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Need replacement capsules for Inland Supply Co. traps

Stardance
Stardance Member Posts: 22
Where do I find replacement capsules for Inland Supply Co. steam traps? The caps take a 1.5 inch socket.

Comments

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,332
    Barnes & Jones, you may have to replace the cap.

    Is there a number on the trap body?

    Or Tunstall company.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,170
    what @JUGHNE said
  • Stardance
    Stardance Member Posts: 22
    @JUGHNE - the trap body has the letter E.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,170
    I am sure Inland Supply did not make traps in their basement. Maybe @Steamhead or @Gordo can eyeball it. Somebody made that trap for Inland maybe a Hoffman??
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,769
    The only model E thermostatic trap I can think of was a Sarco. Not sure if this is similar.

    @Stardance , is there any other hardware with names on it, such as original radiator shutoff valves and possibly air traps or return traps in the piping near the boiler? Post pics if you can.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,332
    Is this the Trane system in SE Iowa?

    Those may not be the original capsules or caps.
    Some replacement capsules require the cap to be changed.

    Can you post pictures of the inside of the body and also some of the capsules themselves?
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,170
    Google: Inland Sales Group

    I couldn't find a phone # but they are a plumbing/heating MFG rep I think
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,332
    I have gotten Barnes and Jones steam trap cage units for a variety of brands thru Dennis Supply of Omaha.
    Phone 402-592-3370.

    They have several branches in IA.
    Greg, the steam guy, is in Omaha, he does visit the wall.
    So if you posted the pictures of the internals he might be able to help you.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,769
    Another way is to remove one trap and send it off to B&J or Tunstall so they can determine what will work.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 713
    Or just replace the whole trap. its not that hard
  • Stardance
    Stardance Member Posts: 22
    Replying to Steamhead and Jughne

    Thanks for your reply.
    This pic is the radiator shut off valve. All 12 radiators have the same.


    Main line air traps have no names on them.

    Then there is this which you've seen before which says Trane Direct Return Trap


    Along with two of these traps that say Trane



    Yesterday I discovered that the spring capsule isn't attached to the cap. The cap just sits on top of it.



    The inside of the trap is hollow with no bushings attached to the drain hole and no threads in the drain hole.

    Then I was surprised to find that 3 of the steam traps have nothing inside them. I have two main lines each supplying 6 radiators. The last two radiators on one main line have no spring capsules, and the second main line has one radiator at the end that has no spring capsule.

    Does that make any sense?

    Thanks for the suggestions of sending one off to B&J and Tunstall. And the contact info for Dennis supply.

    Thanks for your help.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,217
    If it is set up as a vapor system with valves that meter the steam in to the radiators and a vaporstat that keeps the pressure very low, steam should never make it to the steam traps on the radiators anyhow.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,769
    This looks like a Vapor system where the installer sourced its components from different places. We call it a "vernacular" Vapor system.

    For example, Milwaukee Valve Co. sold Vapor equipment using the "Milvaco" name. Here's one we ran into, in an unlikely place:

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/181044/goin-up-the-country-milvaco-vapor-megasteam-rescue

    Where is this system located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Stardance
    Stardance Member Posts: 22
    I'm in Fairfield, Iowa.
  • Stardance
    Stardance Member Posts: 22
    The problem with my steam heat system is that 5 of the 12 radiators are barely or completely not heating.

    There are 2 main supply lines each supplying 6 radiators.

    Line One (L1) has radiator #5 (L1 R5) that barely heats. Both L1R5 and L1R6 have no mechanisms inside their steam traps.

    Line Two (L2) has radiator #1 (L2R1), L2R3, L2R4 and L2R6 that barely heat. Radiator L2R6 has no mechanism inside the steam trap.

    I ran a test on the capsules of L2R2 (which heats fine) and L2R6 (which barely heats) and found that the plunger on L2R2 expands 1/8" when put in boiling water. The plunger on L2R6 does not expand when put in boiling water.

    My question is what is my next step to take to fix the system.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,332
    Is the steam making it to the end of the mains?

    Your 3rd picture looks to be main line air vents.
    Very small vents by today standards.

    Are they located on the end of the steam main or the end of the returns?

    Pictures of the entire boiler piping floor to ceiling may help.
    Also where these air vents are located on the piping.

