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steam trap question

SnowmeltSnowmelt Posts: 1,074Member
I know its a vague question but if a steam trap isn't working properly would it cause the radiators that the steam trap is down stream of not to heat up[ properly.
with out getting into the whole application of the boiler...............
I had three rads feeing steam from top ( 2 pipe) then the return was at the bottom............ that is where it would get cold then go another 20 feet with 3/4 to a steam trap. after steam trap it would go to a condensation pump.
the boiler feed was 2 inch gong top 1 1/2 for each rad, rad was hot until the very end , then I feel the return and it was cold.
Make log story short, boiler failed prematurally with piping issues and I think steam trap issue, customer agreed to change the steam traps on his dime.
the steam was returning cold which I feel could of been a problem.
any answers or follow up questions would be appreciated, customer has the whole summer to save money

Comments

  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 5,778Member
    On a couple of systems with bad traps, I just removed the trap element and installed orifices in the rad valve.
    Sized the orifice to deliver only 50 to 80% of EDR at a particular pressure. The condensate return was cool as the non heated rad sections cooled down the cond water temp.
    One system was an attic main with downfeed steam and another was smaller house standard upfeed steam.

    The downfeed system had drips into their own working rad type traps, and all drips and rads drained into a common dry return pipe and with no F&T's then went into a cond pump.
    The simpler house system had no F&T's and was gravity drain.

    I too was concerned about "cool" condensate and made inquires here. There is a posting about cold/cool condensate returning with replies.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 5,778Member
    Search here for "cold condensate" there is some discussion about it.
  • Danny ScullyDanny Scully Posts: 1,191Member
    @Snowmelt, to answer your question, yes it can. Say the steam trap fails open, it would then allow steam to enter the returns and close the downstream radiators steam traps from the return side without heating the radiators...in theory.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,651Member
    On the other hand... the return from a radiator with a functioning steam trap should not be steam hot. If the radiator is going full song -- heated all the way across -- then the pipe beyond the trap will be decidedly warm -- maybe even as much as 200 to 205 -- but not steam hot. But if the radiator hasn't heated all the way across yet, it should be relatively cool.
    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
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,117Member
    Snowmelt said:

    I had three rads feeing steam from top ( 2 pipe) then the return was at the bottom............ that is where it would get cold then go another 20 feet with 3/4 to a steam trap. after steam trap it would go to a condensation pump.

    Are there traps at the radiator return connections? There should be, or else some other way to keep steam out of the returns. The trap 20 feet down the line should not be there- "gang trapping" several units with a single trap never works well.
    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
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 5,778Member
    To clarify your first posting; you have 3 downfed rads that get hot all the way across but the condensate from each is cool?

    Then these 3 dry returns go into a F&T and then to the condensate pump?
  • jacobsondjacobsond Posts: 35Member
    I dont think the OP stated what kind of trap. Anyway have the traps been inspected for failure or tested? Kind of just guessing here. Dont need to replace a good part looking for the problem.
    coming to you from warm and sunny ND
  • SnowmeltSnowmelt Posts: 1,074Member
    Jughne your right that is what I stated. all 3 rads are with in 10 feet of each other ( there on a wall in a gymnasium) then they tie in together with what I recall is a 1 inch pipe then to a trap. I don't recall the trap name. is the trap suppose to close which I don't think it was doing , what I did was cracked a union and turned the boiler on. then water came out continuously. ( about a gallon every 5 minutes of continuous pour.
    Jacobson, too late I changed them all out.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,651Member
    Gang trapping normally isn't a good idea -- but it can work (and it appears that in this situation it does) if the radiators involved are very similar, are reasonably close together, and the lines feeding them are also very similar.
    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
  • SnowmeltSnowmelt Posts: 1,074Member
    Yes they are very similar.
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