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2 pipe system unknown part

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Levie
Levie Member Posts: 79
I have this large part on the return of my two pipe steam residential system and I'm not sure what it does.
Also I have not found any main stream line vents and on the return piping where it connects to this device and I would expect a vent there is a open tapping but no steam escaping can the pipe be clogged? 
Guys please enlighten me on this one.
Thx

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  • Levie
    Levie Member Posts: 79
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     Here are the pictures the second one is zoomed into the top it has a t and the horizontal side is plugged but the top seems to be open and I don't see any leakage from it
    WMno57
  • Levie
    Levie Member Posts: 79
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    It's a little hard to see in the picture but there is a half inch pipe going from the top of the return line to the top of this device I know I need a vent on the end of that return line so I figure that the top of that device is where it's supposed to be but not entirely sure.
    Thx
    Levi
  • Levie
    Levie Member Posts: 79
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    Upon closer inspection it looks like this is not a t but some sort of a valve or trap here's a closer picture.
  • Levie
    Levie Member Posts: 79
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  • ChicagoCooperator
    ChicagoCooperator Member Posts: 355
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    Steam shouldn't ever be escaping from the main vent. But I think that device is part of the venting - the experts will probably chime in shortly.
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 887
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    This is the Vapor regulator of a Moline system.
    Look at the pointer at the low left of the Vapor Regulator.
    See the numbers on the side of the Vapor Regulator.
    The pointer when the pressure in the boiler increased would show you the steam pressure in inches in the system.
    The Moline system is a vapor/vacuum system, it used special steam traps with no moving parts. The trap had a solid partition which created a water seal (trap) at the top of the partition there was a small hole that let the air out of the radiator.

    Jake
    ethicalpaul
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    edited December 2021
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    What does the round cover and writing on the back of the "banana" say? Looks like a damper control.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • Levie
    Levie Member Posts: 79
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    Very interesting do I still need main vents on the return or supply size of this boiler or does this big device have a vent of some sort on top of it?
    I'm not sure how this system is operating as I don't know where the air is able to get out from
  • Levie
    Levie Member Posts: 79
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    And yes there is a big lever with numbers just at this boiler doesn't really reach pressure so I never saw it indicate any pressure 
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,313
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    That's the second one of these we've seen recently! Must be catching...

    And yes, you will need some sort of vent -- a couple of Gorton #2s should do it -- on the dry returns at the boiler. They're essential. You may or may not need one on the mains. Check and see if the crossover traps are still there and functional. If they are, you don't.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
    edited December 2021
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    Actually, that's not part of a Moline system- it is part of a Wiley-Simplex system, made by the Simplex Heating Specialty Co of Lynchburg, VA, which marketed its own Vapor system. This system used water-seal radiator return fittings, like Broomell and VECO did, but is not covered in chapter 15 of "The Lost Art of Steam Heating" (@DanHolohan , maybe in the next revisiting ? ;) )

    If you look on the side of the regulator, just to the right of the silver-painted pipe in the pic, you can see the Simplex name.

    @GeorgeV introduced us to this system when he found one in Roanoke, VA:

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/168769/need-steam-pro-help-in-roanoke-va

    and we've found one in Baltimore:

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/168879/its-a-wiley-simplex-not-a-vapor-regulator-co-system

    Edgar Wiley's patents are here:

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/home/leaving?allowTrusted=1&target=https://heatinghelp.com/heating-museum/edgar-wiley-vapor-system/

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/home/leaving?allowTrusted=1&target=https://heatinghelp.com/heating-museum/wiley-water-seal-radiator-trap/

    For those who haven't seen this, we have a thread going where we've collected links to Vapor systems that are otherwise undocumented:

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/178152/a-listing-of-vapor-systems-that-dont-yet-appear-in-lost-art

    @Levie , where is this system located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    WMno57delcrossvIronman
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,526
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    Steamhead, you are a true treasure. Thanks.
    Retired and loving it.
    mattmia2WMno57IronmanErin Holohan Haskell
  • Levie
    Levie Member Posts: 79
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    Steamhead tnx it looks exactly like your Baltimore one.  I see that on that one the 1/2 pipe from the dry return to the top of that regulator what plugged and they added a vent to the dry return.  I'm thinking of doing that too as I don't have any vents is there any reason to keep that pipe on top of the regulator? Or can I plug it at the regular and add a vent on the dry return.
    Tnx
    Levi
  • Levie
    Levie Member Posts: 79
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    We are located in Kingston PA right over the river near Wilkes Barre
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
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    Wow, that's pretty far north for this system. Of the ones we've found so far, it's the furthest from Lynchburg.

