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    Webster Sylphon steam trap (10 Posts)

  • Webster Sylphon steam trap

    One of my customers was having problems with their 2-pipe steam radiators and I took apart one of the Webster traps.  The element is attached to the cap and I'm wondering if they can be separated??? Also, who makes a replacement?

    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • Gordo Gordo @ 9:41 PM
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    I'll Take a Guess

    And say it looks close to the Webster 512 series of traps.  If you can get the old seat out (it should need a 1" hex socket) the threads on the seat should be 13/16" by 18 tpi. and a 1/4" hole.

    The element should come out, but you may have to work at it, as it will come out in pieces.

    Tunstall should have replacement parts for most Webster series traps. Don't forget to order the special Tunstall tool to insert the replacement part (nominal cost).

    Say hi to Woody Tunstall for me.
    This post was edited by an admin on October 5, 2013 9:46 PM.
  • Thanks, Gorgo

    So you recommend replacing the seat as well?  Kinda' makes sense.

    Do you find that your infrared camera works well to test these traps?  Do they clearly show a temperature differential between the trap inlet and outlet?
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • Gordo Gordo @ 6:31 PM
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    The Tunstall Trap Repair Kits

    usually require the seat to be removed, if it is indeed removable.  When the seat is removed, often there is a bushing included in the kit to match the existing trap seat threads with the Tunstall unit. 

    If one was rebuilding a Sarco 1/2" H pattern trap with the Tunstall product, a bushing would not be needed, for the Tunstall unit threads directly in to where the old seat was removed (1/2" x 20 tpi).

    If one has the joy of rebuilding a Trane B series trap, you could run into a beast that either has a removable seat and bellows, a removable seat & non removable bellows, a non-removable seat & non-removable bellows...etc. etc....take your pick.

    When one runs into the non-removable seat type, the Tunstall product for that trap looks like the Barnes & Jones type of trap repair kit, namely a spring-loaded device and (all too often) a whole new cap to buy as an extra.

    Some spring loaded kits can be used with the old seat in place (they usually are restrictive in output, however), but most kits require the seat to be removed.

    The FLIR often picks up a blown trap.  It depends on the emissivity of the outer covering and that can throw off the measurements.

    When it does, it's easier to sell a trap rebuild, because most customers can see it, too.

    Many folks, unless the trap is spraying water & steam or burst into flames and speaking in tongues, tend not to believe their traps have failed open.
    This post was edited by an admin on October 7, 2013 6:32 PM.
  • Can I safely say........

    that these traps are blown?

    All the photos were taken soon after the boiler started steaming.  The trap in the first picture was painted white, so I believe the readings are accurate.  The traps in the two that follow are not painted and I believe the emissivity of the chrome finish is distorting the temperature readings.  However, the outlet pipe below the trap is reading the same temperature as the inlet.

    This house had 20 radiators and they all tested the same, i.e. trap outlet temperatures the same as trap inlet temperatures.

    If all these traps are bad, how is the system able to operate?  Most of the radiators work fine.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
    This post was edited by an admin on October 8, 2013 6:50 PM.
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 9:22 PM
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    Looks like they're bad

    but were the rads full of steam at that point? If not, you'll need to wait till they are. Once they fill with the steam, the traps should close and you'll see a definite ΔT across the traps if they're working properly.

    You can also shoot the returns under the floor with the FLIR and see what temp they are. 
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"

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    This post was edited by an admin on October 8, 2013 9:25 PM.
  • There are no

    under the floor returns.  All except a few are in the ceiling or disappear into the land of Oz.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • What's it

    supposed to look like? (Gordo, Steamhead)

    Can someone post an infrared image of what a steam trap is supposed to look like?

    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • Gordo Gordo @ 10:49 PM
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    FLIR Pictures of "Good" Traps

     I don't have any that I know of that show the 20* delta T (more or less) across a good trap. Sorry.

    Have you gotten new parts for that trap?
  • Yes,

    but at this point, I don't want to upset the balance, if any.  Most of the radiators heat properly and I'm afraid that if I start messing with the traps it will cause more problems.

    All of the radiators are behind custom, non-removable enclosures with custom molding.  If I want to get in there with my tools to work on the traps, the general contractor will have to tent around each radiator, remove the custom enclosure and then replace it.  Obviously, the original builder thought that these traps and radiators would last forever.

    The replacement elements require that the seats be removed and I don't know what it's like to remove a steam seat that's been there for 80 years.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
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