US 953330 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
E. B. GORDON, JR. MECHANISM FOR DISOHARGING WATER 0F GONDENSATION FROM STEAM HEATING SYfiTEMS.
APPLIGATION FILED OCT. 12. 1908v 953,380. Patented Mar.29, 1910.
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EDWARD B. GORDON, JB., OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, ASSIGNOR TO BYRON E. VAN AUKEN, OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS.
MECHANISM FOR DISCHARGING WATER OF CONDENSATION FROM STEAM-HEATING SYSTEMS.
Specification of Letters Patent.
Application filed October 12, 1908.
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, EDWARD B. GonnoN, Jr., a citizen of the United States, and a resident of Chicago, in the county of Cook and State of Illinois, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Mechanism for Discharging Tater of Condensation from Steam-Heating Systems; and I do hereby declare that the following is a full, clear, and exact description thereof, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, and to the figures of reference marked thereon, which form a part of this specification.
This invention relates to improvements in means for withdrawing air and water of condensation from steam heating systems and refers more particularly to means for preventing back flow of steam, water of condensation and air from the drain devices or drain pipe into the radiator or other steam condensing inclosure, and for discharging the water from the radiator and its discharge conduit to the drain pipe at a time when the steam is shut off from the radiator or other steam condensing inclosure.
The invention is herein shown as applied to a drain mechanism for vacuum steam heating systems wherein the water of condensation is discharged from the radiator or other inclosure in which steam condenses by diii'erential pressure on opposite sides of a seal formed by the accumulation of water of condensation in the discharge conduit leading from the radiator to the drain pipe, the construction illustrated being generally like that illustrated in an application for U. S. patent filed by Byron E. Van Auken on March 12th, 1906, Serial No. 305,657. My invention, however, may be applied to other forms of devices for removing air and water of condensation from heating systems and the like and for preventing back flow of water, steam or air from the drain pipe or discharge conduit to the steam condensing units of steam heating systems and the like.
An apparatus embodying my invention may be used in situations where a pocket of water is likely to collect in the discharge conduit between the heating system and the Serial No. 457,235.
drain pipe, or where a reversal of the relative pressures in the unit and the drain pipe tends to drive water of condensation or steam from a drain pipe or the discharge conduit of the unit back into the unit. In the normal operation of such a system the relative pressure in the unit and the drain pipe is such as to discharge the air and water of condensation through the discharge conduit of the unit to the drain pipe. In the event of a sudden lowering of pressure in the heating system, as for instance, if the steam inlet valve to a radiator or heating unit be closed and the steam remaining therein be suddenlycondensed, the relative pressures in the heating unit and the drain pipe or the discharge conduit between the unit and the drain pipe may be reversed, with a tendency to drive any water in the discharge conduit back into the radiator or heating unit or to'drive water or steam from the drain pipe to said unit. In such event the water is not drained from the radiator and discharge conduit and is liable to freeze therein, or to water hammer when steam is again admitted to the radiator. In order to avoid this result I propose to provide the radiator with means so constructed and arranged as to prevent the back flow of water to the radiator upon such lowering of pressure therein. As herein shown, such result is accomplished by providing the radiator or steam heating unit with a relief valve arranged to admit air to the radiator upon the lowering of the pressure therein and before such pressure is reduced to that in the drain pipe and the discharge conduit, thereby raising the pressure in the radiator to such extent as to not only prevent such back flow, but to effectively discharge the water of condensation therefrom and from the discharge conduit into the drain pipe.
In the drawings :F igure 1 illustrates a radiator of common form and its connection with the drain pipe, showing my invention applied thereto. Fig. 2 is an axial section of the relief valve. Fig. 3 is a transverse section taken on line 33 of Fig. 2. Fig. t is a vertical longitudinal section of the float controlled valve in the discharge conduit.
Patented Mar. 29, 1910.
The steam heating unit or radiator 15 may be of any usual or preferred type and steam is delivered thereto through a pipe 16 hav ing any suitable form of valve 17 for regulating the flow of steam thereto. The water of condensation is discharged from said radiator to a vertical drain pipe 18 through a conduit including a connecting pipe 19, governed by a float controlled or other antomatic valve mechanism 20. My invention is herein shown as applied to a vacuum steam heating system wherein the drain pipe 18 is arranged for connection with a suitable exhausting device (not shown) which operates to maintain a pressure in the drain pipe at a predetermined point lower than the operating pressure within the radiator.
