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Can a main valve spit out water????

Yeah you described the pipe exactly. It then goes on to heat a couple of other radiators too.......that damn dish looking thing is spitting every now and then.
Anyone know where to get these gortons??? I called them and theyr closed for the Holidays!


    JAMES MEDINA Member Posts: 16
    Can a main vent leak water????

    I was checking around the basement cloor the other day and I saw that there were traces of water(small puddle) on the floor. I actually saw it come out of the little vent thing on top of the return tube...........
    is this normal or dO I have to replace it?
    Can I do it myself?
  • Fred Harwood_2
    Fred Harwood_2 Member Posts: 195

    Assuming that you have steam heat, no, the main air vent at the end of the main should not spit water, and when it does the spitting indicates one of several problems, not only a bad vent. You should consider calling someone knowledgeable about your system.
    JAMES MEDINA Member Posts: 16
    Replacing main vent

    Is it hard to replace this vent?
  • Fred Harwood_2
    Fred Harwood_2 Member Posts: 195

    Do not remove this valve until you have turned off your boiler. Depending upon the condition of your pipes, you may have some difficulty replacing the valve, but if you have the necessary wrenches you could give it a try.

    If old, the existing valve probably is too small. If you let us know the size and length of your steam main, perhaps Steamhead will tell you the appropriate replacement size and make.
    JAMES MEDINA Member Posts: 16

    Thanks so much for helping me out! Its a small looking thing kinda like a acorn/space ship looking thing its like aluminum? and its old. Theres 3 other pipes right next to that one that have that funny looking thing at the top....
    Where can I buy these? Home depot?

    Also If Im right its the return pipe and then it has that acorn/space ship looking thing on it but then that same line continues to heat other radiators.....

    Any Help is Appreciated!
  • replacing main vent

    i suggest you buy a copy of the "lost art of steam heating" on this web site.
    it's not hard to change a main vent-the tricky part is choosing the capacity of vent to install. i think you need to make a diagram of your steam pipes measured from boiler to that point where the present vent is located ,including the diameter of the pipe. post that here, and we will tell you what you need.
    there is a possibility that the vent is not the problem, but only a symptom of something else such as over pressure.
    if it has been more than a year since the boiler was checked over, then i would echo the suggestion that you call a knowlegable STEAM professional to perform a routine maintainance.
    depending on where you are located you may find a name on the "resources" tab at the top.--nbc

  • I totally agree with NBC. Get either "The Lost Art of Steam heating" or "We got Steam Heat" (See "A Steamy Deal" at the bottom of this page) Every owner of a steam heating system should have them. Easy reading and crammed full of facts on steam heating and written so a homeowner can understand it.
    They really helped me out.
  • It's probably an old Dole vent

    or maybe a Hoffman #4. In any case, it's probably too small.

    Measure the length and diameter of each steam main and we can tell you what you need.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    JAMES MEDINA_2 Member Posts: 1

    Ok let me disclose more . Its an 8 unit building, and 2 of them are really slow to warm. the other 6 warm up faster....
    I need a steam pro in CHICAGO!!!
  • TimS
    TimS Member Posts: 82

    I experience the same issue James is having. I have a few drips of water spewing out of the main(gorton #1). this unit was replaced this year.
    Back to jame's questions, what do you suggest that is making the main spit out bits of water?

    Thanks everyone!
    awesome forum.
  • Iwanttobelieve
    Iwanttobelieve Member Posts: 13

    any professional insights on why i have a little water spitting out the main vent??
  • wet steam

    if your vents spit, it may be wet steam--time to study the book [see above]--nbc
    JAMES MEDINA Member Posts: 16
    spit water

    Im thinking of just replacing it myself....... the pipe is I think 2 in diameter and its a return pipe that goes one way then comes back to boiler room and has that vent looking thing attached to it ( a litle further back from main pipe)THEN goes maybe 30 feet then heats up other radiators.....
    I ordrered a book but it might take a week to get it....
  • Fred Harwood_2
    Fred Harwood_2 Member Posts: 195

    Trace your steam main from the boiler to its end, where you'll probably find that it drips to an uninsulated pipe that follows the floor (or goes under the floor) back to the boiler. Just before the main turns down into the drip, look for your main vent. If you have more than one end-of-main drip, you may have more than one main vent. Replace them with Gorton #1 or #2.
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