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Adjustable vs. Fixed radiator air vents

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gerry gill
gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
they vent faster which is a good idea with high fuel prices.
gwgillplumbingandheating.com
Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

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  • Jeff_98
    Jeff_98 Member Posts: 4
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    Adjustable vs. Fixed radiator air vents

    I'm thinking ahead to the heating season and want to replace the air vents
    on my one pipe steam system. Are then any opions regarding the pros and cons
    of say a Hoffman 1A adjustable vent vs. the various fixed sizes made by
    Gorton?
  • tom_11
    tom_11 Member Posts: 58
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    OSV Valve

    Can anyone tell me if osv valve are required on oil tanks,in mass? thanks tom
  • Jeff_98
    Jeff_98 Member Posts: 4
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    I have Gortons on the mains - they work great. I forgot to say that I'm looking
    for radiator vents and tryiing to decide between adjustable or fixed.

    Thanks,
  • Jack P.
    Jack P. Member Posts: 38
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    I operate 8 steam boilers in about 1/3 of my apartment buildings. Most are very large systems. I have many many radiators to watch over, probably over 300. I think I’ve used or seen pretty much every radiator vent ever made from models from the early 1900’s to Hoffman, to Doles, to Jacobus Maid-o-Mist, to Gorton and more. I have a large box of them. There is a lot goes into which one to use. Size of the radiator, distance from the boiler, piping quirks, etc. There is a lot of trial and checking for the result. Each has its own merit but all should have some type of adjustment to it. In my opinion the best adjustable vents are Doles. But they are pricey. Hoffman’s are OK with some applications but the adjustment properties are not always the best. I do replace many Hoffman’s with something else. Maid-O-Mist are cheap to buy but cheaply constructed. You have to be careful when you install them. But they have changeable orifices to adjust the amount of air vented. I have a box of those too. Gorton’s are probably the best vent out there at fair price. But you have to guess which size to use and if you are wrong you have to re-guess, re-buy and could be wrong again. I don’t have that problem, because again, I have box with every size. But first I would have to ask, “Why do you think you should replace ALL your radiator vents?” “What are you trying to accomplish by doing that?” “What problems, if any, are you trying to solve?”
  • Daniel_13
    Daniel_13 Member Posts: 2
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    There is a very informative guide to venting in the "Library" which would shine some light on this topic. To vent a radiator fast is not always the best idea; venting the mains fast is by far the most vital factor. When a radiator is vented too fast you get something called a "short circuit" where the top of the rad gets charged with steam, the steam reached the vent too quickly, and it shuts leaving you with a radiator that will be half hot, half cold. A proper venting of radiator in a system must be done system wide in a balanced way. So there are two aspects to consider; 1.) venting fully and 2.) venting the rad as fast as possible while mainting a fully charged radiator. There are some interesting ways of balancing the charge of steam in a radiator in that guide.

    I use heat- timers which are adjustable and they do have their faults yet I have not seen that manifested yet with the 15 I installed. They vent very fast but I don't rely on that as much as the balancing and the vented mains. I had to change two rads to vent-rite adjustables which vent slower to keep those rads (closest to boiler) balanced with the entire system.
  • Boilerpro_5
    Boilerpro_5 Member Posts: 407
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    My experience....

    I prefer to use adjustable vents all around in almost all situations. It allows excellent system balancing, once you have the mains properly vented. I prefer the Hoffman 1A because it's venting range is much lower than any other vent. It can be throttled lower than any other vent, so a system can be balanced very precisely. Adjustable vents allow you to match radiation much better to the current needs, so if a space has been insulated and others have not, you can get the spaces to heat evenly. Most adjustable vents seem to be in the ilk of "The fastest vents in the West" where fast venting is the chief purpose. Radiators are best vented slowly, mains very quickly. This is especially the case when working on many old systems that can work quite well at ounces of pressure and not pounds with very minimally sized boilers....firing right at or below the connected radiation. Small vents allow these systems to run very quietly, with even temperature from room to room, and at very steady temperatures due to extended firing times for the boiler.

    Boilerpro

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  • Jeff_98
    Jeff_98 Member Posts: 4
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    I would like to replace them because I currently have maid o mist. The local
    plumbing house only had them in a #6. I have 10 rads in my house and as you can imagine, they're not all the same size. I called maid o mist to purchase some different sized orafices and the guy told me they were very expensive. He suggested that I drill different size holes to accomodate the size of the rad. I did this and it's worked pretty well. However, I have two rads that are close to the boiler that are very large and seem to steal steam from the rads at the end of the mains. I am in good shape (per steamhead's advice) for my mains. They vent quickly as long as I squelch back the two previously mentioned radiators. I want new vents because I would like better, more precise control.

    Thanks for the good advice I've received thus far.
  • Daniel_3
    Daniel_3 Member Posts: 543
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    Use a vent-rite adjustable and put them at like 1 or 2 on the marker. Lowes carries the whole Jacobus line of sized orificed maid'o'mist vents at least where I am in central MA. If you need a certain one let me know and I can send it to you if I find it.
  • Jack P.
    Jack P. Member Posts: 38
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    I am assuming what you mean by “squelching back” is turning down the valve on the radiator to slow down the steam flow and pressure. That is a good approach if your first radiators are over heating. But if you adamant about changing the vents still, I would replace the first two with the Made-O-Mist #4 or a Gorton #4. The Made-O-Mist could be drilled out a little if it turns out it is too slow. You could try the Hoffman but again I do not have a lot of faith in them at trying to slow down venting at higher pressure settings. Open this link to check on prices to compare: http://www.pexsupply.com/CategoryPre.asp?cID=300&brandid=
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