The valve mechanism 20 which operates to control the discharge conduit is shown like the valve mechanism in the aforesaid application of Van Auken. The valve mechanism comprises a vertically elongated casing 21 having a float chamber 22, which latter is connected by a pipe 23 with the radiator. Vater and air are discharged from the float chamber through a discharge branch 24 which is in open communication with the pipe or conduit 19. The said pipes 19 and 23 and the casing of the valve mechanism constitute the discharge conduit through which water and air are discharged from the radiator to the drain pipe 18. A float 26 in the float chamber carries at its lower end a valve piece 27 that controls the flow of water through a passage 28 arranged in the lower wall of the casing, said passage affording communication between the float chamber and the discharge branch 24. The float is hollow and the valve piece 27 is tubular and affords communication between the hollow float and the discharge branch 2 1-. Said float is provided at its up per end with a hollow guide stem 30 which extends loosely through an opening in a boss 81 formed in the upper wall or removable cap 32 of the casing, whereby a passage for air is formed between the float chamber and the interior of the hollow float. A conduit for the discharge of air from the float chamber to the discharge b anch 2 1 is thus provided through the float. An inverted weir 33 is located at the inner end of the passage 23 and dips into a well or pocket 84 located at the inner end of the passage. Said well or pocket 34, as herein shown, communicates with the upper part of the float chamber through a vertical passage 8-3 located at the side of the float chamber, though it may communicate more directly therewith.
The operation of the valve mechanism described is like that shown in the aforesaid Van Auken application, the air and water of condensation being discharged from the radiator to the low pressure drain pipe 18 by the differential pressure on opposite sides of the water seal in the pocket 84.
In installing steam heating systems in modern steel frame buildings it sometimes occurs that a horizontal beam 36 or other part of the frame structure is located between the usual discharge level of the valve mechanism and the vacuum drain pipe 18. In such case, it becomes necessary, in order to avoid piercing the beam for the passage of the connecting pipe 19 therethrough, or to avoid carrying said pipe downwardly through the floor below the beam, to raise the outer end of the connecting pipe above the beam and thereby form in said pipe a U-shaped bend 37 in which a body of water collects between the valve mechanism 20 and the drain pipe. This condition is illustrated in Fig. 1. Other local conditions may likewise result in the formation of a pocket or seal between the radiator and the drain pipe. Under such conditions, if the steam be shut off from the radiator the condensation of the steam remaining in the radiator may decrease the pressure therein be: low that in the drain pipe and the part of the discharge conduit between the drain pipe and seal of the valve mechanism. In such event the action of the differentlal pressure 011 the opposite sides of said seal will be reversed and the superior pressure acting on the outer side of the valve Wlll force the water in the conduit back into the radiator. In order to overcome this defect in the operation of the device existing under the conditions mentioned and similar conditions, I may provide the radiator With a relief valve -10 which will open to admit air to the radiator upon the lowering of the pressure therein, and before the pressure is decreased to that of the drain pipe 18, and thus maintain the proper relative pressures to force the water from the radiator and the U-shaped conduit to the drain pipe and avoid freezing of the water or its otherwise objectionable presence in the radiator and discharge conduit.
The form of relief valve a0 herein shown is illustrated in Fig. 2 and is made as follows: 41 designates a casing, the inner cylindric end 12 of which is screw-threaded to engage a screw-threaded opening in the wall of the radiator, whereby the interior of the casing is in communication with the interior of the radiator. Located within said casing is a conical faced check valve 43 which engages a seat formed on the inner end of a ring or bushing 14 that enters an opening in the outer, larger end of the casing and has screw-threaded engagement therewith. The stem so of the check valve extends inwardly through the casing and the inner end of said stem has guiding engagement with the reduced bore 46 of the inner end of the I casing. Said inner end of the stem is formed with guide wings 4L8 to permit air to pass from the easing into the interior of the radiator. A spring 49, arranged between the check valve 13 and an outwardly facing shoulder 50 within the casing, normally holds the check valve against its seat. The relief valve is held closed by its spring during the normal operation of the system. The strength of said spring is so proportioned, however, that the relief valve will be opened to permit the entrance of air to the interior of the radiator before the pressure within the radiator falls to a point equal to or below that in the drain pipe 18. For instance, if the vacuum system be arranged to carry a vacuum of seven inches in the drain pipe 18, the spring 49 may be arranged to open under the influence of atmospheric pressure when the pressure within the radiator falls to about five inches.
