Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

King Valves

Hey everyone first time user here although I have read numerous posts on here over the years in addition to attending one of Dan's seminars in Astoria. I've read the lost art of steam heat a few times, own pumping away and have recently purchased Gerry Gill's PDF on proper venting. So now that I've introduced myself let me get to the crux of the post. I am a proud first time home owner with a one pipe steam system, most of the house is parallel flow and one (large) rad in my living room was piped counter-flow. Last year I stripped, repainted and installed TRV air valves and isolation valves on all the radiators. Just about two weeks ago I decided that I was tired of looking at my improperly piped boiler sitting on the floor. So, I cut it out, poured a pad, stuccoed the chimney and painted everything battleship grey. I ordered a bunch of fittings, a vaporstat a low pressure gauge and a new LWCO (old one was not working) and here I am, ready to start piping. I'm planning on using both 2" tappings on my boiler, extending the risers 24" above the jacket into a 3" drop header. I am planning on using king valves in all the appropriate locations but which valves? I'm assuming American made (my own preference) full port, steam rated. Does anyone have any suggestions? Do they need to be full port or rated for steam? Any advice is appreciated.

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329

    American made (my own preference) full port, steam rated.

    There's your answer. And welcome to the Wall!

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Steve Minnich
  • Local1Plumber
    Local1Plumber Member Posts: 10
    Thanks Steamhead, I appreciate the help. Any suggestions as far as models?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329
    A lot will depend on what your local suppliers carry. We seem to see a lot of Apollo and Watts, which hold up well.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Steamowner
    Steamowner Member Posts: 19
    How often are King Valve's used in small residential one-pipe systems? I currently only have one main vent (supply vent?). Do I need a King Valve added?
  • The king valves are generally there only to build some pressure, when closed for a more forceful boiler blow down.
    The main vents are there to let air out of the supply, and return pipes, as steam is rising. Generally, one Gorton #2 for each 20 feet of piping. They are mounted on the end of the dry return, just before it drops down to wet.--NBC
    SteamownerSteve Minnich
  • Local1Plumber
    Local1Plumber Member Posts: 10
    Thanks again for the advice Steamhead!
  • adambnyc
    adambnyc Member Posts: 260
    Hi there, sorry to restart this thread but I'm in the middle of doing this very same and was hoping to get further clarification. Is a King valve simply a gate valve like the following?

    https://www.amazon.com/Everflow-Supplies-205T002-NL-Threaded-Inch-Lead/dp/B00MA9EHAI/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1472795654&sr=8-5&keywords=2"+gate+valve

    Is the valve above OK to use? Not having much luck searching for "King valve"

    Thanks!
  • jonny88
    jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    Go to the drop header thread Dave0176 has a pic of a pre made drop header.Its beautiful and a pic says a thousand words.Good luck.
    adambnyc
  • adambnyc
    adambnyc Member Posts: 260
    I couldn't find that thread in particular but I found a lot of other great posts. Looks like I could use 2" brass full port ball valve also. Gonna go that way. Thanks!
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    edited September 2016
    I used Matco Norca gate valves on mine and honestly if I had to do it over again I'd likely just leave them out. I wash the boiler out with a wand so I never need to build pressure and I've had endless issues with the packing nuts.

    I'm willing to bet a quality valve like Watts would hold up better though.

    The problems I've had is it seems like the packing keeps getting loose, so I tighten the nut, literally with my fingers until I feel some resistance when I rock the valve knob back and forth and then I leave it. Few months later loose again, though over time it seems to have slowed up a lot, I think whatever packing they used just doesn't like the heat even though they claim to be steam rated. The nut isn't loosening on it's own, the packing is and I'm running out of adjustment.

    Even worse, I had one of the bonnet caps leak and ruin all of my header insulation last fall. That really sucked and I'll likely never insulate around the valves again.


    Sorry if this seems to have gone off on a tangent, but I think it's important that if anyone decides they actually need king valves to use quality ones because it's not worth the hassle otherwise. If you just want them to build pressure to blow down the boiler, I feel a wand works far better and easier.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,201
    I use Apollo ball valves with the steam trim packing, never had any issues with them.
    Danny ScullyChrisJPaul S_3
  • adambnyc
    adambnyc Member Posts: 260
    I think the big box store carry Apollo.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    adambnyc said:

    I think the big box store carry Apollo.

    In 2", 2.5" and 3"?

    Usually big box stores only have tiny stuff.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,201
    The big box stores don't carry Apollo and don't have anything over 11/4"
    Paul S_3Charlie from wmass
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    edited September 2016
    This is what happens when you buy cheap valves.
    You end up spending far more on new insulation and wasting a ton of time.

