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2 pipe steam system

Hi Guys -
Just wondering if anyone has come across this before? I have been asked to install thermostatic radiator valves. It's a 2 pipe steam system. Obviously, copper should not be used, but they claim it's working right now with no problems. I'm wondering if I should get involved or not. Any suggestions? Thanks!


  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,431
    I'd be more curious why they want TRV's. When people come on here posting about adding TRV's and it presents as if no other efforts have been made to correct any problems, I suggest pausing before moving forward.

    A TRV is not a cure all, the system should be operating as good as it can before jumping into the TRV's.

    As far as the copper, I'd guess it was a fix for rotted pipes, but it's a really old fix if it is. I'd categorize that as if it ain't broke don't fix it.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 4,822
    I'm not a pro but if you touch it, then any future problem no matter how unrelated will be blamed on you. Wait until it breaks and they call you to fix it is my advice from the peanut gallery.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    delta TIntplm.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,553
    OK I give up -- what kind of place is that? I completely agree with the folks above -- before you even think about putting TRVs on that, find out as much else as you can about the rest of the system. In particular such things as where any traps are, and are they working? There is a trap on that one double unit you showed a picture of, anyway.

    Honestly I wouldn't just blithely set off to put TRVs on it without asking to evaluate and repair as required the entire system -- time and materials.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    delta T
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,983
    I think I would want to see it work before I touched it ,odd piping I would image a trap on each converter instead of 1 trap per 2 convectors and then maybe graduated supply valves if there over heating .if there getting enclosed they should be repiping and insulating those pipes cause after there boxed in there done . Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 883
    I don't know if I would walk away from it. Run maybe, but probably not walk ;)

    You are going to inherit lots of problems I bet, what is the boiler like? Header piping good? Maintenance? Why the TRVs, what is the complaint such that they want TRVs to 'fix it'? Too many unknowns.

    If you do, make yourself a bullet-proof contract!
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,801
    The bravest thing I would do for this is measure the EDR, take note of the steam pressure and size a supply valve orifice for 50% output.
    The control request is most likely because of over heating.
    These look like something would cover them up and who would adjust the TRV anyway?

    Least investment on your part and easy to rectify if the plan goes south...........or you could be a hero!
  • Harry_6
    Harry_6 Member Posts: 133
    Slightly off topic here, but does anyone know if those cast convectors on stilts are still made? I have an application they'd be perfect for.

    Aside from that, I agree that it's an odd setup, but I've seen similar done. I also agree that you should find out all you can about conditions and why the need for a thermostatic control is felt. Just that area too warm? Not warm enough? I assume this is supposed to be inside a cabinet of some sort?