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.

Broomell In Ruins

Here's what I have:







New England SteamWorks
Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
newenglandsteamworks.com

Comments

  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,502
    Almost all of the P-Traps are still there, but the all important inlet valves are all missing upper components (and certainly need a re-build), and some have this branding:



    Anyone recognize?
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,502
    It was originally a single boiler. Now it is two, with the piping transition botched. Receiver is gone. No main venting. Most radiators now have radiator vents. There are a few 1-pipe radiators that have been added.





    You'll note in the 2nd photo that the single supply main loops around and connects right back to the supply, with a single drip..
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,415
    I think your first step is removing those radiators...and sending them to me. We’ll come up with a game plan after that :lol:
    New England SteamWorksIronmanCanucker
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,502
    At a minimum all the inlet valves need to be replaced/rebuilt, the P-Traps cleaned, the near boiler piping needs to be fixed, the basement piping needs to be straightened out, and we need venting.

    And the house isn't in the Hamptons.

    What would you do?
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,502
    For you @Danny Scully



    Just imagine if they were sandblasted and refinished. Oh, man.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
    lchmbCanucker
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,206
    Well I don't know about the one pipe rads. I wonder if valves can be replaced with TRVs? Broomell was supposed to be wonderful so if you can restore....
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,415
    Can I come help?! Please!! :wink:
    New England SteamWorks
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,712
    @New England SteamWorks , the radiator in the first set of pics is a Whittier. These date back to the late 1800s. The Broomell equipment might have been retrofitted- IIRC at the time the Whittier was in production, the only two-pipe steam system was two-pipe air-vent. This may explain some of the radiator vents.

    You'll want to vent this system first. Get the steam moving and make sure the owner sees the difference. Then you can start fixing the rest of the Beavis and Butt-head stuff.

    @Erin Holohan Haskell , the Whittier EDR chart is missing from its place in the Heating Museum under Radiators. I've attached it here.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Danny ScullyNew England SteamWorksJohnNY
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,021
    IMO, for a budget job just to get the system heating, I would install the standard Plain Jane steam inlet valves with orifices in the unions.
    The traps may or may not have to work.

    I have read an article by Henry Gifford concerning inlet orifices and applied his theory for a system that is now running with 8-12 ounces.

    If I understand correctly if you can orifice the rads down to 60 to 80% of their EDR then that is all the boiler will need to satisfy.
    Mr. Gifford showed an example where a boiler replacement size could be reduced by one third.

    I did ask Dan H. about this and he concurred.
    Maybe the one newer boiler would heat the house?
    The bedroom picture looks as if the windows have new inserts installed, if so that and any other envelope upgrades may have dropped the heat loss.

    I assume this was a vapor system to begin with and the piping was sized large enough for ounces operation?

    Less money than moving the house to the Hamptons.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,712

    Almost all of the P-Traps are still there, but the all important inlet valves are all missing upper components (and certainly need a re-build), and some have this branding:



    Anyone recognize?

    Detroit Lubricator Co, which became part of American Radiator Co.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    New England SteamWorks
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    If the system is piped in such a way that both boilers are feeding the system in parallel, then they could be staged, with a Vaporstat, so that one of them drops out at a couple of ounces of pressure.
    This lower pressure coupled with orifices, or Mepco regulating valves would negate the need for traps on the return side. Main venting would have to let the air out quickly.—NBC
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 2,258
    Steamhead said:


    @Erin Holohan Haskell , the Whittier EDR chart is missing from its place in the Heating Museum under Radiators. I've attached it here.

    Thanks for the heads up, @Steamhead. I'll update this.
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,226
    Steamhead said:



    Detroit Lubricator Co, which became part of American Radiator Co.

    You literally amaze me sometimes, @Steamhead. Well done.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    Classes
    New England SteamWorksMilanDCanucker
  • AMservices
    AMservices Member Posts: 610
    @New England SteamWorks great find.
    I hope your customer let's you do everything you know needs to be done. The work will pay for it self.
    New England SteamWorks
  • Well, I am back at this one. Banging, as in lots. The pig tail was blocked leaving the pressuretrol in operative. This was cleaned. Main venting added. Seemed to be much improved when we left, -but now back to same banging.

    It's been so knuckle-headed over the decades that it is difficult to find a reference point on where to begin, beyond starting from scratch (and we are not in the Hamptons).

    But we have to start somewhere. We need a baseline:

    Almost all of the radiators have vents. Broomell literature says: no vents. Anyone with experience here? Should I ditch the radiator vents? That is the first question.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,712
    First make sure you have a lot of dry return venting. You'll want to use Gorton #2 vents, since Big Mouths don't have floats and this is a "B" dimension.

    Change the Pressuretrol to a Vaporstat.

    This will eliminate the need for radiator vents. If any rads don't heat after doing this, clean out the Broomell return fittings.

    Then see where you stand.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting