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Joined on February 3, 2007

Last Post on April 12, 2014

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no trap

@ January 3, 2013 1:00 PM in Steam trap

Thanks Dan for the clarifiiation  looked like an old trap but the piping did not seem right


@ January 3, 2013 10:54 AM in Steam trap

Take a temp. reading from inlet to outlet, if the temp is the same this would indicate a problem with the trap, it can be replaced with a Hoffman F&T trap. there would be extensive repiping


@ January 3, 2013 10:47 AM in System loses pressure slowly?

Your relief valve may be dribbling, if you have a diaphram type expansion tank check the air press (use a tire guage ) should be at least 12 psig, for most small systems, the fitting is underneath the big plastic nut, if you get any water the diaphram has ruptured. If the tank is ok could be the relief valve, also look around system for leaking pump flanges, fittings or press. guages


@ January 2, 2013 4:28 PM in Point of no pressure change - help me understand

You have your compression/diaphram tanks all mixed up


@ January 2, 2013 2:49 PM in Steam trap

Looks like an old school F&T trap  with an external T part,  hard to say, describe   where the piping is coming from and going to


@ January 1, 2013 11:22 PM in honeywell burner control - alarm light on

Contact Powerflame   they have a great tech dept    or download I.O.M


@ January 1, 2013 11:21 PM in honeywell burner control - alarm light on

Contact Powerflame   they have a great tech dept    or download I.O.M


@ January 1, 2013 10:39 PM in Point of no pressure change - help me understand

This may help


@ January 1, 2013 4:34 PM in honeywell burner control - alarm light on

You will need the S7800A1142 keyboard display module.   Unfortunately they cost around $300.00.    When i would update old RA890 controls to RM800's  i would always include in my quote the cost of the S7800 keyboard so the customer would have it  At least 80% of all failures are due to flame rectification problems so make sure you have a good strong pilot and your pilot is not rusty. Also make sure your connections are good and you have a good ground where it is called for.


@ December 31, 2012 6:40 PM in $50 if you can figure this out...

I feel for you I have many landlords over the years that were stubborn, I would set up a meeting with a steam pro and the landlord and show him the problem.  Check the city no heat laws where you live,   when I was working in the San Fran. in 2011 if the tenant was without heat the  landlord had to give a rent deduction


@ December 31, 2012 5:26 PM in $50 if you can figure this out...

Those are ball valves, not radiator valves,  you definetly need a STEAM pro to look at this. looks like a steam/hydronic hybrid (just kidding )  looks like the installer thought they were hooking up some form of hydronic system.


@ December 31, 2012 4:20 PM in $50 if you can figure this out...

As all have said take a look at the traps, when was the last time the cage units were replaced on the traps, there most likely a hoffman 17c, they are not that expensive.  Is the cond. return piping  below the radiator pitched right.   I recommend like others you have landlord have a pro look at the system.  Also if the rad, valve disc has deteriorated within the valve body it could be blocking condensate from returning


@ December 31, 2012 3:52 PM in header connection questions

If this is  a cast iron sectional boiler the boiler will expand and contract differently than thae carbon steel piping in your header, causing press. on the sections, I would repipe it with swing joints and companion flanges  ASAP before the sections start to leak


@ December 31, 2012 1:03 PM in $50 if you can figure this out...

Disconnect the radiators in question, inspect the disc on the radiator valve, if it is cracked or deformed steam can get in but condensate cant get out. i have had this problem before.  solution, replace the rad. valve

city steam

@ December 30, 2012 2:52 PM in district steam

While working in San Fran. I worked in a lot of old hotel, apt bldg's and commercial bldgs that utililized what was called city steam. The steam being generated by large boiler complexes located around the city, than transmitted under the streets at high press. the lines would go into the basements of bldg's and into press. reducing regulators, Most systems were 2 pipe with the condensate return lines piped into a cond. meter.  the meters were quite clever, they used a device that resembled a minature water wheel to meter the cond. used. Over the years private co's bought the systems. This became an alternative to bldg owners who had old boilers that were in need of replacement. I am sure this system is currently in use in other cities, It was just quite an experience to get to work around all the regulators, piping and valves


@ December 29, 2012 11:21 PM in old Powers pneumatic thermostat question

I used to work on old peumatic systems and was a U.A, instructor,   if you give me the mod. number I may have the old cut sheet.  As everyone has said it is most likely a day/night t-stat,  look close for a smaller dial with 0-10 degree marking  this would be the degree of night setback, as Ed said dual prv's would change air t-stats.  These types of systems are still being used in some old bldg's


@ December 29, 2012 12:47 PM in Float & Thermostatic Trap??

If you go to yahoo and look up F&T traps under Armstrong they have a good pictorial.    F&T traps gather condensate at the end of a line and release it back to the boiler,condensate pump or boiler feed tank by means of an internal float assy.  The T stands for temp.  the internal element releases unwanted air  The internal water seal prevents live steam from getting into the cond. line.  You can get a rebuild kit for this trap, you can check the temp. drop across the trap, if the outlet the same as the inlet than the trap is bad. Traps need to be maintained.  I would also clean out that wye strainer or replace it,   not sure where the rest of the piping goes.   I would cut out all that copper and repipe that whole thing in black pipe with a wye strainer ahead of the trap.


@ December 29, 2012 12:03 PM in lwco

Here is a picture of the inside of the bowl of a Mcdonnell Miller lwco that was not blown down or maintained

expansion tank

@ December 29, 2012 11:30 AM in Help! Problem with Burnham MPO temperature guage and pressure. Scratching my head??

Do you have a diaphram style tank, if so have you checked to see if it still has the air charge, you can use a tire guage, should be at least 12psig.   the other thing I would check is the fill valve, most have a small strainer you can remove and clean. If the fill valve is old and never cleaned the valve could be rusted and corroded internally, this could cause valve problems with internal valve parts causing valve to overfeed.   The fill valve is commonly overlooked.

rad. valves

@ December 28, 2012 1:54 PM in Air Vents v. Vacuum Breakers

I agree with all the pro's that have got back to you.    One other thing to check is the radiator valves.    In the past I have found rad. valves with cracked and deteriorated disk material ( disk is what closes against the valve seat )  what was happening was the valve was allowing steam into the radiator but not allowing condensate to drain back.   to check, shut off steam supply , disconnect the union on the valve, move the radiator and inspect the valve disc and seat.  the problem can also occur if the tenants are trying to use the valves as a  proportional control,  rad. valves must remain all the way open on 1 pipe systems. the tenants must be aware if they shut off a radiator. when the radiator is turned back on ( valve opened again )  there will be air and water in the radiator, you can expect banging and some spirting of air vent until water is allowed to drain back to system.

air flow

@ December 24, 2012 3:12 PM in help with measuring airflow

Go with a smaller range magnahelic, like a 0-.25 or 0-.5  remember if you think your looking for under 500 cfm your 2 inch mag is to big.  also are you measuring free area, if there is a grate, register or diffuser in the air stream you need to account for that, make a number of cross section readings and get an average reading.   In some cases registers etc can account for a 50% reduction in air flow readings.  There are also air flow meters you can attach to your volt/amp meter,  field peice makes a good one. the Trane air conditioning manual has a excellent chapter on air flow

Merry Christmas

@ December 24, 2012 11:38 AM in MERRY CHRISTMAS

Merry Christmas to you and your family  Steve
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