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Odd Broomell Return Fitting?

Steamhead
Steamhead Member Posts: 14,343
Customer sent us pics of his Vapor system. With its column-type radiators, it's undoubtedly pre-1926. There are several Broomell radiator shutoff valves, and this thing on the return connections:



We'll be going there in a couple weeks, but I was wondering if anyone has seen these before. Is it a water seal? Carbon-post trap? Stay tuned!
All Steamed Up, Inc.
Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
Oil & Gas Burner Service
Consulting

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,581
    Almost looks like you take the cap off to adjust it
  • My570
    My570 Member Posts: 43
    edited February 7
    Seems to be you and fellow team members have been on a roll with unknown , thought to be extinct systems especially of late..  ... 

    EDIT @Steamhead Perhaps Easy ?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,343
    That looks right, @My570 . We were there today but, with freezing rain coming, we didn't take any traps apart. They do say "Broomell" on them. There are also a couple of outboard traps that look like Illinois units. We did change the Pressuretrol to a Vaporstat and replace the Trane dry return vent with a pair of Gorton #2 vents.

    Next step will be to add vents to the steam mains, remove one of the Broomell traps to see what its throughput is, and clean up some knuckleheading with the boiler controls. Watch this space.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,343
    Also, this house has some very unusual radiators, which appear in the 1920 and 1922 "Ideal Fitter" books from American Radiator Co. They appear to be a special flue type of radiator designed for window seats and similar enclosures. @Erin Holohan Haskell , feel free to add this to the Radiators section of the Heating Museum.

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,687
    Someone posted a squat maybe 24" high version of that or a similar radiator a year or so ago.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,343
    I know that one- it's not the same as these.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125
    i see "PAT" written on the side but can't make out any numbers or anything. if there's a patent # or date on it, lemme know. you can't text search any of the pre-1920 patent literature, but if i have a patent # or date it doesn't take long to track it down. in any case if it was patented i can track it down, it's just a little bit time consuming for the pre-1920 stuff cause you just have to flip through a couple thousand references the old-fashioned way.
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,562
    Steamhead said:

    Also, this house has some very unusual radiators, which appear in the 1920 and 1922 "Ideal Fitter" books from American Radiator Co. They appear to be a special flue type of radiator designed for window seats and similar enclosures. @Erin Holohan Haskell , feel free to add this to the Radiators section of the Heating Museum.

    Thanks, @Steamhead.
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • Youngplumber
    Youngplumber Member Posts: 518
    edited February 14
    Is that a "tee" fitting to connect multiple radiators together?

    Edit: disregard, the links above seem to show my guess is WRONG, lol. 
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,343

    i see "PAT" written on the side but can't make out any numbers or anything. if there's a patent # or date on it, lemme know. you can't text search any of the pre-1920 patent literature, but if i have a patent # or date it doesn't take long to track it down. in any case if it was patented i can track it down, it's just a little bit time consuming for the pre-1920 stuff cause you just have to flip through a couple thousand references the old-fashioned way.

    That would be great. Not sure how that search works, but if you can search on a name, look for Broomell or the Vapor Heating Company (which the patent would have been assigned to).
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125
    i flipped through a bunch of the old electrically actuated valves (bc of the wires that run to yours in the pic). didn't see yours per se, but most of the similar ones i saw have a motor in that upper housing that actuates a ball or cone to open/close the fluid path.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,687
    Do those wires go to the valve or did they just use the hole for the pipe as a chase? I think that valve is older than the thermoplastic insulation on those wires.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,343
    @SlowYourRoll and @mattmia2 , I believe the wires in the pic are for the alarm system. They have nothing to do with the heat system.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125
    oh okay, back to the drawing board
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125
    found a couple Broomell patents, but none like what you have. will post later.
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125
    edited February 16
    is this it?








  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,343
    Looks like an electric radiator supply valve. The trap probably came later- I believe Broomell was still using water-seal radiator return fittings in 1912.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,206
    I will never see it all. Thanks, guys!
    Retired and loving it.
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125
    i think you're right. they were at least toying with the idea of more complicated return valves by 1914 (see below), but the only reference i could find with that distinct dome shape is the one i posted.


  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125
    anyway i found about a dozen or so of their other patents in case you're interested.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,343
    Keep 'em coming!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125
    is there a prefered way to post documents like these on HeatingHelp? cause it'd be about 50 pages or so if i just uploaded them all at once.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,343
    @Erin Holohan Haskell , what say ye?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,562
    Thanks, @Steamhead. @SlowYourRoll, if you send them to me, I can put them in our Heating Museum. I'll PM you.
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125
    Okay I sent off the whole documents to The Museum, but here are just the cover pages...





















    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,343
    Wow. Thanks for doing this!

    Was Birnstock involved with Broomell's company?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125
    Steamhead said:

    Wow. Thanks for doing this!

    Was Birnstock involved with Broomell's company?

