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What's this doing?

Ironman
Ironman Member Posts: 6,306
Looked at a job with 1920 gas boiler and 2 pipe Dunham traps and packless radiator valves. No Dunham vacuum components.

Can someone tell what this is doing. It looks like a bucket trap, but the way it's piped, I can't see its function. It's high above the boiler on return lines from the 2nd & 3rd floor.

Bob Boan
You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.

Comments

  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,000
    a main vent i bet
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,480
    that looks like a float vent. you usually see them with a boiler return trap which may have already been removed. was probably a vapor system at one time
  • I believe there would usually be a check valve on the horizontal below that Dunham air eliminator.--NBC
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,319
    It's part of the Dunham Home Heating System actually. It has this float inside and an air vent on top.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,306
    It appears that this is what I have:


    I couldn't find an air eliminator that looks like the one we've got, but the piping and system description match up.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,306
    Another question: can TRVs be installed in place of the Dunham packless valves?
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,319
    That's right, it's an air vent. There's probably a vacuum check in the top, which you should remove.

    Tunstall may be able to supply inserts for those packless valves that would turn them into TRVs.
    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
    Ironman
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,306
    Steamhead said:

    That's right, it's an air vent. There's probably a vacuum check in the top, which you should remove.

    Tunstall may be able to supply inserts for those packless valves that would turn them into TRVs.

    How about replacing it with a BigMouth or Gorton #2?
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,319
    Ironman said:

    Steamhead said:

    That's right, it's an air vent. There's probably a vacuum check in the top, which you should remove.

    Tunstall may be able to supply inserts for those packless valves that would turn them into TRVs.

    How about replacing it with a BigMouth or Gorton #2?
    That's doable. Most of these have 1/2" threads where the vacuum check screws in, so it's a simple matter to put a vent there.

    I'd use the Gorton. The Dunham unit does have a float in it which is supposed to close against water, but after all this time we don't know if it still works. The Gorton has its own float, whereas the Big Mouth does not.
    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
    Ironman
  • Sailah
    Sailah Member Posts: 826
    Doesn't look like the Dunham Air Eliminator I have their old catalogs. Looks like their DB Type OB inverted bucket trap someone has converted into a poor mans air eliminator.

    You could check that the float works pretty easily by opening a union downstream and filling it with water.

    Or you could make an new float trap with air vent by buying a H pattern F&T trap. You'd remove the air vent and plug it in the head. We make those as float traps. Then take a street elbow from the other inlet, add whatever riser you want and add a Big Mouth. That way you'd have the fastest venting and be sure that the float mechanism works.

    It could very well be a Sarco or Hoffman Air eliminator. I have some NOS if you want one
    Peter Owens
    SteamIQ
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,306
    That's what it looked to me too.

    I'm headed back over there and maybe I can get a better look at it and a number. Its hard to reach: down in narrow pit behind the boiler and about 14' up.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    nicholas bonham-carter
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,319
    Take a look at what's cast into the unit. It should say it's an air eliminator. I've seen this type in the field- IIRC this is an earlier version than the one we usually see.
    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
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,306
    This is the best pic I could get today standing on top of the boiler:


    I'm gonna have take a small extension ladder back with me next time to be able to get up to it.

    With it being 8' above the boiler's water line, is it even necessary?
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Sailah
    Sailah Member Posts: 826
    Def an air eliminator, I bet it works almost the same as a bucket.
    Peter Owens
    SteamIQ
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,319
    edited December 2016
    I told you what it is @Ironman! :lol: The vent connection is 3/8". You have a Dunham Home Heating System and it's listed in The Lost Art. There is just a simple float inside which I attached in my first post. If the pressure rose too high the water would raise the float and seal the vent.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,306

    I told you what it is @Ironman! :lol: The vent connection is 3/8". You have a Dunham Home Heating System and it's listed in The Lost Art. There is just a simple float inside which I attached in my first post. If the pressure rose too high the water would raise the float and seal the vent.

    Never doubted you or Steamhead. I just never saw one shaped like that (even in old books) and I thought that Peter may have been on to something about it being converted into an air eliminator.

    So, with it being mounted 8' above the boiler is it really necessary? Could I just replace it with a main vent?

    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,319
    I would remove it in favor of upgraded main venting, however, a vaporstat must be added and set to cut out somewhere in the 8oz range.
    Ironman
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