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what was this old valve used for?

I have always seen these on old steam boilers but i could never figure out what it was used for I am assuming that it was used for some sort of testing but every one i have asked has no clue i pulled this from a dumpster of an old house its definitely not a gauge glass here is a picture



I just earned my GED and am looking for a apprenticeship with one of these steam gurus on this site!
vaporvac

Comments

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,094
    Could be a gauge cock. If it is they used them as backup for the gauge glass. You could open the valve and "find" the water level, there were usually several installed on one boiler to allow one to check at different heights.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
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    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    luketheplumbervaporvac
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 613
    edited April 2020
    It is a manually opened valve that is mounted on or in some water controls or a water column to show the water level in a steam boiler. They were used as a "just- in- case" indicator if the gauge glass had become compromised or plugged or to check the water level in addition to the gauge glass. Do this, "GOOGLE" McDonald Miller control #157 or #193 to get a picture of the placement of those valves. Those three holes in line on the vertical surface would each have 1 of those valves. By the way, they are called tri-cocks and are used as a set of 3.
    luketheplumbermattmia2vaporvac
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,756
    Those are called "try-cocks," because you try the upper one to see if it's overfilled, then you try the lower one to make sure it's not underfilled.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    CLamb
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,589
    edited April 2020
    Hello, I've got an old gauge column that looks sort of like this. The valves were operated by pulling a chain, which lifted the iron weight, opening the valve. They operated this way as the valves might have been up high on a big boiler, but served the same purpose as a hand-wheel.

    Yours, Larry
    retiredguy
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 613
    @Larry Weingarten, That is a great picture of what I used to see on old jobs especially high pressure B&W's. Keelers, and Erie City's. All that is missing is the pull chains. Thanks for the memory.
    Larry Weingarten
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,447
    Also bleeder valves for hot water radiators
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • luketheplumber
    luketheplumber Member Posts: 146
    > @New England SteamWorks said:
    > Also bleeder valves for hot water radiators

    The problem with that is when you get a little kid like my younger self that loved to tinker with stuff like that if my 5 year self saw a valve like that I was going to turn it
    I just earned my GED and am looking for a apprenticeship with one of these steam gurus on this site!
  • Jackmartin
    Jackmartin Member Posts: 181
    edited April 2020
    They are called tricocks and they used to mount three on the column of the old boiler installs. Now you see One Fifties on the boilers instead. Remember, steam has always been a hands on way to heat and a plant of any size had a resident fireman/ custodian
    The really old schools in Winnipeg 1911 ,1895 had seperate living quarters for the caretaker and his family. The boilers were fired on cord wood in those days. Just to point out what a different time that was , the suites were all on the top floor and they had a seperate stairwell just for the caretaker and his family, no one else could use it because it was the entrance to a private home. The apartments were also very nice , the trim was quarter sawn oak, solid oak floors three bedroom, dining room, living room, antichamber and of course kitchen and washroom. I remember Lauria Secord school , the backdoor for the suite opened onto the top floor of the school and the only mechanical equipment was a large exhaust fan, the space was so large you comfortably play soccer with ten friends. Stay Well and Be Blessed Jack
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,384
    @luketheplumber As mentioned above. This valve, or "cock" would commonly be one of three that would be installed on a water column installed on a steam boiler. They are still in use commercially to this day.
    Three of these would be installed on the column as pictured above in @Larry Weingartens post.
    They are used to check water level in a boiler in concert with the guage glass.
    For example, you would use these if a guage glass should become hard to read or broken and couldn't be serviced right away. The try cocks, divided and spaced in thirds (3) on the column would allow for a "qualified" person to slowly open and close each try cock to check for the water level.
    When opened, the lower should drain water, The middle, water and or steam, and the upper should discharge steam.
  • luketheplumber
    luketheplumber Member Posts: 146
    seems like it would be nice if they were still installed on modern residential boilers.
    I just earned my GED and am looking for a apprenticeship with one of these steam gurus on this site!
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,430

    seems like it would be nice if they were still installed on modern residential boilers.

    The W-M SGO series has try-cock tappings. But we like to use the bottom one for a secondary LWCO probe.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
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    luketheplumber
  • luketheplumber
    luketheplumber Member Posts: 146
    edited April 2020
    @Steamhead
    cant have too many LWCOs
    I just earned my GED and am looking for a apprenticeship with one of these steam gurus on this site!