    Not to mention the minutes, or hours you'll take off your life when you go down in the basement before bed and see your header leaking just as the heating season starts.







    Either use the good stuff, or leave them out.

    Don't pay any attention to the god awful strap hanger. Nothing to see there.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,334
    What's with that band iron @ChrisJ ? :lol: jk. How often have you blown the boiler down?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    edited September 2016

    What's with that band iron @ChrisJ ? :lol: jk. How often have you blown the boiler down?

    That's not the hanger you're looking for............. :)

    I wash the boiler out with a Gerry Gill Wand© once a year via the skim port.


    Here's Gerry's video of using the wand.
    It's really good for just washing crap out of the bottom as well when you don't have oil issues. 99% of what I get out of mine is in the rear section by the return.

    I use the skim port, and throw a bucket under the boiler drain. Very easy and not messy at all.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • adambnyc
    adambnyc Member Posts: 260
    issue is that the Burnham independence i have doesn't have a skim port.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    adambnyc said:

    issue is that the Burnham independence i have doesn't have a skim port.

    Absolutely it does.
    Pull the side cover opposite of the gauge glass off and you'll find a plugged 1 1/2" skim port.


    All steamers have skim ports.
    And all steamers should have them piped.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Charlie from wmass
  • adambnyc
    adambnyc Member Posts: 260
    Awesome! Gonna start a new thread as I have more questions. I'm redoing some "steam experts" work that caused me massive issues
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,334
    edited September 2016
    It's 1-1/4" @ChrisJ, and I've used the wand a few times and it does work well. Especially on Slant/Fin Galaxy's with coils. There is no skim tapping on those so it's essiential you do the wand cleaning method.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819

    Especially on Slant/Fin Galaxy's with coils. There is no skim tapping on those so it's essiential you do the wand cleaning method.

    You skim the Galaxy via a tee inserted below the PRV.

    Page 13. Figure B.

    http://www.slantfin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Galaxy-Steam-Installation-and-Operating-Instructions-1114.pdf

    The wand cleaning method is no substitute for skimming.
    I disagree.
    The wand method with hot water works far better at removing oils than skimming. The entire reason I build a wand was because skimming wasn't cutting the mustard for me.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819

    ChrisJ said:

    Especially on Slant/Fin Galaxy's with coils. There is no skim tapping on those so it's essiential you do the wand cleaning method.

    You skim the Galaxy via a tee inserted below the PRV.

    Page 13. Figure B.

    http://www.slantfin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Galaxy-Steam-Installation-and-Operating-Instructions-1114.pdf

    The wand cleaning method is no substitute for skimming.
    I disagree.
    The wand method with hot water works far better at removing oils than skimming. The entire reason I build a wand was because skimming wasn't cutting the mustard for me.
    You'd have to explain how you manage to get the oils to mix with the wand water and exit the boiler via the drain? They have a habit of clinging to the cast iron and then floating back onto the surface once you refill the boiler and heat it.

    The hot water washes the oil off of the cast iron.
    Just as it does in your skimming method. Nothing has changed.

    There's nothing magical about skimming that some how does not exist with a wand and hot water. If those oils have a habit of clinging to the cast iron with a wand, they do the same with skimming.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    Actually, there is something very different.
    With the wand, you're washing the oil off with hot water under pressure.

    This tends to wash oil off of cast iron far better than water just sitting in it.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819

    The purpose of skimming is to allow the surface water...........containing the oil............to float out of the boiler.

    The wand cannot achieve that.

    You might be successful if the wand had some type of degreaser to strip the cast iron of the oils.

    Furthermore, the chances of the wand reaching even 30% of all the exposed cast iron with direct pressure is practically nil. It's like sandblasting with a welding helmet on. You see nothing.

    Ok Hat, you're right.
    It didn't work for me, and it doesn't work for Gerry Gill either.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819

    ChrisJ said:

    The purpose of skimming is to allow the surface water...........containing the oil............to float out of the boiler.

    The wand cannot achieve that.

    You might be successful if the wand had some type of degreaser to strip the cast iron of the oils.

    Furthermore, the chances of the wand reaching even 30% of all the exposed cast iron with direct pressure is practically nil. It's like sandblasting with a welding helmet on. You see nothing.

    Ok Hat, you're right.
    It didn't work for me, and it doesn't work for Gerry Gill either.


    All of Gerry's videos show the wand to be reasonably good at cleaning the boiler. I didn't see any conclusions that it eliminated the need to skim it after completion of the wash.

