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Joined on December 1, 2002

Last Post on March 31, 2014

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@ March 31, 2014 2:03 PM in Removing and loosening painted radiator condensate trap covers

Oh yes, we most definitely use anti-seize.

I think in our trap re-build video we are shown using it on many of the gasketed surfaces and threads and unions.

It is all part of the ethos of "make it easier for the next guy".

We try not gob the stuff on because we are ever-mindful that the oils and greases in the anti-seize may find its way back to the boiler!

YouTube Clip

@ March 30, 2014 7:37 PM in Removing and loosening painted radiator condensate trap covers

My son did the filming.

We tried to edit it down to under 5 min, but lost that file after several hours of work, so we uploaded up what we had.

Thank you for your feed back!

No, we do not receive any kick-backs, but we do get great turn-around time from them when we call, and that is payment enough. 

In regards to that pesky ring clip, I later had the idea to use a short length of tube, say 1/4" soft copper, to balance the clip on to insert it on the rod and that seems to nail it.

Webster 00026

@ March 29, 2014 3:36 PM in Removing and loosening painted radiator condensate trap covers

At one time not long ago, State Supply had OEM parts for this trap, but they no longer do.

We tried interesting B&J in making a kit for us, but they were fine with things just as they were, thank you.

Tunstall at least listened politely, but told us they could not justify the development cost vs the expected market.

All Steamed Up, Inc then started a foundry division and custom designed key parts for the trap which would allow "off the shelf" parts to be fitted into the trap.

We used these parts to crudely rebuild a salvaged 00026T Webster and, with their permission, shipped it to Tunstall for their testing.

The result was that Tunstall could efficiently tweak our design and market it at a profit.

The Tunstall Trap Repair Kits

@ March 29, 2014 3:22 PM in Removing and loosening painted radiator condensate trap covers

Tunstall makes rebuild kits for just about all Webster radiator traps.
If they don't have a particular trap kit, if you send them the trap body, they will make one.

They "like" getting stuff from All Steamed Up!  They almost always tell us, "You guys sure get the weird $**t, don't you?   Several of their products have "ASU" as part of their inventory control number.

The folks at Tunstall are great to work with.

Barnes and Jones also makes excellent trap repair kits.

We have found that impact tools make quick work on traps (if you got the clearance). 

I Think This is the Link

@ March 27, 2014 5:09 PM in Removing and loosening painted radiator condensate trap covers

Fair warning!  I lose half of my watchers in the first minute!

Please rate and comment!


@ March 26, 2014 7:30 PM in Removing and loosening painted radiator condensate trap covers

Makes a rebuild kit for that 00026 Warren Webster F&T trap. 

The savings in labor for not having to re-pipe for a more modern 6-bolt F&T trap might make it worth it.

There is a slightly boring youtube clip on how to install the Tunstall repair kit in the trap (starring yours truly).

Remember to clean out that strainer!

Things I'd Like to See With Steam

@ February 18, 2014 11:32 PM in Kickstart THIS!

1) Hi-Lo firing in all size models.
2) Accurate low pressure transducers in place of pressuretrols or even Vaporstats with direct digital read-outs of actual system pressures.
3) A high temperature sensor in the flue gas stream to shut down boiler to prevent dry-firing in the event of LWCO failure.
4) Sightglasses with ALL brass components and proper blow-down valves.
5) A main vent with twice the venting as a Gorton #2.
6) An affordable single pipe steam TRV.
7) 3 small tube cast iron radiators made in the USA.
8) Affordable firing cycle/outdoor reset t-stat (as others have said above)
9) Add an O2 sensor in the flue gas stream, combine with the temperature sensor above add a processor (from an I-phone app) and get real time combustion efficiency...

Dream on, I guess.

In This Grand Era

@ January 30, 2014 8:06 PM in Radiator steam trap life expectancy.

of "value engineering", I'm starting to see and hear references to 10 years or 100,000 cycles in regards to design life-span goals for heating parts at least.  If the item in question doesn't last for 10 years...oh well, we tried.  I seem to remember Dan H. talking about a 5 year life expectancy for steam traps.

Of course, if the all steam is condensed by the radiator before it gets to the trap, it will never cycle and it will last for 80+ years.

What Size

@ January 30, 2014 4:35 PM in Radiator Valves

are your discs?  I have a few on hand for some of the Websters type "B".  0.92" od x 0.25" id x 0.25" thick.  


@ January 30, 2014 4:30 PM in Radiator Valves

sells rebuild kits for many Webster valves that may allow you to fix 'em without pulling that radiator spud or even removing the valve body.  The only hard part would be removing the bonnet itself without distorting the valve body.

Give Jason a call at 1-800-423-5578

Troll Alert

@ January 16, 2014 8:07 PM in Opinion on conversion from oil to natural gas

Do not feed the troll.

