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Anyone Ever Zone a 1-pipe Steam System This Way? (Steamhead)

why Gordo is my partner!

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  • Looked at a system in a church

    a one-pipe system that currently is not zoned. They want to have a day-care center in the basement, and not have to heat the sanctuary unless it was being used. They also want to control the sanctuary with a setback thermostat so no one will forget to turn the sanctuary up or down. The day-care area is under the sanctuary, and both are on the same steam mains, so adding zone valves is out.

    Gordon and I came up with a twist on the TRV concept. Each radiator in the sanctuary would have a Paul vent on it, with a small 24-volt solenoid valve on the vent's outlet and a vacuum breaker mounted on each rad also. The solenoid valves would open and close via a digital programmable thermostat, only letting air out (and steam into the rads) when needed. In this way, the temperature of the sanctuary would be limited.

    The present boiler is a Weil-McLain LGB, which has a 2-stage gas valve, so we could set it up for lo-hi-lo firing which could respond to the changes in radiation load.

    Have any of you ever done this? Any reasons why it wouldn't work?

    Thanks in advance.

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  • Zoning with air vents

    Another way would be to use the Danfoss 1PS body (it already has a vacuum vent) and in place of the RA2000 non-electric actuator, installing a Danfoss #088H311 TWA-A 24volt normaly open actuator.

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  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,697
    AS long as they don't expect it to be a truly seperate zone

    that fires the boiler.....I think it sounds,,,,,very sound. Anxious to hear how it works out. Mad Dog
  • Christian Egli_2
    Christian Egli_2 Member Posts: 812
    Sure did the air zone-already an old twist, and I'm not dead yet

    One pipe zoning, not a steam zone, an air zone

    Here is a post of mine from a little while ago that described the technique. I've alluded to it a bunch of times before too.


    The air zone

    Nothing wrong with using Paul stops, however they were meant to work on two pipe systems (mostly, I think) and as such were immune to truculent vacuum formation that particularly bug radiators attached by one pipe. And if an airless vacuum forms, you'll get heat out of the radiator, in spite of the neat attachments you added.

    What we used is plainly one pipe thermostatic valves, which come with vacuum breaker and thermostatic air vent all built in. Nifty. Then, remove the room temperature thermostatic module and replace it with an electric actuator. Tunstall has the nice equipment, I believe others too.

    I've referred to this a few other times in other posts going a while back. I've used it to great success. Beyond me first, I am not aware of anyone else using this idea, neither was the rep selling me some of the components. I've not seen it in old books either.

    So now, there'll be me, Howard in NJ who followed the idea, now you Steamhead and Gordo, that's four. Perhaps others too?

    The more the better. The city of Dayton puts something in the water to make inventiveness sprout out of everyone's mind over here.

    What I was also after is submetering, which I achieved computationally with this electrically actuated one pipe vent valve assembly.

    Best regards to both of you,

  • Thanks!!!!!

    That's exactly what we needed- the knowledge that it's been done before and has worked.

    I took the liberty of bumping your earlier thread so we could bookmark it.

    Have you thought about doing a Hot Tech Topic on this method?

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  • Christian Egli_2
    Christian Egli_2 Member Posts: 812
    The hot ectopic vent

    Also, manual air zone, it's so simple, it can't but work.

    For chasing away the butterflies, test the method by hand zoning the air in the sanctuary. This mainly to see if your boiler sizing issues will come and bite you.

    One pipe steam radiators have always come with manual zoning option... Twist the vents one half turn to point downwards; the float will fall and shut the hole; air won't leave (immediatley) and steam won't make it inside; no steam, no heat. This will simulate your planned operation.

    Time to raise the heat? Turn them back up.

    Don't forget to turn them back up either - it's a no heat call in the making. With one pipe thermostatic vent control, you also need the boiler pressure to do exactly what you want in conjunction with your control wishes. But this, I add for the benefit of others.

    Thanks Steamhead, for thinking this should go in the Hot Tech topic. Let's see if Dan agrees. How do things make it into the Hot Tech topics?

    I seem overwhelmed by techno-logy, I've never either bookmarked a thread, I just clip and paste and mostly I use the super powerful search feature this site is equipped with. But thanks for the bump on the head.

    I like simple, steam is simple :)

  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    sounds like a wonderful

    method..and a great idea..let me know how it works so i can put it in my bag of tricks..as long as the low fire is still not to much without the sanctuary zone, your in..has to work..wonderfully brilliant..me likes..

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  • ttekushan_3
    ttekushan_3 Member Posts: 958
    and the LGB

    gas valves have that wonderful but underutilized low fire ability. As the LGB's come, they use the low fire for initial gas ignition. What a waste! Everytime I see one of those, I think, "Hmmmm. If I owned one of these, I'd be Modding!"

    You have the ideal opportunity to do this regardless of how you choose to handle the valved venting end of it.

    And the lowered firing rate won't be prone to forcing steam into radiator zones that close during firing.

    Useful information for many of those sacred landmarks that need all the practical energy savings they can get.

  • Bill_17
    Bill_17 Member Posts: 68
    Zoning of 1 pipe steam

    Gordo has suggested the best method of controlling the one pipe steam valves with 24V electric actuators instead of non-electric actuators. But if some rooms hava a fixed occupancy schedule or would be very hard to wire, you might also consider the RA Plus control, which has a programmable clock built right into the control unit.
  • G Lyons
    G Lyons Member Posts: 36
    I would rather see a direct vented heater used;

    If it or some other source of heat could be used. There is nothing economical about heating a small area with a steam boiler.. Would it be possible to use the hot water in the boiler to heat some baseboard radiation. Perhaps a gas heater could be vented back into the boilers chimney. They would have their own thermostat. What say ye !!
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,489
    I remember

    Danfoss showing me a little heat motor that they had. It would go over the sensor of a 1-PS control and give you a way of having electric thermostats in portions of your choosing of a 1-pipe-steam heated building. This goes back some years and I'm not sure if they still offer it.
    Retired and loving it.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,489
    Sure am.

    Did you mean this thread?
    Retired and loving it.
  • Not gonna happen here

    They want to add this to the existing system. I think the lo-hi-lo firing would get us around that problem.

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  • DWood
    DWood Member Posts: 60
    RA plus

    Danfoss still makes the RA plus which will allow up to two separate set back programs, with three set back periods a day. Set back is a fixed 5 F from comfort level setting and can be "overriden" by flipping a switch.
    Might be what you're looking for.
    Good Luck,
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