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Master trap + individually trapped rads

Hello everyone. New to the forum and new to steam heat in general.

At my facility, we have an old steam boiler that's being phased out. I believe it's from the 1970's or 80's, so there have been quite a few hands on this system over the years. I've been inspecting the system and have noticed that there were several radiators with no steam traps. I plan on fixing that within the coming weeks (system is currently offline.) What I've also noticed, is that right before our condensate pump, we have one large IB trap. I know that traps in series are a bad idea, as well as a master trap being a bad idea.

What I'm wondering is that since it's an IB trap and works more or less like a float operated valve, should I really even bother removing it or would that just be a waste of time?

Thanks in advance

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,328
    the right way is to fix the system traps and get the master trap out of there
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,844
    "Phased out"?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • RedMechHVAC
    RedMechHVAC Member Posts: 6
    Yes. The unit is old and I’m from northern AZ. Since no one knows how to work on or install boilers up here, they’re going to be replacing this unit with electric strip heat. :#
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,844
    Seems to me they at least have you asking the right questions.......

    What kind of building is this in?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • RedMechHVAC
    RedMechHVAC Member Posts: 6
    It’s a big admin building on an old military installation. I’ve been doing a little research of my own. Didn’t want to blow myself up operating the boiler. Mostly an AC, furnace, and refrigeration guy. They’ve complained about the system for a while and are under the impression that it’s old junk. However, I’ve noticed missing steam traps, no water treatment (I put in some rectorseal 8 way), and high operating pressure. They’ve been running this thing at 7-15 psi. Needless to say, the people that actually have steam traps on their radiators are opening their windows.

    Thanks for the advice Ed. I know that the PROPER way to do it would be to get rid of the master IB trap right before the receiver, but since this is the last winter season that they’re going to have the boiler, is it really necessary? I’m under the impression that IB traps don’t need a pressure differential to operate. Am I wrong?
  • If you can get it running properly this winter, they may rethink their plan to retire the boiler!—NBC
  • Sailah
    Sailah Member Posts: 826
    An IB doesn't require a pressure differential to work well. They are not ideal for heating applications because you've throttled all the air venting through a tiny hole in the bucket. An F&T trap would be a better fit in that application since it has much better venting capacity. Inline F&T were designed to replace IB traps.
    Peter Owens
    SteamIQ
  • RedMechHVAC
    RedMechHVAC Member Posts: 6
    Nicholas, that’s kind of what I’m hoping for. Electric baseboard heat is ridiculous. They are saying it’s somehow cheaper and more cost effective to upgrade the entire electrical service to the building rather than upgrade the boiler... anywho...

    I think I’ll just leave the goofy master trap be and make sure all the other steam traps are present and properly functioning. Thanks for the help and advice everyone.
    luketheplumber
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,844
    @Sailah , you do realize he's talking about a "master trap" that someone incorrectly installed at the inlet to a boiler-feed pump?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Sailah
    Sailah Member Posts: 826
    Lol no i didn't guess that's what i win for skimming
    Peter Owens
    SteamIQ
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,959
    Could he just be sure of traps on the rads and remove the guts of the bucket trap?
    RedMechHVAC
  • RedMechHVAC
    RedMechHVAC Member Posts: 6
    That's always an option. It's pretty rusty anyway.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,844
    JUGHNE said:

    Could he just be sure of traps on the rads and remove the guts of the bucket trap?

    That may interfere with air venting from the system. I'd say remove it.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting