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water in steam air vent

dave_43 Member Posts: 9
Thanks for the tip--Do you know the Brand/Model of the gauge?
I can't tell at all what my operating pressures are.


  • dave_43
    dave_43 Member Posts: 9
    water in steam air vent

    Good Morning I'm getting water in Gorton #6 vent (one Pipe steam). I've replaced the vent with new, checked radiator for level and shimmed to 1/4 bubble. Everyday it fills with alot of water, not just a few drops, and stops the steam from entering. It backs up to another radiator(different room) which works fine with a Gorton D. It's located on the topfloor, top of the riser. Unfortunately, it's also the apartment with the themostat, so its causing the boiler to run overtime, especially with our cold Minnesota weather right now.

    What am I missing? Thank you.
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    If your running that

    bad boy at anything over 2 PSI, that's part of it. Over sizing the main vent is a virtual impossibility.

    Oversizing the entire bunch of rad vents may create problems. If the riser(s) is/are marginally sized, oversizing a vent will create water carry along with steam racing to the cool rad - resulting in that water being carried along with escaping air making the vent go nuts trying to let air out and leftover condensate trapped in the oversized airway we call "a vent that's too damn big."
  • dave_43
    dave_43 Member Posts: 9
    water in steam vent

    Thanks Ken -- I'll replace both rad vents with something smaller Gorton #5. Re; boiler pressure - The gauge is old with scale to 30#. I've checked suppliers for something that would show much smaller increments, like down to 5 # or so but no luck. Do you know of any manufacturers who might make these? Thanks.
  • another thing to check

    Hi Dave,

    Have you checked to make sure the radiator valve is completely open? I mean breaking the union and looking inside to make sure nothing is blocking the path of the water back out of the radiator.

    It has happened more than once that the valve stem was broken, and the valve disc is laying on the seat with enough room for the steam to enter, but blocking the flow of water. Like a check valve, it lets steam in, but stops the flow of water in the opposite direction.

    Best regards, Pat
  • David Efflandt_2
    David Efflandt_2 Member Posts: 24
    I use pressure/vacuum gauge

    Even a gauge that goes down to 2 psi will not show if you are properly operating at the generally suggested 1.5 psi cut-out and 0.5 psi cut-in, so I replaced the stuck gauge that came on my boiler with a pressure/vacuum gauge.

    When I initially overvented my most distant 2nd floor radiator, its vent plugged up in no time because steam rapidly hitting a cold radiator generated too much condensate to get back down the marginally sized riser. Venting at a slower rate allows each section to heat more thoroughly without creating a big slug of condensate. It may not heat all the way across in mild weather and I sometimes still hear sloshing sounds, but the replacement vent has been working for years without touching it.
  • Fred Harwood_2
    Fred Harwood_2 Member Posts: 195
    Inch H2O gauge

    You can make this simple very low pressure gauge from a hose bib cap, quarter-inch brass nip, and about 6 feet of 3/8 clear vinyl hose. Just be very careful; do not leave unattended.

    With a tape measure alongside, you can watch your vapor pressure boiler clear its throat, close its main vents, and begin to condense steam in the rads. In the picture shown, after balancing the installation's main and rad vents, the boiler evenly heats the house at any outside temp on less than 1.5 inches pressure at two cycles per hour.

    For reference, 14 column inches = 8 ounces pressure. In other words, this installation heats well at a bit less than one ounce boiler pressure.
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