Some boiler manufacturers have approved their oil-fired designed boilers to run on gas burners.  A few manufacturers will say yes and no, depending on who answers the phone.

There is, so far as I know, no good engineering reason why any oil fired boiler in good condition cannot be converted to run safely and efficiently on gas.  It has been done thousands and thousands of times.

For reasons which can be guessed at, Burnham has taken the position that they will actively oppose any gas conversion on their oil fired boilers.  Period.  NO good reason given.

They have put pressure on gas burner manufacturers to make it difficult to get gas burners to convert their equipment.  It also seems they have contacted many Inspectors to be on the look-out for those who dare to convert a Burnham.  They are indeed on the look-out for any contractor who dares to order a Megasteam without a burner and will refuse to ship such orders if they guess it will be used with gas.

Perhaps they are doing this so they can say to oil companies that if they install a Magasteam in a customer's home, that is one boiler that will not be able to be converted to gas legally.

Given this, it is not too far out of the realm of possibility that they would hire trolls, too. 

Got A Reply From Them

@ January 13, 2014 4:07 PM in This is interesting

Saying they were updating their web site and their certificate would be valid in a few days.
Just got off the phone after ordering two units.  Very pleasant to deal with, they were.

The warning only seems to pop up when trying to complete an order, not when just visiting the site.

Tried to Order This Item

@ January 11, 2014 10:46 PM in This is interesting

But Firefox said the site was not trustworthy.

Oh Boy

@ January 11, 2014 11:40 AM in Do you need to have a trap before a Boiler feed tank with wet returns

It sounds like you are doing all the right things.  My apologies to you if I sounded churlish. 

You may try and flush the wet returns.  If you can, run a hose to each end, remove the main vents and put on a hose fitting.  If you can, open the wet returns at the boiler end and verify they are indeed flowing clear.

I can't see what you see, so I don't know if that is possible.  It may not be due to piping or clearance issues.

Just a weird theory I've got...maybe when the old boiler dry fired, it somehow caused a chunk of sludge to be baked hard inside the temporally-no-longer-wet returns.

Long Ago When Your System Was New

@ January 11, 2014 10:42 AM in Do you need to have a trap before a Boiler feed tank with wet returns

The condensate returned via gravity only. 

That WM rep is giving you VERY unsound advice.  

Is there water hammer? Gurgling at the radiators? Spitting air vents?  None of these things should be tolerated.  Something killed that old boiler.  It may now being trying to kill your new one.


The Only Part I Find

@ January 2, 2014 9:25 PM in Dumb Like a Fox

hard to believe in this story is that Mr. Frugal even thinks about signing the Pro's contract.

Usually they get thrown out and Mr. Frugal goes back to searching Craig's List.

The Craigulites usually don't show up.  Or worse, they do.

We Also Prefer

@ December 9, 2013 9:40 PM in Atmospheric out, Power Burner in

to put the pressuretrols as high as possible to keep them out of the muck.  Weil-Mclain likes, for reasons we cannot fathom, to call for mounting the controls on the front with 1/2" steel fittings just above the boiler's water line. 

We have always thought this is radically unsound!


The Apron

@ December 9, 2013 9:29 PM in Atmospheric out, Power Burner in

works very well to help keep the uniform from getting too grubby.

Along with the suspenders, it also adds to the "old fashioned" professional look.

Thanks for the comments!

Thanks For All the Comments

@ December 9, 2013 9:13 PM in MegaSteaming by the river

and questions.  It helps us learn, too!

There is not a close-up picture of the sightglass blowdown valve we added ( it is from Dahl), but in order to put it on without using a 1/4"street 45 ell, we ground off the unused door lug for clearance.  It just makes it, but there is much better flow. 

 In the past, we've brought out the sightglass fittings with extended nipples and tees to clear the door.  In this case, the support column was in the way.

While it was certainly convenient for running the electric wiring, that column caused a few problems positioning the boiler, as well as blocking the sightglass.

On The W-M 80 series Boilers...

@ November 17, 2013 12:41 PM in Steam System Rescue at the Baltimore Rescue Mission

The instructions call for the pressure control tree to be mounted from a tapping on the front of the boiler.

We think that is radically unsound!

It is too close to the waterline and the 1/2" pipe and fittings supplied are more likely to get filled with rust and sludge rendering the controls inoperative.

As an aside, Washington D.C. codes require all steam piping 1" and under to be sch. 40 brass!  That may be going a bit far, and it still does not answer the issue of sludge.

We therefore mount the  pressure controls off of a top tapping and above the active waterline.

FLIR Pictures of "Good" Traps

@ October 15, 2013 10:49 PM in Webster Sylphon steam trap

 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?

The Tunstall Trap Repair Kits

@ October 7, 2013 6:31 PM in Webster Sylphon steam trap

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.
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