    Furthermore, when he washed it, it could have already been in a situation where oil wasn't an issue. Presumably, at some point, all the oil is eliminated and cannot return unless someone performs additional work on the system.

    I believe your conclusion that it "worked for me" regarding the capability to eliminate oil must be in error as it is obvious that water and oil do not readily mix. Have any doubts? Try and use a hose with your thumb (about the same pressure as your wand) to remove oil from an automobile engine. Good luck with the outcome. They make "engine degreasers" for a reason. If you're accurate with your claim, you put them all out of business.
    Ok,

    Skimming with nothing more than hot water works.

    But using a wand with hot water doesn't because oil and water don't mix.

    Got it.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    @chrisj , Not to get into a debate between you and Hatt, and this subject is certainly off topic to the original post, but with a skin, the oil doesn't have to mix with the water. It is just floating on top and, with a slow skim, you are just letting it slide right off the top of the water. I'm not saying your wand process doesn't work for you but I would think a good slow skim is the most effective way to remove oils and the wand the most effective way to remove all other dirt/sediment. JMHO
    HatterasguyNew England SteamWorks
  • Bio
    Bio Member Posts: 278
    King valves are useless in residential applications, just keep your boiler well maintain and clean and you'll have no issues, JMHO
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    edited September 2016

    It's 1-1/4" @ChrisJ, and I've used the wand a few times and it does work well. Especially on Slant/Fin Galaxy's with coils. There is no skim tapping on those so it's essiential you do the wand cleaning method.

    @Danny Scully I must have been thinking about the EG series from Weil McLain. I'm a bit confused, because Burnham appears to call it a surface blown port and it's only listed as 1"?

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,334
    edited September 2016
    @Hatterasguy I know that Slant/Fin details it in their manual as you've explained, but I find that method leads to oils sticking to the top of the boiler and struggle to exit from a 3/4" pipe vertically. Wand cleaning this particular boiler definitely yields the best results. Unfortunately the design can't incorporate the skim tapping found on their less coil Galaxy. To be honest, the coil creates a few issues, skimming being one and the #67 LWCO being the other. There is a 1/2 tapping in the coil plate that can be used for a probe style LWCO but Slant/Fin doesn't offer it that way. @ChrisJ, you are correct regarding Burnham's manually, however, they are incorrect in the tapping size. It is 1-1/4 and I've advised them of the error a few times.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819

    @Hatterasguy I know that Slant/Fin details it in their manual as you've explained, but I find that method leads to oils sticking to the top of the boiler and struggle to exit from a 3/4" pipe vertically. Wand cleaning this particular boiler definitely yields the best results.

    Agreed.

    The 3/4" exit is a PITA although I still fail to understand how the wand manages to get oil to magically walk off the cast iron. I will admit to never having used the wand due to the inability to easily remove the return.

    The wand makes it magically walk off cast iron the same way hot water laying in the boiler does.

    I'm sure you've washed a greasy cast iron skillet with nothing more than hot water?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819

    ChrisJ said:

    @Hatterasguy I know that Slant/Fin details it in their manual as you've explained, but I find that method leads to oils sticking to the top of the boiler and struggle to exit from a 3/4" pipe vertically. Wand cleaning this particular boiler definitely yields the best results.

    Agreed.

    The 3/4" exit is a PITA although I still fail to understand how the wand manages to get oil to magically walk off the cast iron. I will admit to never having used the wand due to the inability to easily remove the return.

    The wand makes it magically walk off cast iron the same way hot water laying in the boiler does.

    I'm sure you've washed a greasy cast iron skillet with nothing more than hot water?
    Most folks try that once. When the skillet holds all the oil that it had before the operation commenced, they realize that such an approach is fruitless.

    Then again, some folks are the definition of insanity.

    Personally, I never do more than wipe the CI pans with a paper towel but I can imagine that nobody else would ever consider it.
    When I run some of my 140-145F water through the pan on an angle it washes oil right off.

    Not the seasoning of course, but any added nasty stuff that wasn't there before.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • adambnyc
    adambnyc Member Posts: 260
    Both sound appropriate to me (for what it's worth, you guys are the experts) my goal of the wand is to kick up the dirt at the bottom that I would normally have to perform a blow out for. I think I can wash the boiler out best as possible with the wand, but I'm going to skim regularly as well.
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,917
    In the event we're still talking about king valves, it's worth mentioning that NYC Boiler Division inspectors will accept companion flanges instead of valves.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber for Consulting Work
    Or for plumbing in NYC or in NJ.

    Or take his class.