. Are any of the original radiator valves, traps etc. still there, and are there any names on them?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • PeterGasperiniPeterGasperini Posts: 19Member
    All the radiator steam traps are still there and are Barns. Inside the boiler room someone removed a bucket trap that I think was installed on the system and they took it out for whatever reason I do not know...it is a Trane. Most of the radiator traps are 1/2" inlet and 3/4" outlet. The tank does appear to be steel.
  • PeterGasperiniPeterGasperini Posts: 19Member
    The attached is a picture of the piping below the return trap the middle pipe goes up and connects to the bottom of the trap...the 2-1/2" pipe on the right is the condensate return from the system, I opened the top of the check valve on the right (condensate return) and the check was off and sitting inside, the rod that held it in place was gone, you can see the part sitting on top of the left had check valve. The left hand check valve is in good working order I cleaned it out...was a lot of gunk in there. The left hand check goes to the return on the boilers Hartford loop and there is an equalizer pipe that comes off the top of the drop header and connects to the inlet of the return trap and heads down to the return piping and connects after the left hand check valve.
  • SailahSailah Posts: 796Member
    Those traps are stumping us. We thought they were a D type trap because of the raised button on the cover but the side shot doesn't appear to have much of a raise unless they were different traps. I found an old D type and it doesn't look the same. Possibly a 12?

    If you take the cover off and find a cage unit or better pics of any markings, I'll send you a new cage unit to rebuild the trap. That's only if I'm right and the other guys here are wrong ;)

    photo OneTouch Nov 03 2009 3_zpsic2rewct.jpg
    Peter Owens
    SteamIQ
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,290Member
    Peter G, try cleaning the old paint off one of those traps and see if there are any more markings on them. Lucky you- the company that made those traps is still in business.

    Sailah, does that Return Trap resemble your current Condensator line?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • PeterGasperiniPeterGasperini Posts: 19Member
    I will try to get over to the site and clean off the tops of the traps and get better pictures, also will take one of the steam traps apart and see whats inside. My real concern is the way the condensate return connects inside the boiler room. You see the return trap and the 3/4" vent coming off the top and to a #75 air vent...it then connects to the steam return to the right of the return trap, I don't think that it was set up this way when the system was originally installed. The other picture is the piping below the return trap...the right side 2-1/2" pipe is the steam return, the middle is the connection to the bottom of the return trap and the far left one is a 1-1/2" equalizer line that connects to the top of the return trap and down to the boiler condensate return line. I will get a picture that shows the whole thing and send it also.

    thank you everyone for responding
    Peter G
  • SailahSailah Posts: 796Member
    Steamhead said:



    Sailah, does that Return Trap resemble your current Condensator line?

    We do manufacture a steam powered condensate pump but it doesn't look much like that unit.
    Peter Owens
    SteamIQ
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,290Member

    I will try to get over to the site and clean off the tops of the traps and get better pictures, also will take one of the steam traps apart and see whats inside. My real concern is the way the condensate return connects inside the boiler room. You see the return trap and the 3/4" vent coming off the top and to a #75 air vent...it then connects to the steam return to the right of the return trap, I don't think that it was set up this way when the system was originally installed. The other picture is the piping below the return trap...the right side 2-1/2" pipe is the steam return, the middle is the connection to the bottom of the return trap and the far left one is a 1-1/2" equalizer line that connects to the top of the return trap and down to the boiler condensate return line. I will get a picture that shows the whole thing and send it also.

    thank you everyone for responding
    Peter G

    Some more questions:

    Is that Hoffman #75 on the end of the steam main or the dry (overhead) return line?

    If the former, what is venting the dry return?

    If the latter, is there a vent or crossover trap at the end of the steam main?