    The Birnstock patents and the Arnold patent were all assigned to Vapor Heating Co. in Pennsylvania. So they could've been employees, or independent inventors that struck up a deal with Broomell. There's probably more out there as well, but that's the kind of search that takes too long for anything prior to 1920. That's probably where the patent on your return valve is. Probably invented by another employee. I looked for the overall shape of it, but patents are less concerned with that sort of thing than the actual mechanism, so the patent on it could very well have a cylindrical housing instead of that capsule-shaped housing, or maybe not even show the housing at all and just show the inner workings. I'm also just learning about steam so it's also very likely that I missed looking in a place that a more knowledgeable person would've checked. It's in there somewhere...
  • My570
    My570 Member Posts: 43
    Is there any other "odd" or unusual attached parts other than the Illinois trap ? The age of the house.. do you think around '21 +/- because of the Flued Arco's estimation ? Biggie... if the system looks original to the house was the original fuel oil ?
    Broomell Died in early '21 btw.. just speculation about if a patent was applied for... BUT a advertisment touted it as Easy to maintain and clean.. just remove the Dome.. even when its in operation.! Something like that..
    Where are you located ?  ☺️
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125
    My570 said:

    Is there any other "odd" or unusual attached parts other than the Illinois trap ? The age of the house.. do you think around '21 +/- because of the Flued Arco's estimation ? Biggie... if the system looks original to the house was the original fuel oil ?
    Broomell Died in early '21 btw.. just speculation about if a patent was applied for... BUT a advertisment touted it as Easy to maintain and clean.. just remove the Dome.. even when its in operation.! Something like that..
    Where are you located ?  ☺️

    there definitely was a patent applied for and granted if it says its Patented, but what the patent was for and the inventor(s) on the patent, that's the mystery. it wasn't Broomell himself. that's about all i know. i'd really have to disassemble it and see exactly what's going on with it though to find the patent, and even that would still need a couple hours of searching.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,343
    Broomell made an outboard-type thermostatic radiator trap too, same basic pattern as Illinois and Sterling. We have one in our shop that we got from another job where there was a mix of traps- I'll see if there's a patent date on it.

    There wasn't any Broomell equipment in the basement- the only air vent was a Trane.

    @My570 , where did you get Broomell dying in 1921?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • My570
    My570 Member Posts: 43
    @SlowYourRoll.....Sorry about the phrasing.. I'm a newbie.. I didn't realize the complexity as you have pointed out..
    Now I should be able to HELP you to wrap it up.. back in the 3rd post in this thread I tried to enter some Pictures but being new only the links are showing.. not the pictures.. with these you should be able to track down the original.. ( I'm not so sure it was Broomell's Patent , the body of the trap looks like it was produced by the Patent holder and the End User Broomell in this case... produced their own "Covers" to rebrand them...) Things were moving fast.. the Spanish Flu was subsiding , WW1 was wrapping up , the Roaring '20s were . ... warming up.... But that's just speculation until more info is available..
    Before I forget.. I'm going try the pictures again.. 
    Good Luck !

    mattmia2
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125
    wow My570, that's great! thanks!
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125
    so is that a bi-metal clip that slides that rod back and forth to open/close the flap? don't even really need the patent to read about what's going on in there, that seems pretty straightforward.
  • My570
    My570 Member Posts: 43

    @Steamhead ..missed your post..will try to upload later.. having a issue now.. maybe the browser... This Guy was a genius though..
    Steamhead said:

    Broomell made an outboard-type thermostatic radiator trap too, same basic pattern as Illinois and Sterling. We have one in our shop that we got from another job where there was a mix of traps- I'll see if there's a patent date on it.

    There wasn't any Broomell equipment in the basement- the only air vent was a Trane.

    @My570 , where did you get Broomell dying in 1921?

    @Steamhead Missed your question.. Here's a writeup.. ..This Guy was the ultimate Multi-tasker.. I'll post more later






    Steamhead said:

    Broomell made an outboard-type thermostatic radiator trap too, same basic pattern as Illinois and Sterling. We have one in our shop that we got from another job where there was a mix of traps- I'll see if there's a patent date on it.

    There wasn't any Broomell equipment in the basement- the only air vent was a Trane.

    @My570 , where did you get Broomell dying in 1921?


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,343
    My570 said:


    @Steamhead ..missed your post..will try to upload later.. having a issue now.. maybe the browser... This Guy was a genius though..


    Steamhead said:

    Broomell made an outboard-type thermostatic radiator trap too, same basic pattern as Illinois and Sterling. We have one in our shop that we got from another job where there was a mix of traps- I'll see if there's a patent date on it.

    There wasn't any Broomell equipment in the basement- the only air vent was a Trane.

    @My570 , where did you get Broomell dying in 1921?

    @Steamhead Missed your question.. Here's a writeup.. ..This Guy was the ultimate Multi-tasker.. I'll post more later






    Steamhead said:

    Broomell made an outboard-type thermostatic radiator trap too, same basic pattern as Illinois and Sterling. We have one in our shop that we got from another job where there was a mix of traps- I'll see if there's a patent date on it.

    There wasn't any Broomell equipment in the basement- the only air vent was a Trane.

    @My570 , where did you get Broomell dying in 1921?


    ?????????????????????
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,343
    edited February 20
    mattmia2 said:

    Someone posted a squat maybe 24" high version of that or a similar radiator a year or so ago.

    I think this is the one from before. ISTR it has showed up under different names. This is from "Facts for Fitters", a 1916 catalog from "The Hunting Co.", which appears to be a huge supply house with locations in Rochester and Watertown, NY.

    @Erin Holohan Haskell , you know what to do............ B)
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    mattmia2
  • My570
    My570 Member Posts: 43
    @Steamhead .. trying again.. 

    There's alot he was involved with .. I'll update from my PC
    There's definitely Patents missing 
    mattmia2
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,562
    edited February 20
    Steamhead said:


    @Erin Holohan Haskell , you know what to do............ B)

    Got it. Thanks @Steamhead!
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • My570
    My570 Member Posts: 43
    edited February 24
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