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Richardson Vapor System

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Petheat
Petheat Member Posts: 2

Good morning all. I have a plumber friend who has run across a Richardson 2 pipe vapor system. He's adding a couple of radiators to an addition. Can he pipe those as a 1 pipe with an air vent? Will that affect the rest of the system?

Thanks guys!

Tony

reggi

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,442
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    Yes, he can, though it would be better if he could run a small diameter (say quarter inch) flexible cooper line back to the dry return from where the air vent normally would be tapped in. That line might even need an orifice to control heating rate on those radiators, since they can't be contrlled with the inlet valve.

    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Petheat
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,899
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    I wouldn't. That system was designed to work in a certain way, at very low pressures, and if he tries to scab a couple 1-pipe radiators onto it, they might not work well or he might throw it out of balance.

    The proper procedure is to hook the new ones up the same way the originals were. Since Richardson return fittings are no longer made, use standard radiator traps on the returns.

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    PetheatMad Dog_2Erin Holohan Haskell
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,442
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    I was going to add to make sure that that small diameter vent line can drain — but @Steamhead 's advice is much better than mine!

    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Mad Dog_2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,747
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    Or run them as hot water as a separate zone off of the hot water in the boiler.
    Petheat
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,289
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    Is it possible to run a counterflow directly from the boiler?
    Petheat
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,545
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    Steamhead is right. 
    Retired and loving it.
  • Petheat
    Petheat Member Posts: 2
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    Thank you all. I've revisited the project sight today. I'll attached a few pics soon and add more to my previous post, please stand by!
    I'm 65 and have been around steam since I was 20 but I am humbled by our predecessors and I'm thankful for all your expertise, we are truly always learning!
    Erin Holohan HaskellMad Dog_2
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,545
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    I’m 73 and still learning. Thanks. 
    Retired and loving it.
    PetheatMad Dog_2
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,442
    edited April 2023
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    Try 81...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    PC7060Mad Dog_2
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,110
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    Dan...what year did you start writing ✍ for P & M ? 87-88?   Mad Dog
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,545
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    Matt, 1990. 
    Retired and loving it.
    reggiMad Dog_2
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,110
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    Ok..But my first Memory of You was the B & G pamphlets...Counterpoint?  Right? Wasn't that mid 80s? Some supply houses had them out on the Counter.  I caught the Dan Holohan Tidal Wave...at the Perfect Crest...still On the Surf Board , enjoying the scenery and looking ahead.  Mad Dog 🐕 
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,545
    edited April 2023
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    Thanks, Matt. Yes, mid-80s. 
    Retired and loving it.
    Mad Dog_2
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,110
    edited April 2023
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    I once did an oil to gas conversion on a 1910 Pancake-Snowman Boiler connected to a Boynton and Richardson Vapor System.  I had never come across THAT particular two-pipe system so I was hoping everything would go well.  I remember calling Dan for advice on the number listed on his books.  He picked right up.  I had been to his seminars and had all his latest books but the internet and Wall were not quite around yet.."Build a nice generous header, keep the pressure below a pound with a Vaporstat and vent it well!" I did as he said, and it went flawlessly.  That boiler made it on to The Burnham Calender that year.  I didn't know about Gorton #2s at the time but about a year later, I replaced the ordinary ones with the Gortons.  I still maintain this system and its over 20 years and plugging away.  A few months ago on a Consult in The historic Long Island 🏝 Gold Coast town of Seacliff, I came across a Richardson "Expeller."  It was still working!  I like stuff that was built to last 150yrs....So..Pet...let's see some pics buddy.....Very simple to add on a supply & Return.   Mad Dog
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,110
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  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,110
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    This will be going to the SCCC museum eventually...Mad Dog 
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,110
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    I  dug up a picture of the Boyton & Richardson boiler and the Burnham Calender...Great Vapor System & Snowmelt Jobs I got from  HH.com mad Dog 
    mattmia2
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,110
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    21 years.....Geez...I wanna go atleast another 20 doing this..I'm going to be the Old, Half-crippled,  curmudgeon plumber that loves to tell War stories, impart sage advice to the "Yutes." (Fred Gwynne - My cousin vinny) and actually will crawl in to a crawl space to inspect the work.  I relish that role!!  It's not work when you love what you do!  Have a great day you'll Palm Sundee...gotta hit 3 different cemeteries today from Queens to Farmingdale to lay PALM crosses on Fambly plots..God Bless  .Mad Dog
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,289
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    Returning to original topic and my question. Are you guys comfortable with breaking into a vapor system? (besides in the boiler room)
    That is why I asked about independent pipes to additional radiators?
    Mad Dog_2
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,110
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    Yes!  I believe I said its easy!  Is there ACM on the piping?  Mad Dog 
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,110
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    "LETS SEE SOME PICS...VERY SIMPLE TO ADD ON!.  just waiting on you.  Are pipes accessible? Mad Dog
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,110
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    Two pipe Vapor was the Caddy-lack of its era...Fine tuned Heat.  Mad Dog 
  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 522
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    Mad Dog_2 said:
    Th
    So..... if it was still working why was it removed and does the system work more efficiently without the vacuum or was there some other modifications ? Thanks 
    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
    Mad Dog_2
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,110
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    It was already removed and lying on the boiler.  They replaced with a  Cheapo main vent, but it was doing ok.  The big problem was an undersized boiler. Mad Dog
    reggi
  • Onepipe
    Onepipe Member Posts: 47
    edited December 2023
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    @Mad Dog_2 I have Richardson system that I am currently working on that was in pretty rough shape, luckily all original parts are there. The system is now running pretty good but the steam is taking a wile to get up to some of the upper radiators before the stat satisfies. I am going to be moving the stat as it’s in a poor location and also taking a few of the inlet valves apart for a rebuild as they are stuck in position. I am trying to keep the system under 6oz with out short cycling so as I have been thinking about it venting came to mind.

    My question: can I add smaller main vents to the second floor risers (before the vapor valve) so that I can get steam to not only the end of each main but to each vapor valve roughly at the same time? 

    My thoughts are if I do that I can then just adjust each valve as nessary to ensure no pressure drop, balance and keep my water seal. That way I’m not depending on that small bleeder hold in the Richardson elbow to vent all my air in the riser and let it only worry about the radiator once the steam is there. 

    i have used this technique on one pipe systems and it have increased efficiency and control of heat 10 fold. 

    Thanks for the help