    As always, pics of these areas would help.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • PeterGasperiniPeterGasperini Posts: 19Member
    It is the dry overhead return line and the steam main disappears into the ceiling...a renovation was done and they covered everything up.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,290Member
    You may have some opening-up to do, then. We need to determine what, if anything, vents the air from the steam main.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • PeterGasperiniPeterGasperini Posts: 19Member
    Going over today...will look around, there are some access panels I can look in.
    Thanks
  • PeterGasperiniPeterGasperini Posts: 19Member
    Ok I found the end of both steam mains and there is F&T traps at the ends of both...one has the original Barns and Jones 1-1/4" Type BD and the other one has what looks like a Hoffman.
  • PeterGasperiniPeterGasperini Posts: 19Member
    I also cleaned off some of the existing radiator steam traps...one of them was a Trane and most of the rest are Barns and Jones 1253. The last picture is one of the original radiator valves.
  • PeterGasperiniPeterGasperini Posts: 19Member
    Here is a picture that shows all the piping for the condensate return in the boiler room.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,290Member
    edited August 2015
    Now we're gettin' somewhere!

    Besides draining the condensate, those two F&T traps also serve to vent the air from the steam mains into the dry returns.

    This means that Hoffman vent in the boiler room is the only air vent in the system. It's way too small for that job.

    I'd start by replacing the one Hoffman with two Gorton #2 vents. You can provide for a second vent by installing an elbow, a nipple and another elbow where the capped pipe is below the present Hoffman vent, so the vent sits vertically and water doesn't collect in the pipe. This will increase the system's air venting capacity by roughly a factor of eight.

    With the venting done, the next step is to make sure the traps are working as they should- not letting steam get into the dry returns, but letting water and air pass by. Now that we know what traps those are, Sailah can fix you up.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • JohnNYJohnNY Posts: 2,364Member
    Maybe I'm alone in this, but I'd start soaking those top bolts on those return traps in penetrating oil in hopes of possibly opening them up and at least cleaning them.
    For installations, troubleshooting, and private consulting services, find John "JohnNY" Cataneo here at :
    "72°F Mechanical, LLC"
    Or email John at [email protected]
    John is the Boilers and Hydronic Heating Systems Course Instructor at NYC's Mechanics Institute, a professional Master Plumber, licensed by The Department of Buildings of The City of New York, and works extensively in NYC while consulting for clients in and out of state.
    John also oversees mechanical installations and maintenance for metro-area clients with his family's company, Gateway Plumbing and Heating along with his brother/business partner.
  • PeterGasperiniPeterGasperini Posts: 19Member
    Steamhead Thanks for all the help...my only question is as follows. There is a steam equalizing line that comes off the top of the drop header and connects to what you refer to as the return trap. There is a 3/4" connection on the return trap that connects to the main steam vent that we are going to replace with two Gorton #2 vents (I understand how you want me to do that and its no problem). The problem is that the Return trap vent line as it is installed now vents very quickly to the #75 main vent and I am worried that the steam from the return trap vent will put pressure and steam into the dry return. Should I separate the vents so that the return trap is vented to separate main vent (one Gorton #2 vent) and the dry return has its own main vents (two Gorton #2 vents) and disconnect the piping that is connecting the dry return and return trap vent? by doing it this way there is no chance of steam getting into the dry return from the vent on the return trap.
  • vaporvacvaporvac Posts: 1,516Member
    Is this a vacuum system with that equalizer?
    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
  • PeterGasperiniPeterGasperini Posts: 19Member
    No....not a vacuum system as far as i can tell
  • SailahSailah Posts: 796Member
    edited August 2015

    I also cleaned off some of the existing radiator steam traps...one of them was a Trane and most of the rest are Barns and Jones 1253. The last picture is one of the original radiator valves.

    I'd love to have that old 1721 cage unit and test it. I'll swap you brand new one for it. I'll throw in a cage unit for the Trane as well if you get me a model number.

    Assuming the float mechanism in the BD is still good, the part number for the air vent is 1748. I found some old engineering drawings for the BD "blast trap". Based on the picture, it *looks* like a T43 head unit would pipe right in. It also appears to use the same valve and float mechanism as the T43. I pulled parts for a T43 rebuild and put together a full kit. I won't guarantee it will fit but I'm happy to send it to you if you want to give it a try.

