Steam Head Question

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  #1  
Old 07-24-14, 07:21 AM
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Steam Head Question

Hello, Here at work we have steam heat which is mostly pneumatic controlled. Is it possible to remove a pneumatic steam head and replace it with an electric one? I'll also be replacing the thermostat if this is possible,
Thanks and have a great day.
Joe
 
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Old 07-24-14, 06:22 PM
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What you are calling a "steam head" is a pneumatic valve actuator. Yes, it IS possible to have electrically actuated valves but it is not a simple change. Further, the pneumatic system is modulating, something that is rather expensive to do with electrical systems.

Why do you ask?
 
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Old 07-25-14, 02:07 AM
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Well, the pneumatics are old and it's hard to find someone around here that actually knows what to do with them. On the AC side, I changed all the control wiring and eliminated the pneumatics so it works on a 24volt system and that's been working great, On the heating side, I'm getting the pressure coming to the valve but that valve won't close to limit the steam coming into the system. It's running wide open. Toward the end of the last heating season, I closed the gate valve a little so the steam would trickle into the system. That kind of worked but, well, you know...not right. That's why I was wondering if and electric valve could be put on the steam pipe instead and then I could install a different thermostat and have it work like that.
Thanks,
Joe
 
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Old 07-25-14, 09:10 PM
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Pneumatic systems are at least 70 years old and well understood by almost any instrument technician worth his/her salt. If you have the modulating pressure at the powerhead but the valve doesn't move then it is either a defective powerhead or the valve itself is stuck. Most common problem with a powerhead is a hole in the diaphragm and with the valve it would be corrosion on the valve stem where it goes through the packing gland.

What manufacturer and model number of the valve and actuator/powerhead?
 
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