  • Stardance
    Stardance Member Posts: 22
    @JUGHNE I'll take those pics later today. The vents in the 3rd pic are around the vapor mechanism in the 2nd pic. The air vents at the ends of both main lines are larger and seem to be functioning well. I can feel the air being released from them each time the boiler fires up.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,217
    If steam is getting in to the returns because of failed steam traps or too high a boiler pressure or no device to meter the steam in to the radiator, that steam will prevent the air from venting from other radiators.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,170
    @Stardance

    You have to check if steam is getting to the rads. It might be more trouble to source the pars for the old traps than installing new.

    Tunstall could probably tell you
  • Stardance
    Stardance Member Posts: 22
    Here is an outline, with pics, of how my system is piped.

    Natural gas boiler has 2 steam pipes exiting through the top and one exiting through the side.

    Steam pipe exiting side of boiler.


    The 2 steam pipes exiting the top merge into one larger pipe (pipe to the right) behind the flue.
    The pipe to the left in the pic is from the steam pipe that exits the side of the boiler (second pic above).


    That larger steam pipe (above) then separates at a T into Line1 on the left and Line2 on the right.
    Also notice there is a line that merges with Line1 to the left of the T.


    The line that merges with Line1 in the pic above originates from the steam line that exits the side of the boiler. It T's (pic below) with one side feeding steam to the first radiator in Line1 and the other side of the T merging with Line1 in the pic above.


    These 2 pics show how the returns are configured (both steam and condensate returns). Also shows the Trane Vapor mechanism. The 2 steam line returns are on the left. One is hidden behind the other. The 2 condensate returns are on the right.



    This pic shows the traps on the 2 return steam lines. I've never felt or seen anything exhausting from them.


    This pic shows the traps on the 2 condensate return lines. These traps exhaust air when the boiler puts out steam.


    This pic is the top of the Train (Vapor?) mechanism. The vertical pipe connects to the beginning of Steam Line2 just after the big T shown in the third pic of this post. It has a on/off valve shown in the second pic below.
    The horizontal pipe is a 16' loop that connects to the end of the Line2 condensate line.
    The bottom of the Tane mechanism has a pipe that connects to the return lines (pic #6 of this post).







  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,769
    That's piped like a typical Trane Vapor system. We see these frequently in Baltimore.

    Except the piping around the boiler. What a mess. That's a Weil-McLain EG series boiler. Here is the manual, which, starting on page 17, shows how it ought to be piped:

    https://www.weil-mclain.com/sites/default/files/field-file/EG PEG Series 6 Boiler Manual - Web Version.pdf

    The pipe coming off the side of the boiler is actually a return line. That's how the condensate (water) gets back to the boiler.

    The Trane Direct Return Trap is actually a pressure-powered pump. Its job is to return the condensate to the boiler if the boiler's pressure gets too high for the condensate to flow back by gravity.

    You need to get this book, which goes into much detail about these systems:

    https://heatinghelp.com/store/detail/the-lost-art-of-steam-heating-revisited

    Vapor was the Cadillac of heating in its day, and is still one of the best systems out there. It was very popular in high-end houses of that period.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Stardance
    Stardance Member Posts: 22
    @Steamhead Thanks so much. The pipe exiting the left side of the boiler is a steam line to a radiator. After exiting the boiler it T's with one side of the T going to a radiator and the other side merging with Line1. Pic below:


    The pipe entering the right side of the boiler is the return condensate line.


    Does that make sense?

    I've looked at Holohan's original Lost Art of Steam Heating and was overwhelmed with the detail. I'm a retired GC, but it would take me quite a while to educate myself enough to understand all the technical details.

    My local HVAC guy has read Holohan's book but is not familiar with Vapor systems.

    Is there a way we could put our heads together to tame this beast?
  • Stardance
    Stardance Member Posts: 22
    @Steamhead Does it make sense that the Vapor loop is only connected to Line2 and not Line1?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,217
    1, the near boiler piping is just wrong, the outlets should connect to a header then to they system and the header should drain in to the return to over simplify it.

    That pipe on the left is likely an attempt at a drip to drain condensate out of that main. It is below the water line, it will not supply steam.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,769
    edited August 2022
    Stardance said:

    @Steamhead Thanks so much. The pipe exiting the left side of the boiler is a steam line to a radiator. After exiting the boiler it T's with one side of the T going to a radiator and the other side merging with Line1. Pic below:


    The pipe entering the right side of the boiler is the return condensate line.

    Stardance said:

    @Steamhead Does it make sense that the Vapor loop is only connected to Line2 and not Line1?

    @Stardance , @mattmia2 got it:
    mattmia2 said:

    That pipe on the left is likely an attempt at a drip to drain condensate out of that main. It is below the water line, it will not supply steam.

