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Detroit Lubricator Company

Anyone have any info on these systems and pictured controls? The controls are on the returns. My only guess is some kind of electronic trap, but I've never heard of such a thing. These are installed on a 1-pipe system, except for the indirect convectors, which have returns and these controls.






New England SteamWorks
Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
newenglandsteamworks.com

Comments

  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,188
    edited February 2023
    Looks like aquastats on the supply and solenoids on the small pipes. What are the small brass pipes?

    If the indirects had a fan in them, the switches kept the fan from blowing cold air? Or some way to zone or control the indirects from overheating?

    Never saw anything like it.
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 842
    Any chance they act as steam zone valves? Is this a very large home that wealthy people would reside in? I'm leaning that way with what appears to be a hydro(steam) -coils.
    Mad Dog_2
  • Waher
    Waher Member Posts: 234
    edited February 2023
    I think this might be the patent filing.



    "My invention relates to electric. switches, and more particularly to a switch which is auto­matically operable by temperature responsive means or the like.

    An object of my invention is to provide an electric switch which is particularly adapted to be secured in heat conducting relation to a fluid conveying conduit or the like so that the auto­matic means for actuating the switch will respond to the temperature of the fluid in the conduit."­
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 884
    When I started in the HVAC business in 1968, the only experience was with their modulating gas valves. I only saw a few of these since they were on atmospheric boilers of the very wealthy. Back then, replacements valves could be purchased from The Sid Harvey Company. Anytime these valves needed replaced we switched to on/off valves since the modulating valves needed a lot of TLC.
    Mad Dog_2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,439
    How would a steam trap work here? Maybe it has something to do with opening the return once the radiator is filled with steam so the vent doesn't close from the return.

    I wonder if it has something to do with sensing when the piping is filled with steam to control the boiler although it would have been coal at the time these were installed.
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,502
    edited February 2023
    I was thinking it senses steam temp and closes, keeping steam out of the returns...
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,439
    If it is 1 pipe, steam in the returns isn't a problem except for these which are set up 2 pipe, right?

    So I am thinking that valve is normally closed, it isolates the radiator return from the main return, the radiator gets steam from the boiler, it vents through the vent next to the aquastat, once the radiator is filled with steam it trips the aquastat and that opens the valve connecting the return to the rest of the system. My guess is that is keeps the steam in the main return from closing the vent for the radiator early, but I will defer to your vast experience.
  • Steam in the returns going the wrong way can be a problem....
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,021
    Is there any evidence of wall tstats in the rooms?

    Could they control air venting as TRV's do for 1 pipe steam vents?
  • ChicagoCooperator
    ChicagoCooperator Member Posts: 352
    Control for an exterior air intake damper (or interior for that matter)?
    mattmia2Long Beach Ed
  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 497


    Pretty sure you have it from here 😊


    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
    Waher
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,726

    Looks like aquastats on the supply and solenoids on the small pipes. What are the small brass pipes?

    If the indirects had a fan in them, the switches kept the fan from blowing cold air? Or some way to zone or control the indirects from overheating?

    Never saw anything like it.

    I think you're right. @New England SteamWorks , do (or did) these indirects have fans?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Long Beach Ed
  • Thank you as always Gentleman! I was not on that job, so with this new information we can return and solve the mystery!
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
    mattmia2