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Adjustable valves for large hot radiators

PSBknS
PSBknS Member Posts: 4
I live in a 5 story brownstone with 7 apartments. The building has one pipe steam with a heat timer system controlling the boiler. I have several rooms with large radiators that are extremely hot. A few rooms have no radiator (I removed them) and some have only of of 3 radiators on. I installed a heat timer vari-valve in two rooms and have them closed almost all the way, but those rooms are still too hot (with the rest of the house perfect). Is there another adjustable valve available that is lower capacity or more finely calibrated at the low end? I am getting betting performance from these vari-valves than I got from Hoffman 40s, and they are adjustable so on a freezing cold day I can quickly crank them up. I want to get better control at the radiator so my wife won't constantly open and close windows.

Comments

  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,380
    Heat Timers very aggressive

    The heat timers are very aggressive air vents even when throttled back. A Hoffman 1A is about 1/3 the venting capacity of a Heat timer Varivalve at it's lowest setting and about 1/3rd of the Heat timer at it's maximum. You may have to futz with it to get the variable port aligned. The Ventrite #1 is almost as slow as the Hoffman 1A and a better vent IMHO.



    A nonadjustable Hoffman 40 is about 65% as fast as the heat Timer on it's lowest setting and the Maid-O-Mist #4 is about 25% less than the Hoffman #40



    Smaller vents will slow the steams entry into the radiator but if the boiler operates for very long periods you might be better served with a thermostatic air valve where you can dial in the desired temperature.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • PSBknS
    PSBknS Member Posts: 4
    Throttled back varivalve

    How much air do I get if I throttle back the varivalve all the way to Closed? If it's more than the Hoffman 1A or the Maid-O-Mist #4 I may change them. I have the varivalve closed 80% now and it seems pretty hot. I've been afraid to close it more. If it won't cause problems I could close it 95% or even 100%, but I've been cautious. I definitely like the local adjustment because it's been hard to balance heat to upstairs tenants and I don't want to change settings for the whole building anymore.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,380
    Vent rates

    The information I have is the Heat Timer has 0.065cfm at the minimum setting while a Maid-O-Mist #4 is 0.028, a Ventrite #1 is 0.033 at setting 2 (setting 1 is off), and the Hoffman 1A is 0.020 at setting #1.Again getting the hoffman to the lowest setting takes a little fiddling.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,572
    brownstone venting problems

    your fuel supplier could love your system, as it seems unbalanced. i suspect that bad main [not rad] venting, and excess pressure may be the cause. desire for comfort, and fuel economy is not new, and the chances are when your brownstone was first built, the temperatures were pretty even, and now the aim is to regain the old balance once again. try to get pats of butter melting on the rads all at the same time, and then have toast!

    the radiator vents are too small to properly vent the system, without paying for extra fuel to squeeezzze the air out of their constipated little openings, so check your main vents and double them, until the air escapes at a back pressure of 2 ounces as the boiler begins to steam. put hoffman 40's on the rads to fill the mains with steam first, and then the radiators will all see steam at the same time on each floor. on the top floor, you can put the hoffman 1-a's if it's chilly.

    get a good gauge [gaugestore.com-0-3 psi], and put it on the same pigtail as the pressuretrol. the old 0-30 psi gauge must remain, even though for diagnostic purposes, it is useless. try to adjust the pressure down to below 1.5 psi [basic function], or for comfort and economy, get a vaporstat and keep the pressure below 6 ounces.

    also, as you stand to save a lot of money by doing so, get some of the steam books from the shop here, and your diagnostic abilities will increase!

    if you ever have problems with your heattimer control, you could replace it with a honeywell prestige wireless thermostat with averaging sensors in the most exposed apartments. i suspect that a lot of those controls were installed to help "even temperatures out", a job for which they are ill suited, in my opinion--nbc.
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