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Old metal Fin type Steam radiator !?



  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 317
    Ceeb said:
    Thanks for the comment about the Dunham regulator fitting. I did find a spare fitting in a box in the basement that had 197A stamped on it. I found it in the Dunham catalog in the heating museum as you suggested. Can these be totally shutoff so that no steam enters the radiator or can they get plugged up with deposits preventing the same?
    I never had the pleasure 😄 but it does indicate the screws being removed for cleaning and being adjustable..
    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
  • gunn308
    gunn308 Member Posts: 4
    The 1854 church that I try to maintain has 28 Trane convectors, 4 of them next to entry doors, have blowers in them 1 blower motor burned up Tuesday, taking out the circuit for all 4 blowers,
    thermostats/zone valves and aquastats. With a Thanksgiving dinner for our oversized homeless community on Thursday I was under the gun to find a replacement. Plumbing supply houses around heah don't supply much the standard answer is it'll be here day afta. 4th stop found a 1/6 horse Marathon to replace the 1/8 horse Wagner. Got it in replaced the fuse and we have Thanksgiving dinner for 150+today.
  • breeve
    breeve Member Posts: 8
    The 'house gift' of the Tunstall capsule would seem to have been the beginning of a process that you now have the privilege to continue. For whatever it might (or might not) be worth, I (a dude with a wrench or two) am the 'mother' to a convectors / fifty-year-old HB Smith boiler / hundred year old house (and piping) heating system in Massachusetts, and I think I have learned:
    -- that even though your friends will tell you it is best to replace all the steam traps in one go -- it is often impractical (don't hate yourself for doing what most needs to be done and what you can - it beats the alternative).
    -- that it is somewhat unlikely that you can readily replace those traps as such. I can't tell what brand they are from the pix, but they look relatively like the vintage of the lovely brass traps that I have that I have not yet found same-same replacements for.
    -- that steam trap failure detection is something a person can (fairly readily) get good at, just by paying regular casual attention to the parts of the steam system.
    -- that trap failures open and closed do occur (and with approximately equal frequency -- open failures are usually capsule failures -that don't push down the ball seat / closed failures usually trap clogged with clog stuff).
    -- that it is usually best to remove the trap from the system if you possibly can to work on it. Female pipe fitting underneath the trap, union at the entrance / convector connection.
    -- with due respect to the 'air wrench' advice, trap tops can be very difficult to open (after a long service) and I sometimes put a little 'juice' on (any crack I can see) around that big top thread (mine have a usually thoroughly decomposed fiber 'ring' seal between top and body). I use a 3/4 breaker bar with a six point socket that fits, sometimes an 'extension pipe' and I try to 'persuade' the top to rotate.
    -- that more likely than not, you can readily find smaller (usually) new brass steam traps made by somebody else that will work just fine BUT are not dimensionally the same as what you've got. For which the 'solution' is to get a bunch of little brass male/female connectors that make the new trap connect at the right place, pretty much exactly (often has to be within a 32nd of an inch to fit up really right).
    -- Tunstall capsules are a little spendy. Barnes and Jones still exists in Randolph, MA.
    Above all, have fun. Happy Thanksgiving.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,165
    If you've removed the trap and are replacing the guts, heat around the joint in the cap from a torch can help loosen it up.
  • Labenaqui
    Labenaqui Member Posts: 67
    Converted a two-pipe, reverse return steam system with 19 wall convectors to hot water a decade or so ago. It was in a beautiful Depression Era New England Colonial Reproduction.
    Installed a Delta-P Circulator System and vents on the wall convectors.
    Has worked well ever since.
    Turning it into a multi-zone, multi-level system? Well, that can be another story .....
  • Ceeb
    Ceeb Member Posts: 14
    Breeve, Reggi, Matt, thanks for the words of encouragement and all the great advice. I now know enough about the system to be dangerous. The traps are the original Dunham 1B thermostatic steam traps. I have a box of 10 Tunstall capsule replacements 9TCDB-1301) and as you say, this was a clue to the process I am now finding to be necessary to troubleshoot the cold convectors. So far, none of the cold convectors seem to have any steam on what should be the colder side of the trap. They are all cold to the touch. Since it's my daughters house, I'm not there all the time and will check for stuck open stream traps next time. Thanks again! Hope all had a great Thanksgiving.