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.

Should new traps get new cage units?

Silkey
Silkey Member Posts: 15
I am replacing what looks to be original 90 year old 1/2" steam traps with new Hoffman 17c traps. (Thats what the repair man used when one leaked and brought down some of the ceiling last winter). The originals have an S inside a circle with a wishbone or v underneath.
My question is if I should install new Bar and Jones Cage units when installing the new traps. I have not yet bothered to calculate many things...how much air in the main line, size of radiators....

2 story house, 1600sq ft, about 22' x 36' each floor, 8 radiators, 2 main lines: 1 is about half the length of the other.

Comments

  • Sailah
    Sailah Member Posts: 826
    If you are installing new Hoffman traps, they should come with a cage unit already installed. So no, if you pipe in the new trap, it should function as designed.

    If you want to fix what is already there, post up a pic of the original trap and I'll tell you what you would most likely need. Be gentle with 90 year old pipes, I can't tell you how many horror shows I see of pipes twisted off with the idea of its easier to buy the whole trap than fix the only working parts inside.
    Peter Owens
    SteamIQ
    New England SteamWorks
  • Silkey
    Silkey Member Posts: 15
    I have already replaced 5 traps and valves. Its been a learning process but There dont seem to be any leaks, everything gets warm, and there is not much noise, but a few different ones.

    Any idea what brand this is?



    My main issue now is that I replaced some of the valves with Honeywell V2040A TRV....on my 2 pipe system. I have since found out that that valve is for a 1 pipe system and this concerns me. This issue should probably be posted in a new thread. Please advise if I have to replace these new valves with proper Danfoss TRV RA 2000 series, or if things will survive as is.


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,726
    edited January 2017
    That's a new manufacturer's logo on me. Are there any other devices in the system- maybe in the piping near the boiler- that have that logo on them, perhaps with more-complete information?

    Have you tried opening up one of those original traps? If so, can you take a pic of what's inside? Also, where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Silkey
    Silkey Member Posts: 15
    Buffalo, NY. Home built in the 1920s. I'll add more pictures of the traps I removed and open one up later.
    The boiler was replaced within the last 5 years and the piping in that area is copper. The copper meets what I think is galvanized steel at the steam main air vents (which I will be raising and replacing shortly). The air vents are located right beneath the gas line. Ideally I would move the vent back 12" and up 12", but I'm not equipped to cut pipe, rethread, add a union, etc. So I'm just going to add a good sized nipple that my space allows with a Gorton no 1, and a No2 on the other main line.
  • Double D
    Double D Member Posts: 442
    That is not a trap on the return side, it's an orifice. The SV stands for Safety Vapor. You have a Vapor system. I do have someone who could use a couple of them. I would be interested in taking the ones you have. I can post a pic of what's inside.


    Silkey
  • Double D
    Double D Member Posts: 442
    Is all of the piping exposed in the basement? Post pics of where you plan to put a vent. Is your system hammering? You will need to control this system with a vaporstat.
  • Silkey
    Silkey Member Posts: 15
    There are a few issue with the current system.

    The main vent on the right spews steam, on the longer run. Bought Gorton #1 and #2 to install on 6" nipples. Waiting to replace until all traps and valves are replaced. There is a lot of metal debris inside the tailpiece and radiators.

    The dining room radiator had been leaking for years, as a good portion of the floor is gone, it is inside a built in cabinet buffet (we bought the home 2 years ago). That radiator also has a venting issue, even with a new Hoffman V2040A and Hoffman 17c trap. That one has a remote sensor.
    The air vent does not want to screw in very far, the threads get stripped, it hisses steam some of the time, like a pressure cooker. The previous Maid o Mist vent I installed cracked on the side. Other radiators are fairly silent, just a ping from the air vent.

    I am concerned that this is not the right TRV and now that its not the right trap. Will the Hoffman 17c work correctly if I have a Vapor System?

    Is the V2040A going to work correctly? I just found out they are for 1 pipe systems.
    Do I ned to replace them with basic Matco Norca valves or Danfoss RA2000 TRV?

    I have the 4 Safety Vapor devices from the return sides, but do I need to put them back on?
    Should they be opened, brushed clean/soaked in vinegar?

