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Valve I have never seen before

fnmnjim
fnmnjim Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 7


Has anyone ever seen one of these before ? Its a one pipe steam system, with a two pipe radiator that's tied to the system with one of these valves.
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Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,326
    That's a new one on me! How is the rest of the radiator hooked up?
    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
    Kybeans403
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,319
    edited January 30
    If this is connected how i think it is @Steamhead, it’s an idea I’ve been pondering that clearly isn’t my own. My thought was a single pipe system with this kind of top/bottom same side connection. The bottom would have some kind of water seal and the system would operate at extremely low pressures. The vent likely also extends (and connects) to the other side of the radiator perhaps? 
  • kev
    kev Member Posts: 97
    more pictures, please. where is the vent connected to? that brass nut looks as though its been opened more than once.
    jeff_25
  • fnmnjim
    fnmnjim Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 7
    The larger pipe goes up to the inlet, the one at the bottom is clearly the return, there is a 1/4" pipe (or 1/8") that is tied into the radiator and the valve that the air vent is plugged into, everything in the house is working well, I have just never seen anything like this, I have looked through every Holohan manual I own and cant find any info on this thing.
  • fnmnjim
    fnmnjim Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 7
    I have some thoughts that there is a check valve inside there, but I am not 100% sure.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,727
    It would have to be some kind of thermostatic trap to hold the steam in the radiator, under the square headed cap beside the vent.

    Very neat! I wonder why it was used. It might allow the radiator to heat faster than a standard single-pipe radiator, but I'm not sure. A retrofit fitting from two pipe to one pipe doesn't make any sense.

  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,727
    Where does the pipe behind the vent go? Perhaps it allows some amount of control by restricting the venting. That would 'turn on' more or less of the radiator, & if the fitting allows condensate to leave without venting any more air, you would keep on condensing steam on just the part of the radiator that's been vented. I think.

    Is this the only radiator like this, or do they all have the same valve? Anything unusual going on at the boiler?

    Maybe it's time to call @DanHolohan.

  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,196
    I have never seen this one. 
    Retired and loving it.
  • Youngplumber
    Youngplumber Member Posts: 495
    That settles it, you must aquire it, dissect it, record it, then to the miseum. No negotiation... Lol
    My570luketheplumber
  • My570
    My570 Member Posts: 33
    Pictures are interesting but nothing identifiable to go with.. As mentioned full radiator photos would help along the inlet valve.. maybe a general location because it might of been a regional thing... could be a check valve..or  water seal ..I think it has a few things going on but everything is just a guess...New Owner ? Well anyway it's interesting.. just need more info (speaking for myself ) Any idea of age of building ? 
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,519
    Thare's a patent # on it. If we could read that you could look it up and get some information. Maybe not looked again It may be the year not a patent #
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,196
    That looks like Pat Pend to me. 
    Retired and loving it.
    LS123STEVEusaPA
  • fnmnjim
    fnmnjim Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 7
    I will take some more pictures this coming week, every radiator in the house is like this, and they all heat very well, there are a few minor issues with the boiler, but nothing thats causing any issues, a customer is flipping the home and had me come check up on it, I was going to run the address through the county auditors website to find out when the home was built to give me a better idea on when this valve would have been manufactured.
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,319
    We’ll be impatiently waiting @fnmnjim 😉
    fnmnjimratioLS123
  • LS123
    LS123 Member Posts: 329
    @fnmnjim yes... I have also seen something like this on this forum... someone had attached a old document with steam vents... I do not know the link to the post with the doc... I googled antique steam air vents...scrolled down and found this... could not find identical one with the type of metal used... below is what I found in the imaging section


    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,637
    I ve never seen any thing even hobbled together that resembles that . I would image that the radiators heat pretty well w less counter flow happening w the supply up top and condensate and air out the bottom . I would image that the condensate out which drains must be water sealed to prevent steam from enter the bottom and becoming air bound . I would image the plug is for cleaning the condensate outlet into the main . Very cool never see everything . Where you located may help ID it . I would also image that ,that type of system would have been tough completion w 2 pipe vapor system in the day and of course cheaper on materials . Thanks for posting that .peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    LS123
  • Bill_Kitsch69
    Bill_Kitsch69 Member Posts: 30
    Looks like a baby float type trap, maybe F&T.
  • Bill_Kitsch69
    Bill_Kitsch69 Member Posts: 30
    kev said:

    more pictures, please. where is the vent connected to? that brass nut looks as though its been opened more than once.

    It's been a while. That plug is doped with lamp wick..
    Haloyloy770
  • Haloyloy770
    Haloyloy770 Member Posts: 11
    I’m new to steam, but I’m all into exploring the “steam system”. at first what came to mind was that plug might just be a “choice of size” for the vent fitting, but if you look at the bottom there is another “plug” so I’m thinking that might be a check valve or trap, and the plug at the bottom would be a clean out 
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,000
    Years ago, when Old Joe, Steve and myself would go downtown to the library and scour thru old patents we ran across quite a few that dealt with giving ‘control’ to one pipe steam folks. Old timers had many tricks up there sleeves because no body ever told them they ‘couldn’t’ do something..so they did 😄
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

