Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Is this just a One-Pipe steam system?

Options
lukewatts
lukewatts Member Posts: 8
Trying to identify what is going on here?

It looks like a one-pipe steam set up to me, but I've never seen a pipe coming down from an air vent before.
I can only assume that it might be some sort of overflow to allow condensate pooling in the vent to run away, however, I could be nowhere near?

Any help would be appreciated




Comments

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,915
    Options
    Looks like a Paul system to me.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    lukewattsmattmia2
  • lukewatts
    lukewatts Member Posts: 8
    Options
    Cheers @ChrisJ :) Appreciate it!

    Just had this helpful excerpt by Dan Holohan sent to me from @New England SteamWorks too

    Vacuum As Your Friend: Two-Pipe Vacuum Systems

    Nowadays, there are a couple places I can think of where vacuum in a steam system is your
    friend. One is when you produce it with a pump within a system designed to run
    on vacuum. Mechanically-induced
    vacuum systems have been around for a long time. Back in the days when big
    buildings made their own electricity with steam engines and turbines, the
    question of what to do with the waste steam came up. Engineers decided to use
    it to produce vacuum in the return side of the heating system. These early
    systems, the “Paul” and the “Eddy” systems, looked a lot like the one-pipe
    steam systems of today. There was a big difference, however. Instead of a vent,
    each radiator had, in its place, a small steel or copper line that led back to
    a steam-driven, venturi-type ejector in the basement. The
    old-timers let the waste steam flow through the venturi at very high velocity.
    As the steam jumped the gap, it pulled system air with it. The air flowed very
    quickly through the small steel tubes from the radiators to the ejector. As air
    left the return lines, a vacuum formed in the steam system. Steam chased the
    vacuum from the boiler up into the radiators and quickly heated the building. When
    the steam hit the radiators, it closed these tiny thermostatic trap-like
    devices on the radiators. These devices, called “Paul-line vents,” piped into
    the same place you’d put a one-pipe steam air vent. They kept the steam and the
    condensate out of the air-vent lines. Condensate returned through the supply
    line as it does in a one-pipe system. Only air moved through the vacuum lines
    (as long as the Paul-line vents worked, that is).

    Holohan, Dan. The Lost Art of Steam Heating Revisited (p. 314). Kindle Edition.
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 669
    Options
    Yep, its a one pipe Paul air line system. The attached file shows the basic layout and theory of operation.

    What are you using for a vacuum pump?

    A few years back I had a contractor call me in to see a job in a Milwaukee suburb where another contractor had installed a new boiler package and ripped out the old vacuum pump and then couldn't figure out why the system wouldn't heat.

    Fortunately the new contractor recognized the system was a Paul type and needed a vacuum pump. I fixed them with a vacuum pump and now all is well.

    Feel free to contact me if you think I might be helpful.
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
    lukewatts
  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 522
    Options
    @mattmia2 ... Look at those baseboards! The old American Radiator Company radiators , Detroit lubricator valves , Paul System 
    And that coloring on the radiators isn't familiar... Almost looks like a stain more than paint... wonder if that was a Deadman secret ? 
    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,915
    Options
    reggi said:

    @mattmia2 ... Look at those baseboards! The old American Radiator Company radiators , Detroit lubricator valves , Paul System 
    And that coloring on the radiators isn't familiar... Almost looks like a stain more than paint... wonder if that was a Deadman secret ? 

    No,
    That's paint.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,949
    Options
    Looks like they might just be unpainted cast iron.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,915
    Options
    mattmia2 said:

    Looks like they might just be unpainted cast iron.



    Oooo.
    Uncensored radiators!
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    bburdErin Holohan Haskell