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Richardson system

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wesPA
wesPA Member Posts: 38
Good evening all,

Please bear with me on this one. I am primarily commercial HVAC and don't work with too much steam, I am however, very interested in learning all I can. I was at a site last week to work on something else and immediately noticed the steam system in place. Old Richardson coal boiler in basement, but not in use for years, as district steam is now connected to the original piping. Richardson radiators, except for 1. 2 pipe steam, with no vents or traps, after researching here, maybe the radiator elbow with the ball check? I heard the system call for heat, and it whistled like crazy from the only small vent I could find where the returns dropped into a 6" wide x 4' tall tank before going through condensate meter. There were no vents at the end of main. Pressure gauge was broken on inlet of district steam, but Im sure it was way to high. Can a system such as this be throttled to run on a vapor scale with district steam? The system served 2 apartments and 1 small commercial space (which had the 3 rads valved off at the supply due to being served by a gas furnace)
The apartments are both empty now, but I would'nt mind trying to get the steam system working as effectively as possible for the customer.

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,415
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    You not only could throttle it -- you really are going to have to to make it work. You are shooting for a supply pressure of around half a pound per square inch; I hate to think what your district steam system is putting out. Saturated steam is rather tricky to deal with when trying to reduce the pressure, but it can be done.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    luketheplumber
  • wesPA
    wesPA Member Posts: 38
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    Thanks Jamie. I was curious on how to reduce the pressure. Next time I get onsite, I will try and remember another pressure gauge to see what is currently being introduced to the system. It also looks like the last section of main is sagging due to a loose hanger
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,415
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    Watts makes an assortment -- https://www.watts.com/products/plumbing-flow-control-solutions/pressure-reducing-valves/steam-pressure-reducing-valves -- I'd contact their tech. support people to see what might work.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England