    Larry Weingarten
  • dhersh
    dhersh Member Posts: 0
    45 years in the engineering business and have never seen or run across anything like this. I'm going to go back and open my old steam books and see if I can identify this unit. As they say, it's a sad day when you don't learn something new.
    Turbo Dave
  • Scott.Malo
    Scott.Malo Member Posts: 16
    I cannot make out the patent #. Anyone?
  • LS123
    LS123 Member Posts: 329
    it would be helpful to get a pic of text on the gadget.. if the original poster cold do that we might be able to find more info. I tried to clean up the gadget using software so I can see the text... unable to do that due to low res of the pic.... so OP please take the time to send us a cleaner pic with text visible... if pic cant capture text, type it here in the forum what the text say. thank you!
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • hoff13954
    hoff13954 Member Posts: 0
    My guess is the valve is designed to introduce humidity into your home. 
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,196
    I think it reads Patent Pending (Pat Pend)
    Retired and loving it.
    STEVEusaPA
  • Chris_L
    Chris_L Member Posts: 204
    While it is not quite the same, it looks something like the device connected at the bottom of the radiator shown in Figure 2 of this patent. (Need to be able to see more of the radiator.) The goal was to allow better control of the amount of steam going into the radiator.
    https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/05/05/22/7e0685810af609/US2028173.pdf
  • Jackmartin
    Jackmartin Member Posts: 172
    edited February 4
    We have to think like the steam. The steam will take the path of least resistance hence it will go preferentially to the top. The steam will instantly start to condense that will cause a vacuum to occur the water will be held up from draining because the top of the rad is in a negative pressure. To overcome this you would have to equalize the pressure in the rad so the steam ,vacumn, water condensation all see the same pressure gradient hence the small pipe from the top to the bottom of the rad. The water flows down to the bottom of the rad pushing the air in front of it ,the Hoffman venter takes care of the air . Now the water leaving cannot be allowed to sub cool the steam or you would loose capacity ,so the water has to be directed to the inside surface of the supply pipe away from the steam rising, that would suggest some sort of directive baffle cast into the fitting. Think about the correct way to pipe in a rad ,the connection has to be on a forty five so the water flows to the edge of the pipe and does not come in contact with the steam vapour ,if it does, it instantly condenses. This is akin to the single hot water supply and return valve, the dead men were smart.
  • bill_brooks
    bill_brooks Member Posts: 37
    why it's so simple a 5yr.old would know!!
    when i was a very young kid, i used to cut sunday school class and hang out in the boiler room with the
    old volunteer janitor. he'd tell me all about the "bowels" of our little church. if i got there early, before
    folks started arriving for sunday school, he'd take me upstairs and show me the business side of his
    steam plant.
    our church got steam sometime after WW1. all the rads (this was 1 pipe steam) had these valves installed.
    i asked him what this extra hunk of metal w/vent was for. (this was perhaps 60yrs.ago) he said it was to
    allow the church to heat up faster so whoever took care of the heating chore didn't have to rise at 2am
    to stoke a dying fire and add more coal. i suspect it was he that didn't care to come in at 2am since he
    was a WW1 vet and probably the original fireman to the church. this would also account for his vivid
    knowledge of the church. (he may even have helped plumb the place!)
    so according to one of my "deadmen" friends who i grew up around, i find this valve use to be self-evident. it also reinforced my belief in the ALMIGHTY ( itself an on-going sunday lesson of my own) that
    those damned things worked per design. when you walked into the sanctuary on any given sunday,
    the vents were hissing, the place was toasty on even the bitterest days, and my mentor was probably
    home snoozing. cutting services just like his young protege!
    MilanDEdTheHeaterManJUGHNEMy570
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,593

    If this is connected how i think it is @Steamhead, it’s an idea I’ve been pondering that clearly isn’t my own. My thought was a single pipe system with this kind of top/bottom same side connection. The bottom would have some kind of water seal and the system would operate at extremely low pressures. The vent likely also extends (and connects) to the other side of the radiator perhaps? 

    Somewhere on this site is JJ Wilson patent. One pipe system for two pipe radiator. If air and water can drain without mixing with incoming steam.....
  • Chris_L
    Chris_L Member Posts: 204
    @jumper, is this the patent you are thinking of? Looks similar the photo posted, but not identical:
    https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/44/2e/b3/46b5460ba5bb9a/US933869.pdf
  • COOK
    COOK Member Posts: 0
    I came across what appears to be an air vent in a school project that drains to a condensate return line. Anyone seen something like this? Looks somewhat similar.



  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,151
    Is the condensate then vented or is it a vacuum type system?
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,196
    Vacuum line, like a Paul system. 
    Retired and loving it.
    mattmia2
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,151
    Cook, for that school project, was there a vacuum pump on that line or some form of steam powered inducer.
    Dan, how does that rad vent work? Close when steam hits it?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,326
    Yup- just like a standard air vent or steam trap. That vent is probably a Hoffman #3 or similar. I think the Hoffman is still being made.
    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
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125

    Gordo
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,196
    Yes, it closes to steam. 
    Retired and loving it.
  • My570
    My570 Member Posts: 33
    Post WW2 building economics ... a little late to the party ?
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125
    edited February 9
    here's the other pages from that patent. i don't know if it's what you have or not, but it was the closest i could find...lemme know if/when you take this one apart if it's a match.










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