Steam no longer services the hall and the school building has been long ago shut down.
The boiler kept taking on massive amounts of water and regularly flooded. The system had been neglected for many years, so it became a situation of “where to start”.
First Steve found the mechanical water feeder to be installed at the wrong height, which pretty much had it feeding water every time the boiler fired. We don’t like these devices, so we removed it and replaced it with separate devices. A low water cutoff added in the correct height and a water feeder that has a built in water meter. We always like to be able to monitor the water intake. After the feeder/meter was added, we saw that the boiler was still taking on water and flooding, though not as frequently. But we were in the path of progress.
Next, we wanted to make sure that steam still wasn’t getting past the closed off valves that once fed steam thru tunnels to the other buildings. The pipes were warm downstream of the valves, so we removed the valves and blank flanged the flanges.
Then we went looking for bad traps. Something was holding back the condensate from coming back to the boiler. What we found was a couple of old F&T traps about 150 feet in under the crawl space by the front steps of the church. And they were installed in a very unusual method. They were both installed as low points in the system. No wonder they failed. We had previously set the boiler up to operate in a vapor state, so we removed the F&T traps and installed loop seals in their place. These work fine in a vapor system. The pictures of this are great, as we captured all the backed up water on film. When we unscrewed the old F&T traps, all the backed up water came out on our feet. Hey!, there’s our missing water. Now the condensate returns to the boiler quickly.
We also replaced the condensate tank. Look at the pictures of the old pump. It was amazing to us that it even still working.
The system functions much better now.