    There are some minor ting sounds from either the return or steam line in one corner of the house. Further down that same line I get one fairly loud noise in the beginning of the heating cycle on a radiator with old valve and "trap".

    The pressure gauge seems to be broken, never drops below 3 even when the system is off. Purchased a new one but have not installed yet, was waiting to complete work in case rust would clog the new one. Thee pressuretrol is set as low as it will go.








    I now know and have been working to correct pipe insulation issues, fiberglass is expensive. Most of the Asbestos is encased in foil bubble 'insulation'.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,699
    You have a 2 pipe system with traps and vents on the rads? If you have a 2 pipe vapor system as it seems there shouldn't be any vents on the rads at all.

    As near as I can tell that TRV you posted should work for a 2 pipe system. The TRV for one pipe systems goes on the vent and has 1/8" pipe thread. Honestly with 2 pipe not sure why you need the TRV? Typically the beauty of the 2 pipe system is having individual control of each radiator. The problem you might be having is that with the vent on the rad you have removed or at least messed up that control.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Silkey
    Silkey Member Posts: 15
    edited January 2017
    The air vents were there when we moved in, on every radiator. According to Greening Steam, there should be air vents on a two pipe system, but I dont recall vapor systems being mentioned.

    Picture of 'trap'

    Any other way I can verify steam vs vapor?
    There is no vaporstat, at least not that I can tell.
    Automatic water feeder, pressure guage, pressuretrol, water guage, drain.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,699
    No, there is an air vent 2 pipe system that doesn't have traps just 2 pipes. A 2 pipe system with traps should not have any vents on the rads. Adding vents to rads on 2 pipe system is typically a bandaid solution for failed traps. Take a picture of a typical radiator so that we may see the whole rad and both pipes in one picture, that should tell the tail.

    Vapor is steam, it's just steam operating at very low pressure. Typically a 2 pipe system is vapor, unless it's the rare 2 pipe air vent system.

    I think you need to get a handle on what system you have before you move forward with anything or buying any more items. I fear you may have wasted money on TRV's when they may not have been needed.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    Silkey
  • Double D
    Double D Member Posts: 442
    You see air vents on 2 pipe air vent systems but yours is a vapor system. That pressuretrol will not go low enough for that system. Near boiler piping not looking optimal.
  • Silkey
    Silkey Member Posts: 15
    1 with new parts
    1 with "original" parts
  • Double D
    Double D Member Posts: 442
    You should be able to read Safety vapor on that supply valve.

    STEVEusaPA
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,699
    Vents all need to go for sure, no question about that. I would start with removing them all and plugging the hole, that will make diagnosis of other issues much easier. Beware it most likely will make the system act completely different, but this is the direction you want to head to get it working correctly. Even if it needed vents they are in the wrong place. That house has been very knuckleheaded for sure.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    Silkey
  • Double D
    Double D Member Posts: 442
    The picture I posted with the pen used as a pointer is where the orifice is. Possibly that hole is plugged preventing the rad from venting. You do not need vents on the radiators. You will need to make sure you have a main vent on the dry return. 1 Gorton 2.
  • Silkey
    Silkey Member Posts: 15
    Ok 1/8" plug in every one...black, brass or steel for the cast iron radiators?

    For the main vents, there are 2 right now. One side is shorter than the other and has 5 radiators. The longer side has 4. I was planning on putying the no 2 on the longer side and no1 on the shorter side, sound right?
  • Double D
    Double D Member Posts: 442
    There should also be a dry return. Follow the pipes from the return side of the radiators to the boiler. That will be the dry return piping. This system has no crossover traps so you will need venting at the ends of the mains and on the dry returns.
    Silkey
  • Silkey
    Silkey Member Posts: 15
    They all tie together.

    So it needs vents on the lower pipes, one for each side? Another no1 and no2?

    That requires cutting and sweating copper.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,699
    It looks like by your pictures your vents are already at the end of the dry return. Once the pipe turns down and goes below the water line it is a wet return.

    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Silkey
    Silkey Member Posts: 15
    edited January 2017
    The 2 vents are at the end of the main steam lines, I think, up high, pipe turns down and has black pipe insulation. It then joins the 2 return lines where they meet and connect below the water line. That all connects to the lower side of the main pipe coming off the top of the boiler.

    I can plug radiators and replace traps and existing main vent, but it sounds like the new boiler was piped wrong.