During the usual operation of the system when the steam is continuously admitted to the radiator the differential pressure on the opposite sides of the seal in the valve mechanism operates to discharge air and water of condensation from the radiator to the drain pipe 18, the water being discharged into the float chamber and the float being periodically lifted to open the drain valve. lVhen steam is shut oft from the radiator, however, condensation of the steam remaining therein serves to lower the pressure within the radiator, and when the pressure within said radiator reaches a predetermined low point the check valve is opened to admit air into the radiator, thereby establishing such relative pressure in the radiator, as compared to the drain pipe 18, as to discharge the water not only from the radiator but also from the U-shaped bend of the discharge conduit, or any water which may tend to accumulate between the radiator and said drain pipe.
It may sometimes occur that the reversal of the relative pressures between the drain pipe and steam heating units will be such as to tend to drive steam or water from the drain pipe into the unit through a conduit arranged otherwise from that herein shown. In such event the arrangement herein shown, or its equivalent, serves to prevent back flow of steam or water to the unit and to effectively discharge the waterand air from the unit and its discharge conduit into the drain pipe, thus preventing freezing of water in the unit and its discharge conduit.
Other means may be employed for pre venting the back flow of water and steam to the unit within the scope of the invention and my improvements may be applied to drain devices differing in structural details from that herein shown.
I do not wish to be limited to the specific details illustrated excepting as to those claims hereto appended in which such details are specifically claimed.
I claim as my invention 1. In a steam heating system, a steam heating unit provided with means for admitting steam thereto, a return pipe in which a pressure below atmospheric pressure is maintained, a conduit through which air and water of condensation are discharged from said unit into said return pipe, said conduit being constructed to provide a permanent water seal, a valve for controlling the flow through said conduit, and means for automatically admitting air to the steam heating unit upon a reduction of pressure therein below the pressure in the return pipe.
2. In a steam heating system, a heating unit provided with an inlet and an outlet, a steam supply pipe connected to said inlet, a return pipe connected with the outlet of said unit in which return pipe a relatively low pressure is maintained, a valve adapted to control the flow of air and water of condensation from the outlet, a conduit between said valve and said return pipe constructed to provide a permanent water seal between said valve and the return pipe, and automatic means acting to admit air to the steam heating unit upon the reduction of pressure therein below the pressure in the return pipe.
3. In a steam heating system, a steam heating unit provided with means for admitting steam thereto, a return pipe in which a pressure below' atmospheric pressure is maintained, a conduit through which air and water of condensation are discharged from said unit into said return pipe, said conduit being constructed to provide a permanent water seal, a valve for controlling the flow through said conduit, and a spring controlled relief valve operating to admit air to said unit upon a lowering of pressure therein, the tension of the spring which controls said valve being so proportioned relatively to the pressure within the return pipe, as to permit the relief valve to open to admit air to the steam heating unit before the pressure within the unit has fallen to or below that within said return pipe.
4:. In a steam heating system, a heating unit provided with an inlet and an outlet, a steam supply pipe connected to said inlet, a return pipe connected with the outlet of said unit in which return pipe a relatively low pressure is maintained, an automatic valve adapted to control the flow of air and water of condensation from the outlet, a conduit between said Valve and said return pipe con structed to provide a permanent water seal between said valve and the return pipe, and a spring controlled relief valve operating to admit air to said unit upon a lowering of pressure therein, the tension of the spring my invention I aflix my signature in the which controls said valve being so proporpresence of two Witnesses, this 23rd day of 10 tionecl relatively to the pressure within the i September A. D. 1908.
return pipe as to permit the relief valve to FDVARD B GORDON JR J A a 0 open to admit air to the steam heating unit 1 before the pressure Within the unit has fallen Vitnesses: to 01' below that Within said return pipe. J GEORGE R. XVILKINs,
In testimony, that I claim the foregoing as F. H. ALFREDS.