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Two-Pipe System with Air Vents?

Are two pipe systems not supposed to have air vents on them?  I have Burnham Sunrads with two pipes hooked up to the bottom of each, but each radiator also has those screw air vents (which are actually heat sensitive valves).  You can see them in the pictures.



I'm confused because everywhere I look it says that two-pipe systems don't use these vent-valves.

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,767
    You probably have one of two things:

    1- modern radiators that were installed on an old "two-pipe air-vent" system, or



    2- one of the later two-pipe systems that has been knuckleheaded.



    Do the radiator return lines go to a wet or dry return?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • numberforty1
    numberforty1 Member Posts: 97
    Could You Clarify...

    Sorry, could  you clarify what you mean by "an old two-pipe air-vent system", and what does "knuckleheaded" mean?  I'm a fast learner but don't know much about these systems yet.  I don't have access to the rest of the house to check out what kind of return is used, but I'll see if I can find out.



    thanks
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,767
    In a 2-pipe air-vent system

    the air from the radiators is vented thru vents on the radiators. But on a later 2-pipe system, air from the radiators was routed into the dry (overhead) return and out thru a central air vent. Until we see how it's piped, we don't know if those vents belong there.



    And "knuckleheaded" means just that- someone did something to the system that should not have been done. We've all seen 2-pipe systems where some knucklehead has added air vents to the radiators instead of fixing the real problem.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    Copper?

    Looks like copper feeding one of those.
  • numberforty1
    numberforty1 Member Posts: 97
    Here's a Picture

    You can see the two pipes coming out of the floor, the valves on each, and the air vent.  The system seems to work except for a lot of old useless air vents and this incessant rattling coming from this one, which I am guessing is either something in the pipe or the pipe just vibrating on its own.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    Can

    you provide some pictures of the boiler? Stand far enough away so we can see the piping.
  • numberforty1
    numberforty1 Member Posts: 97
    My Landlord is Being Unresponsive...

    ...so I haven't been able to get boiler pictures, but I did find out something interesting. If I close both valves on this radiator I get a sound like a penny rattling around just under the floor.  But if I open just the valve on the right, the radiator still does not heat, and instead of the rattling I get the sound of gurgling or running water under the floor.



    It seems like the pipe on the left is where the steam comes up, but I don't know exactly what the pipe on the right is for.  I guess hearing the sound of running water always means there is something wrong in a steam system, correct?
  • will smith_4
    will smith_4 Member Posts: 259
    hmmmm

    well that's odd.

    Maybe two pipe steam with the trap eliminated? (seen that just this past week. towel warmer added by a "good hot water guy". take me at my word here-not such a good idea. Their take seems to be it's such a big system, it wouldn't matter.

    Oh, but it does...

    Oh, and your air vent is upside down.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one that runs across jobs that have people working on them that have no clue-sometimes you think you might be crazy-especially when you hear "this worked just fine till you got here..."

    ummm hmmmm.....
  • numberforty1
    numberforty1 Member Posts: 97
    Yea, I know it's upside down

    The valves are closed so it doesn't make a difference.  I don't want the unit to heat, I just want it to shut up.



    So, any idea how to disconnect this thing altogether, or how to adjust the pitch to get condensation to run back down like it should?
This discussion has been closed.