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Help identifying unfamiliar "valve"

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In a steam service check the other day I found where you would normally find a steam trap on the condensate drain part of a 2 pipe radiator. I was lucky enough to be given an exact one off an old radiator from the basket so I could inspect the insides. It has a steam that can be turned let is either fully open, fully closed, or two small holes. I cannot seem to see how this would work or what it would do. Any help?

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  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
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    Remove the paint and you'll find it says "Moline" on it. This was standard issue on a Moline Heat system. It's there simply to have a way to shut off the return connection if the rad had to be temporarily removed, as when painting the wall.

    The Moline system is covered in chapter 15 of "The Lost Art of Steam Heating". There are probably some interesting-looking devices in the piping around the boiler.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • TechTok
    TechTok Member Posts: 9
    edited December 2021
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    Steamhead said:
    Remove the paint and you'll find it says "Moline" on it. This was standard issue on a Moline Heat system. It's there simply to have a way to shut off the return connection if the rad had to be temporarily removed, as when painting the wall. The Moline system is covered in chapter 15 of "The Lost Art of Steam Heating". There are probably some interesting-looking devices in the piping around the boiler.

    Steamhead said:
    Remove the paint and you'll find it says "Moline" on it. This was standard issue on a Moline Heat system. It's there simply to have a way to shut off the return connection if the rad had to be temporarily removed, as when painting the wall. The Moline system is covered in chapter 15 of "The Lost Art of Steam Heating". There are probably some interesting-looking devices in the piping around the boiler.
    I'll have a look at that book tonight The company I work for replaced the boiler a few years back, it's a model 400 500k BTU Dunkirk now. Nothing strange that I seen. Just a harrfoord loop, 20' of wet return, one main steam vent where all the returns come down.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
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    Well, then "Lost Art" will tell you what was and still should be there.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • TechTok
    TechTok Member Posts: 9
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    Steamhead said:
    Well, then "Lost Art" will tell you what was and still should be there.
    After looking over the material there is some answered I got. One radiator that has an odd piping configuration was the condenser and a bunch of pipes buried in construction material were the air line so I'm curious now and would like to go back and see more with the right understanding now.
     One thing that has me curious is that the system is seeming to have an issue taking on water. Takes in about 12" over water line a year. Also the pressure is just a standard pressure control set at ".5" psi
    Now I'm wondering if the system was accidentally put into limbo between Moline vapor system and new and what I can do to fix it