    Who knows a reliable steam person in the Buffalo, NY area? Contact info please.
  • Double D
    Double D Member Posts: 442
    If the dry returns group below the boiler water line then yes you would need a vent for each. If you have none on the dry return it may be why someone thought the rads should have vents. KC mentioned vents possibly just being in the wrong place.

    @KC_Jones
    KC_Jones said:

    Vents all need to go for sure, no question about that. I would start with removing them all and plugging the hole, that will make diagnosis of other issues much easier. Beware it most likely will make the system act completely different, but this is the direction you want to head to get it working correctly. Even if it needed vents they are in the wrong place. That house has been very knuckleheaded for sure.

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,699
    I was referring to the rad vents needing to go, sorry if I wasn't clear. The dry return vents need to stay. I see vents at the end of the dry returns in the boiler pics. I doubt it's enough, but they are there.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Silkey
    Silkey Member Posts: 15
    Okay, going to purchase or order 1/8 plugs today. Also going to see if old dole 5 vent will come off and install a gorton no2 on a nipple.

    The end of the main steam line, which starts at the boiler and supplies steam to rads, is the dry return? Thats my only venting in basement.

    Should I exchange the not yet installed gorton 1 for the larger no2? Then both vents will be no2.

    Is it alright go ahead and replace last 2 valves and traps with basic Matco valves and 17c traps?

    Double D, ill get ahold of you when addtional return vents need installing, I dont have experience cutting, threading, etc copper pipe.
  • Double D
    Double D Member Posts: 442
    Basic valves will be fine. For now you can stay with the 17c's you already installed but i would not purchase and install any more until you get your dry returns vented and all of the vents removed on the rads. If you remove the rad vents and there are no dry return vents, my guess is none of the rads will heat. 1 or 2 Gorton 1s on each dry return. If the dry returns were grouped above the water line you would use 1 Gorton 2. If any of the return orifices are plugged, they can easily be cleaned but you will need to open them up. A recent Safety Vapor system i worked on had 2- 17c traps and one Dunham trap. All rads are working fine.
    Silkey
  • Silkey
    Silkey Member Posts: 15
    UPDATE:
    Over the spring and summer I removed and plugged all of the individual air vents in the radiators.

    1 air vent remains in the first radiator in the entry way. For some reason this radiator does not have a Safety Vapor or trap installed, it is directly piped with just an elbow. (Could this lead to steam in the return line?)

    The main air vents were also replaced, a Gorton No. 1 and a No.2, pictures to come. The Vents are on the end of the supply line returning to the boiler just before they drop, connect together and drop again to connect to the return lines from the radiators below the water line. Those pictures (before vent replacement) are before and after the Boiler Tag information.

    I did perform the maintenance recommended for this model boiler. I was not able to build up pressure for a blow off through the main drain, but did heat up the boiler and immediately drain, after running for a few days with the rust inhibitor.

    The system has run for 2 days again but it should be warming up again. Prior to relighting the pilot light I brushed the burners with medium soft wire brush, drained the boiler and return lines (there is still rust and pieces of metal coming out, and refilled with Rectorseal 8-Way Boiler Water Treatment.

    After that the pressure gauge was at a crazy 25 PSI. I shut it down and replaced with a new pressure gauge, which didnt move from 0. I was holding off on replacing the gauge until the work had been completed, to prevent any bits from clogging or damaging the new gauge.

    So far I have not had any water coming out of the new main vets, which happened last year a few times.

    To do:

    - have boiler piping inspected by someone who has a clue
    - replace TRV with standard valve on 1 large radiator.
    - add pipe extension to one riser where radiator has additional spacers because of new trap orientation and leaks
    - replace boiler drain valve that drips occasionally, with a 1/4 turn ball valve.
    - install a nipple and shutoff for new pressure gauge
  • Silkey
    Silkey Member Posts: 15
    Main supply connecting with return lines and low end of steam header and water fill valve.


  • Double D
    Double D Member Posts: 442
    Hi Matt, I was at your house a few years back. Is there any chance you saved any of the return orifices. I have a customer who could use some. Let me know. Thanks
  • Silkey
    Silkey Member Posts: 15
    Yes, and I have a box of brass parts for you from the Vaporstat install.