    From the drawing it looks like those traps were made by B&J from 1930-1934

    Peter

    photo 20150828_084219_zpsd8s8sj2l.jpg

    photo 20150828_084227_zpsvvjqym7w.jpg

    photo 20150828_084622_zpsdeqoqmsi.jpg

    photo 20150828_090416_zpskg7eelah.jpg
    Peter Owens
    SteamIQ
  • vaporvacvaporvac Posts: 1,516Member
    A bit "off-topic", but can I just say how impressed I am with Sailah and B&J. The number of postings where they've helped people combined with a really inquiring mindset of continual improvement is awesome, and something one rarely seems to encounter. Kudos. 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
  • SailahSailah Posts: 796Member
    Thanks for those kind words Colleen. Without the support and knowledge of those in the field we wouldn't be here. It's my pleasure to help.

    Peter
    Peter Owens
    SteamIQ
  • PeterGasperiniPeterGasperini Posts: 19Member
    Wow that is the exact trap...would love to take you up on your offer and I will send you anything that you want.
    thanks for all the help...really appreciate it!
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,290Member

    Steamhead Thanks for all the help...my only question is as follows. There is a steam equalizing line that comes off the top of the drop header and connects to what you refer to as the return trap. There is a 3/4" connection on the return trap that connects to the main steam vent that we are going to replace with two Gorton #2 vents (I understand how you want me to do that and its no problem). The problem is that the Return trap vent line as it is installed now vents very quickly to the #75 main vent and I am worried that the steam from the return trap vent will put pressure and steam into the dry return. Should I separate the vents so that the return trap is vented to separate main vent (one Gorton #2 vent) and the dry return has its own main vents (two Gorton #2 vents) and disconnect the piping that is connecting the dry return and return trap vent? by doing it this way there is no chance of steam getting into the dry return from the vent on the return trap.

    Steam passing thru the Return Trap into the dry return? This shouldn't be happening. Looks like the Return Trap's mechanism is shot.

    The easiest way around this is to shut off the valve in the steam line to the Return Trap and, if this hasn't already been done, replace the pressure control on the boiler with a Vaporstat whose maximum pressure is 1 PSI.

    Set the Vaporstat to cut out at 8 ounces or so, with about a 4-ounce differential, and the boiler pressure should not rise high enough that the Return Trap would be needed.

    Then put on the Gorton #2 vents and watch how much better it works!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • PeterGasperiniPeterGasperini Posts: 19Member
    Ok that makes sense, thanks again for the help!
  • vaporvacvaporvac Posts: 1,516Member
    edited August 2015
    Hi guys. Don't jump all over me... I'm just trying to learn. BUT, I want to return the purpose of the above mentioned equalizer. Besides those that go from the header back to the wet return, the only other time I've seen one mentioned was for vacuum systems such as mine, and then it took quite a bit of reading before I found it referenced. I finally understood the purpose of the equalizer from my mains to my wet-return.

    So what is the purpose of this equalizer that runs from the top of the drop-header to the return trap, and would shutting off the valve to the RT affect this? It's probably obvious to everyone else, so sorry for being dense.
    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
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,290Member
    That pipe is not an equalizer. It supplies steam to the Return Trap to operate it.

    The pipe between the Return Trap and the dry return could be called an equalizer, since it assures that the pressure in the trap when it's not operating is the same as that of the dry return.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • PeterGasperiniPeterGasperini Posts: 19Member
    Yes that makes sense the steam comes off the top of the drop header and to the return trap...I'm curious about the Trane bucket trap that I found on the floor in the boiler room and where it was installed on the system. Could it have been installed on the 3/4 line coming off the return trap that is now connected to the #75 main vent and dry return somehow?
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,290Member
    I hope not! It was probably used on something that has been either disconnected or has had a better type of trap installed. Bucket traps are not the first choice for steam heating systems.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!