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Two-pipe steam gravity system -- F & T traps???

Steamed2
Steamed2 Member Posts: 8



We have a two-pipe steam gravity system. We have a Peerless steam boiler (see info above). If you look in top photo - near top middle of photo -- there are two traps (one in front of other). They are on the return pipes mounted near the boiler. What are they? Are they F & T traps? Are they essential? Are they important? We have a steamfitter who wants to take them off and then retest all the steam traps in the building - he states they are a band-aid and if we take them off, then we will find out what steam traps are really broken. Is he right? Should we take these traps off?

Thanks,

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,014
    Talk with the steam fitter.

    If you have steam traps on all the radiation the steamfitter is likely correct. Someone could have put those traps in as a band aid. It's called "master trapping" and will really screw up a system.

    That being said we can't see the whole system in a couple of pictures. You have a condensate pump so you do need traps. Weather you need those traps can't easily be seen in a couple of pictures
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 408
    As @EBEBRATT-Ed said, we can't see the whole system in a couple of pictures. They could also be the drip traps at the ends of the steam mains.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,470
    @Steamed2 , it depends on what "returns" those F&T traps are on.

    If they are on returns from the radiators, and the radiators have traps, they don't belong there.

    But if they are on returns from the ends of steam mains, and there are no traps at the ends of the mains, and the system has a condensate tank and pump, you do need them. Note that in a lot of cases, condensate tanks and pumps are not really needed- they are "band-aids" too.

    I see another trap- at floor level, between the wall and the boiler burners- a round unit with a hex-head on top. That looks like an Illinois F&T trap. What is this trap connected to?

    Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 485
    Are those steam traps connected to a separate dry return? If they are the steam traps most likely are F&T traps. As for the condensate pump, condensate pumps are installed when there is a long time lag for condensate to return to the boiler. The size of the receiver is based on about how much water is needed to make up for the excessive time it takes for condensate to return to the boiler.

    Typically in small heating systems a reserve of 10 to 25 gallons stored water is needed.

    Jake
  • Steamed2
    Steamed2 Member Posts: 8
    Steamhead -- good insight -- we are located in Illinois....I am not sure what bottom trap is connected to but I will find out...
  • Steamed2
    Steamed2 Member Posts: 8









    Some more photos...
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,477
    I see a welded header and risers, and would worry that there is no provision for absorbing the header expansion forces from the boiler block, perhaps pulling it apart slowly, and shortening its life.—NBC 
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,317
    Quite the welding work.....how old is the boiler?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,470
    Steamed2 said:

    Steamhead -- good insight -- we are located in Illinois....I am not sure what bottom trap is connected to but I will find out...

    I meant, that trap was made by the Illinois Engineering Co, which IIRC is now part of Watts. What part of the state are you in? There are some great steam guys in Chicagoland..............
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Steamed2
    Steamed2 Member Posts: 8
    The boiler was put in 2008. We are in Chicago (proper) -- any recommendations on steam guys? Thanks
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,470
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Steamed2
    Steamed2 Member Posts: 8
    Thank you for your suggestion -- I will be in contact with them.

    Does anyone else have any suggestions about hiring some to Evaluate a steam system. Please note we don't want just a sales pitch. We would like someone to come in and evaluate the system -- suggest ways to get it more efficient and balanced. We actually have a steamfitter who can do a lot of the work. Consulting only -Chicago area - but will even pay airfare for right person...
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,858
    Not to worry. @The Steam Whisperer is one of the best in the business -- and is not a salesman.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 485
    Back again,

    I see that you have massive amounts of un-insulated piping.
    The heat loss and excessive condensate that forms in the piping system has a deleterious effect on the operation of the steam heating system.
    Before you bring anyone in to do corrective work on the heating system cover the pipe with 2" thick fiberglass insulation o the big pipe and 1" fiberglass insulation n the pipe that is 3" or less.

    Although the insulation is expensive you can do the work your self. Tools needed are a razor blade knife, a sharp butcher knife and a hacksaw. Fittings can be left out till all the pipe is covered.

    The insulation is a passive investment in saving fuel, energy and system operational improvement.

    This is a long term investment like a 30 year bond that keeps on paying dividends.

    Once the excessive condensate situation is stopped the system can be evaluated and improved if needed.

    Jake
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