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1908 steam pics

This is an extention from another post made by JK. I'm doing the job with him. I took another inventory of this system. Here's what we have :

10 total risers. 5 with vents @ the base of the return risers & 5 without vents. 5 sets of risers connect @ the ceiling of the top floor with loops of 3/4" pipe.

10 radiators directly off the supply & return mains

4 total supply & return mains. One supply & return main has vents @ the end of them. The other three only have vents on the return.

Upon further inspection on the radiators what I found was there were no orifises on the 1/2" return 90's. What I did find was when I closed the 3/4" supply valve to get a better look @ the valve stem was it didn't look like a regular valve stem. There was a rubber seat like a regular valve stem, but the stem part resembled an accordian. My guess is that the "accordian" would expand & close the valve when the system was steaming. If all of them are from when the building was built I'd suspect that a lot of them might not be working & it would be suggestable to add traps @ the ends.

This system has uneven heat. It was coal fired till the 1950's when it was converted to oil. I would add more vents on all the mains like I would a 1-pipe system that used to be coal running.

Any other ideas ?   

Comments

  • I

    confirmed that the "accordian" part of my supply valve is in fact thermostatic.

    Now what to make of those supply & return risers connecting @ the ceiling on the top floor ? Are they equalizers that should now be vented ?

    I learned from Gerry Gill how to balance 1 pipe systems. I supposed the same methods can apply when figuring out what size vents to put on all the mains.

    This is my first 2-pipe gravity return steam system that I've come across. Can anyone confirm that what I'm saying is on point, or am I far off the mark with some of these things ?
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,045
    I don't understand picture number 1..

    am i looking at it correctly or is it upside down?
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • i

    I have to keep creating a new account to reply. There's something wrong with the site.

    To answer your question, you are looking at it correctly. You are looking up at it. That loop is close to the ceiling. theres 5 of them in this building

    This is Kenny from New Jersey. My new email is [email protected]

    Thanks
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,637
    edited October 2009
    You think

    those looped risers once fed radiators on the floors above? Or is there no floor above?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,045
    interesting..

    somehow i think its been changed as back in the day they would have used a left/right coupling instead of a union..are they both steam mains or is one a return thats been crossconnected?
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Unknown
    edited October 2009
    nope.

    this building has four stories & these risers are on the top floor. There's no apartments above these, just a flat roof. One is a supply riser & the other is a return riser. These crossconnected riser are perplexing. Mr.Gill would you balance the mains like you would a one-pipe system. Time how long it takes for steam to come out of the open pipe, then measure the cfa's then put on the vents with the appropriate venting rates based on fps ? 

    Also that is a good point about the unions. I wonder what was there before those pipes were looped if there were no unions in 1908. however if you look @ the pic with the supply & return main vents, there's unions there also. If gravity return 2 pipe systems were built with return main vents then wouldn't those unions be there from the begining? Do we now for sure that unions were not manufactured 1908 ? I need to figure this out before I formulate a complete game plan. hmmmm....

    Thanks for the help guys !
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,045
    Ken, what stops the steam from crossing over

    the riser supply and into the return main? do you think there was a crossover trap up there at some time in history? like how Dunham used to do on their systems??

    I would vent the mains as you described..unless..a crossover trap is what should be there.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Based

    I think it might be good to vent @ the top of the supply riser and then trap after that vent to connect to the return riser. This will allow the supply risers to vent air realy fast & still have the supply & return risers connected. I'm not so sure that a vent @ the top of the return riser and at the bottom would be a good thing. I can't see in my minds eye right now what effect the double venting on the return risers will have on the whole system.

    I just might add larger vents to the bottom of the return risers like a regular gravity return in addition to the supply riser vent & trap.

    Or a vent at the top of the return riser could just cause the condensate to go back to the boiler faster ?

    I'm almost there, I can feel it !
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,637
    edited October 2009
    Hang on, guys

    There's another possibility here.



    Some early systems vented air from the dry return into a riser which went to the top floor, then back to the basement where it went into the chimney, a mercury pot or something else. The idea was to keep water from getting that high. See figure 57, page 266 of Lost Art- that's a Morgan system, but others could have used this idea too.



    In a larger building they could very well have several sets of these. Trace out those pipes. Is one of them really a steam riser, or are they both part of the returns?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,045
    Ummm, Steamhead may be on to something there.

    is ther any original valves, devices, etc with names on them that could help identify the system?
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • no

    there's nothing in this building that I've found with any names on it & no pipes that I see going into the chimney.

    I'm gonna have to make another trip there to see if I can't dig a little deeper. Turn on the heat & feel those risers to see if one side gets hot one after the other or the same time
  • I

    Wonder if Dan's ever seen any such thing ?

    4 floors, 5 apartments on each, 10 total risers.... perhaps they're express risers

    Either way I need to go back 
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,566
    examining steam piping with an IR camera

    with an ir camera, you could see where the steam was trying to go, and where the hold ups might be. these cameras seem to have lots of possible uses, including giving the heating contractor a new sideline-energy audits.--nbc
This discussion has been closed.