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Richardson System venting

FizzFizz Posts: 383Member
The Richardson System literature is quite specific for requiring a vent on each circuit's air return main and not venting 2 or more with a single vent. I've wondered why, when many systems are vented with a single vent where more than one ARM is connected. Anybody know a practical reason?

Comments

  • Danny ScullyDanny Scully Posts: 935Member
    Well @Fizz, how would it vent otherwise?
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Posts: 7,166Member
    If you had one long return, connected above the waterline to a very short return, then the steam would race through the short pipe, arrive at the vent, and close it before the long return was fully vented.
    Other systems have crossover traps between the return and its connection to the main air vent to prevent this.—NBC
  • FizzFizz Posts: 383Member
    That's just it, my system(Richadson), only has one vent above boiler for 2 Air returns, apparently this was the original set-up, over 100yrs ago. My system works fairly well, though the shorter side heats quicker and somewhat bettr, vent doesn't close til heat cycle ends, then into vacuum(vent is vacuum). Would it be advantageous to add vent to long side, as there is no room on shorter side. To do so would involve dropping return before common pipe.
  • Jim_RJim_R Posts: 140Member
    Maybe when they converted fuels they found without a fire burning 24/7 there was no "constant/consistent" heating so they had to repipe and feed the end of run separately .. so the returns just got tied together.. VVP wasn't sliced bread once oil ,gas started replacing coal.. The coal shortages , strikes , War kind of hastened it's demise.. and the complicated construction of VVP in new construction.. just a couple things off the top of my head I recall.. maybe not all fact.. but best as I can recall right now..
    Jim
  • FizzFizz Posts: 383Member
    Piping is origninal to installation in 1917.
  • Danny ScullyDanny Scully Posts: 935Member
    Come on now @Fizz, where are the pics?!
  • New England SteamWorksNew England SteamWorks Posts: 1,040Member
    Does this help?

    Serving Rhode Island & Eastern Massachusetts
    Old Houses & Steam Heat Our Specialty
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 8,233Member
    The Richardson is a little odd in that it does require a separate vent for each loop's dry return. Many systems had only one, for all. However, please please be aware that the return line is for air and water only, never steam. It is not a steam main! There should be no danger of steam "racing through the short pipe and closing the vent..." -- steam should never have access to the short pipe.

    That said, kindly also note that the Richardson system had a very specific outlet fitting for each radiator, which ensured that steam could not get into the return line. Further examination of their literature shows that the intended maximum pressure in the system is 5 ounces per square inch. Ounces. Pressure over that will surely blow the water seal in the outlets -- and then you will have steam in the returns, and the system will operate poorly, if at all.

    So. Bottom line. Make sure you have the proper fittings on the radiator outlets; if not, they must be replaced with traps. Also make sure that your vapourstat is set at a 5 to 6 ounce cutout; the cutin can be around 1 ounce. You will need a low pressure gauge to verify these pressures!
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • Jim_RJim_R Posts: 140Member
    > @New England SteamWorks said:
    > Does this help?

    Many hours of OCR being done, Some great projects going on , dusty books being opened to the world...
    Some secrets aren't secrets, just unknown or forgotten information until it's associated with known or assumed...
    Thanks Dan for the introduction :-)
  • PMJPMJ Posts: 640Member
    Note the only (vacuum) vents are miles from the boiler - air must travel through everything to get out......once. No vents on the steam main anywhere. Works fine with a cycling burner too - really.
  • FizzFizz Posts: 383Member
    Have a copy of Richardson Vapor System, which is explicit in having a vent for each loop, as Jamie noted. Probably moot point as system has been in vacuum past 2 yrs with very favorable results. Between cycles(have t-stat on hot water setting of 3cph), gauge reads between 4-10hg/in vacuum and when running never gets to positive reading. Here is picture of piping where air returns are tied together. Note vent shown is prior to putting in vacuum vent.
  • PMJPMJ Posts: 640Member
    @Fizz,

    Your reading may never go much positive but no air can leave at all unless you exceed atmospheric by something. Unless your system is perfectly sealed then some air leaks back in every cycle. So unless you pump that air out you will lose a little ground steam fill-wise every cycle if you don't remove the air that leaked back in. It is only a little bit but some time slightly above atmospheric each burn is required with natural vacuum.
  • Jim_RJim_R Posts: 140Member
    All I know is that my balls have been rattling the past few months ( pic attached ) and the fuel consumption had been up.. Working in the cellar it's easy to catch the cycles and abnormalities over a period of time but I've been in a detached garage this winter and haven't been multi tasking.. I swear it hasn't been the same since a plumber ( contract ) changed LWCO a bit back.. I took my eyes off him for a second and heard him say something to himself like he forgot to do something .. I asked him but he said everything was good.. I know he was getting paid a flat rate for the job and was running behind schedule.. My fault for not taking it off that day and inspecting his work...
    But my rattling
  • FizzFizz Posts: 383Member
    PMJ, perhaps my gauge isn't completely accurate, but overall, heat is comfortable and bills consistent.
  • PMJPMJ Posts: 640Member
    edited April 17
    @Fizz,

    I am quite sure it is comfortable. I was just pointing out the basics for others really who may wish to try this. Barely positive pressure is required at the header to push air out at the very far end of a system. For me 2 inches water or so and for a minute or two out of a 20 minute cycle(6-7 minute burn/13-14 minute wait).
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 8,233Member
    Check your pressure, @Jim_R . The tech. may have "adjusted" it.
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • Jim_RJim_R Posts: 140Member
    > @Jamie Hall said:
    > Check your pressure, @Jim_R . The tech. may have "adjusted" it.

    My pressure was up when he was a little "rough" with the vaporstat and I told him about it.. I told him he can't replace that under the warranty contract because they don't make them anymore.. Mercury.. then he says sure he could ... He just replaced one a few weeks earlier..

    He adjusted my pressure alright :-|
    Just venting.. I don't multitask so we'll .. I just have to refocus and spend some time alone with the old girl and give her a once over and listen to what she's saying.. the luxury of DIY .. listen long enough and they'll tell you.. then I'll have to come back here to the Forum for a interpreter .
    Thanks
    Sorry fizz ... I have one Expeller on the original return with the additional return piped in.. if you go through some of my older posts I have photos posted... Guessing from the teen's, twenty's to the 60's somethings just got lost to history.. Maybe ?
  • FizzFizz Posts: 383Member
    That's about same burn times for me also.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 8,233Member
    Oh NO!!!! I hope he didn't replace the mercury vapourstat, or if he did he left it there for you. Those things are absolutely bulletproof and completely reliable -- and worth a small fortune on e-Bay.

    Granted, they do have to be levelled correctly -- it helps to have a low pressure gauge to do that -- but...

    Oh dear.
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • Jim_RJim_R Posts: 140Member

    Oh NO!!!! I hope he didn't replace the mercury vapourstat, or if he did he left it there for you. Those things are absolutely bulletproof and completely reliable -- and worth a small fortune on e-Bay.

    Granted, they do have to be levelled correctly -- it helps to have a low pressure gauge to do that -- but...

    Oh dear.

    Funny how having a " Insurance" policy with the Utility company kept me from any tinkering for close to 40 years on the boiler.. They came and left if there was any issues.. never noticed the Tech .. just knew he was from the "Gas" company and knew (thought) he knew everything to know..
    Until one day I it was "short cycling" and I happened to be working in the basement and knew (figured) something was amiss and made a service call..
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