    The vent is in the top of the regulator (see the first patent link above), and the float closes the vent when it nears the top of its travel to keep water from escaping. However, with a modern boiler running a Vaporstat, this feature probably isn't needed. It's up to you, but if it's working I'd leave it alone.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Levie
    Levie Member Posts: 79
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    Ok so I definitely can feel some venting out of the top of that big banana shaped part. 
    But here's my question I'm having an issue with the last radiator on the longer side main it's taking 10 to 20 minutes longer to heat up it's on the second floor and at the end of the line.  The only vent in the entire system is the top of that regulator and both try returns meet up to reach it. Firstly could it be that that vent is too small for my system? Also if I have two dry returns running into one pipe and then have only one vent for the whole system is that an issue? I'm wondering if one of the sides closes that vent too early will that prevent the other side from venting?
    I'm thinking of cutting out that half inch pipe and replacing it with a Gorton #2 or maybe 2 of them.
    Tnx
    Levi
  • Levie
    Levie Member Posts: 79
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    Also I would mention that the system is running a pressure troll not a vaporstat is it correct that I need a vaporstat for a two pipe system? Is the lowest setting on a pressuretroll still too high for that?
    Tnx
  • Levie
    Levie Member Posts: 79
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    I would mention that don't matter how long the system runs I still never build up pressure it is very old and possibly leaking into the chimney but I can't find any other leaks anywhere unless that's vent on top of the regulator is leaking and I missed it.
    Tnx
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
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    While the boiler is running, try loosening the union between the dry return and the regulator vent, and see if you get a lot of air. If so, replace the elbow above the dry return with a tee and put a Gorton #2 there, as you see on the Baltimore one.

    If this doesn't help, the air passage thru the water seal may be plugged. Take it apart and clean it.

    Still slow? Add properly-sized vents to the steam mains. We did this today on a Broomell and it made a huge difference.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Levie
    Levie Member Posts: 79
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    Perfect I'm going to try exactly what you said.
    Really appreciate it guys.
  • Levie
    Levie Member Posts: 79
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    Hey @Steamhead is this the same system as Don is talking about at the end of this video? Is this a mechanical feed pump?
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=j9FfGBXxDVE&list=PLVLOIwDU4xa13REFgUW2M1tZ83YNc3MMd&index=26
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,313
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    "Also if I have two dry returns running into one pipe and then have only one vent for the whole system is that an issue?" -- No. This would be an issue if it were a one pipe system, @Levie , but yours isn't -- it's a a two pipe vapour system, and that arrangement is correct. As @Steamhead noted, though, it's very likely that that one vent simply isn't big enough.

    As to the pressuretrol vs. vapourstat. You should be running a cutoff pressure of less than a pound -- probably less than 8 ounces. And to do that you do need a vapourstat.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    mattmia2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,660
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    If you have something wrong that is letting steam in to the returns then you could have the vent close early, but the solution is to stop the steam. If the control is metering valves on radiators rather than steam traps, the solution is to get the pressure down.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
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    Levie said:

    Hey @Steamhead is this the same system as Don is talking about at the end of this video? Is this a mechanical feed pump?
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=j9FfGBXxDVE&list=PLVLOIwDU4xa13REFgUW2M1tZ83YNc3MMd&index=26

    No. It's pretty close to the Vapor Regulator Co. regulator described in chapter 15 of Lost Art.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 512
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    Steamhead said:
    Wow, that's pretty far north for this system.


    ~
    Maybe not that far... The Heggie-Simplex may of attracted interest in the community as the article will show circa 1929 the arrival of the "Largest Low Pressure Steel Boiler installation in the State" 
    Of course they were for larger installations 
    Article attached.. enjoy
    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
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    Not the same "Simplex". The Simplex Heating Specialty Co. did not make boilers.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 512
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    Steamhead said:
    Not the same "Simplex". The Simplex Heating Specialty Co. did not make boilers.
    HaHa !   (I can't turn this bold off)
    I was following all the cross links with the Simplex's and got this post and the Roanoke post ( Wiley System with Heggie boiler ) and cross associated them as Industrial vs Residential when I saw those 6 boilers... which were installed only a few miles or so from this location...🤭

    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question