    This drip must not go thru the Return Trap since it has steam pressure on it. The dry returns do not, or should not, have any pressure in them because of the traps. That's why they go thru the Return Trap. The lack of elements in some traps may explain why other radiators don't heat- without the elements, steam just rushes right thru them and closes the dry return vents, so no more air can escape.

    See chapter 15 of Lost Art for a more-detailed discussion of this. The Return Trap portion starts on page 235. The system illustrated therein is a Dunham, but your system is similar except that it uses main vents instead of crossover traps to get the air out of the steam main.

    I've been out your way, having family in Illinois and Iowa. That must be quite a place!

    Edit: Here is a brochure showing your Direct Return Trap:

    https://heatinghelp.com/heating-museum/trane-heating-specialties-for-vapor-and-vacuum-systems/
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Stardance
    Stardance Member Posts: 22
    @mattmia2 @Steamhead Thanks! I was wondering how that pipe on the left side of the boiler could be a steam supply line. I see now that the steam supply for that L1R1 radiator must come from the pipe that T's off the main L1 steam line (T is on the right in this pic).


    That steam line then passes the T pictured below on it's way to the L1R1 radiator. The vertical pipe at the T drains into the left side of the boiler.


  • Stardance
    Stardance Member Posts: 22
    Got in touch with John at Barnes and Jones today. He said I have a Sarco steam trap and gave me the number of their cage unit which will work without replacing the cap. Thank you everyone for your help in tracking this down.
    mattmia2MikeAmann
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,525
    You asked above in one of your posts "what's the next step to fix the system". Well, replacing the steam traps on the radiators is going to be the very first step. The second step should be to add a vapourstat to the boiler in addition to the existing pressure controller, and setting it to a coutout pressure of no more than 12 ounces or so with a differential of 6 ounces.

    Then take a deep breath and look at the piping diagrams in The Lost Art and in the manual @Steamhead put up. What you have and what you should have a very very different, and while steam is remarkably forgiving I don't think it is that forgiving. But -- before you get out the sawzall and start turning wrenches, using both The Lost Art and the manual sit down and figure out what every bit of pipe is meant to do, and how to replace the near boiler piping to at least get closer to what is needed.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,769
    Stardance said:

    Got in touch with John at Barnes and Jones today. He said I have a Sarco steam trap and gave me the number of their cage unit which will work without replacing the cap. Thank you everyone for your help in tracking this down.

    Thought so. The B&J cage unit will probably have a gasket on the bottom and a spring to hold it in place once the cap is screwed on. Let us know how it works.

    Next step is to upgrade the main and return vents. How long is each steam main, and what pipe size?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,332
    What B&J cage number do you need?
    I have a bunch of take outs that were in service for only 2 seasons.
  • Stardance
    Stardance Member Posts: 22
    @JUGHNE I need B&J cage #4114. Thanks
  • Stardance
    Stardance Member Posts: 22
    @Jamie Hall @Steamhead Thanks for your suggestions and direction. I will get the length and pipe sizes of those mains when I get back home first week in October and get back to you then.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,332
    I have only 12 B&J 1972's. For Webster 1/2" 02-502-702. Reuse existing caps.

    These obviously will not work for you, perhaps someone else needs them.

    One point to make for your new installation, most of these I took out need new gaskets for the bottom.

    I neglected to coat the gaskets with "Antiseize" to keep them from sticking.

    I suggest that for your new cage units.....it was passed on to me too late.
  • Stardance
    Stardance Member Posts: 22
    @Steamhead @JUGHNE @Jamie Hall I just replaced all the old steam trap capsules with new B&J cages. 10 of the 12 radiators are now fully functioning.

    But 2 of the radiators are not heating. The vertical supply pipe, the valve and nut (between the valve and the spud) all get hot, but the whole radiator remains cold.

    Pics of both valves.




    Can I fix this or does it take special equipment and knowledge? From what I've researched so far it seems the most likely cause is defective rubber seal disc inside the valve.

    Thanks for your advice.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,525
    Probably as good a guess as any. And, in theory, not that hard to fix -- in theory. What should happen is that the whole bonnet should come off (the big hex on the first valve, the square nut on the second). That, anyway, is the theory. It may not be all that simple to get it to come apart...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,769
    Make sure those two valves really are open. That nut between the valve and radiator is a union- loosen the nut and pull the valve away from the rad a bit, and you should be able to look inside and see.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,170
    Or disconnect the rad and slide it out. The you can check the supply and return for blockage. The valve is the most likely culprit