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vapor system

Phil_9
Phil_9 Member Posts: 4
I converted a system back to steam recently (long story, short version). Someone converted (sort of) it to hot water last year. Never really work right but hey they had alot of electric heat to keep the house warm so nobody knew the difference. The radiators valves leaked everywhere and others pinholes showed up too. Enters Me. Customer says they are concerned about 200,000 dollar tapestries and rugs may get ruined in flood from leaks (good point). My bright idea was to convert back to steam to minimize leaks. Now system had two new boilers set-up already, so we stayed with them and installed range boilers for extra condensate storage. Boilers ran great produced steam no hammering anywhere. Only the waste lines and vents got really hot. Found the system tied into vent system in attic. Wow! Went to my books researced like hell all night and found I missed the signs for a vapor system. I converted pressuretrol to vapor style and lowered it to 8 ounces. Only I seemed to still go tru alot of water. I need help and suggestions as how to reduce water usage, I am worried about the boilers with all this make-up. Today I am going to try 6 ounces. we will see what happens.
I have never seen system tied into the plumbing system before. Was this normal in the 1800s? I thought of trying to convert to standard two pipe sytem but there are no thermostatic traps on radiators, so I would have to change all of the valves and add traps and find the connection to vents system. That connection seems to be hiding from us.
Any help would be appreciated.
Phil

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,863
    That was probably an Orifice system

    and someone removed the orifices from the radiator valves. You can get blanks from Tunstall and drill them out to the proper sizes. This will keep the radiators from overfilling with steam, so it won't get into the return lines.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Phil_9
    Phil_9 Member Posts: 4
    Vapor system

    The system looks like it still has most of the old radiator valves, but how do I test them or check the orifice sizing if they have them. Also can I buy new valves or do I try to retro fit orifices into the new style valves? None of these radiators have traps on them, so I think blow by is very likely on many radiators. The plumbing vent has steam pouring out of it so I know it coming from somewhere.

    Phil
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,010
    I'm wondering??

    the dead men could have vented the sytem into the plumbing stack vise either the chimney or a seperate roof penetration..after all, the air would have been able to escape either way..Ive seen attic expansion tank vents go into plumbing vent stacks vise thru the roof seperatley..why not..back then they knew what worked and didn't really have codes to follow..
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,863
    Try this

    When the system is running, feel the dry (overhead) return. It should not be at steam temperature. If it is, follow the steam back to whatever radiator is letting steam get into the dry return. This is where you need to put the orifice(s).

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Phil_9
    Phil_9 Member Posts: 4
    Vapor issues

    I tried feeling the dry returns in the basement. Problem is there is too many spots that go up thru chases that are hot. I think there are multiple radiators that are the problem. I am going to have too get to each return at the radiator to check temperatures. At what temperature reading would you say there is blow by of steam, or is it just a differential reading from inlet to outlet. One problem we have is that many radiators are built in to cabinets and wall units. Oh well we have our job cut out for us, hope our customer is understanding.
    Thanks for the input.
    Phil
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