Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Taco Vortex

I can't tell you how many of these I've installed - many.  And when I come back to service the system, I find that a large percentage of them leak from where the brass air eliminator screws into the iron body.  I tried replacing the air eliminator on a job today and the threads were frozen and I totally ruined the air eliminator, turning it into an expensive job.

I'm just curious:

1) Why do these leak?  Bad pipe dope at the factory?

2) Why is the air eliminator so hard to remove?
Often wrong, never in doubt.


  • pipeking
    pipeking Member Posts: 252

      the vortec is my favorite air seperator, i think just cuz i like the name! but most thing i now take apart and redope myself, e.g. autofeed&backflow,tankless coil,hi-vents. is it leaking from the hi-vent or the big **** nut?
  • Vortec

    Yes, I almost named my son Vortec, but the wife wouldn't let it fly.

    The big-**** nut (I like that) is fine. The leaks must happen where the hy-vent screws into the iron body. Water fills the recess between the hi-vent and the green body and then runs down the sides, eventually making a big rusty mess.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    Just Curious

    I wonder how it would hold up threaded into a stainless male x female coupling?
  • pipeking
    pipeking Member Posts: 252
    I SEEN

     these put together on a video, and the use a loc-tite type sealent. it's a liquid and they put 1-2 drops on the treads the tighten the hell out of it. so i take them aprt and redope them. when i take them apart their stuff is real hard and brittle.
  • Plumdog_2
    Plumdog_2 Member Posts: 873
    They can ruin your day

    I called Taco and asked them WTH?I was told your supposed to get a hardwood dowel that fits snug inside the air eliminator to prevent it from collapsing when you wrench it loose. I then use a brass 3/4 x 1/8 bushing and an ordinary air vent that can be changed easily. 
  • pipeking
    pipeking Member Posts: 252

     u really should put a 3/4 hi-vent back in.
  • Plumdog_2
    Plumdog_2 Member Posts: 873

    I put a 3/4 pipe nipple in with a 3/4 x 1/8 bell reducer, because of the recessed tapping. The air vents look similar but some of the caps with the float/needle have different sealing methods, and you can't just swap them over. All of them have a similar sized hole for the air to escape. Most of them have been plugged up for years. Plus they are over-priced.
  • Joe Mattiello
    Joe Mattiello Member Posts: 630
    Taco Vortech

    Good Morning

    Hope everyone enjoyed the game last night. The Go Daddy commercial Sexy meets Smart may have been a little too hot for the super dome infrastructure to handle. Do you think that may have contributed to the 34 min blackout?  The official response was abnormalities; go figure.

    Anyway, thanks for highlighting the Vortech leak issue, and the difficulties removing the 419 vent..  First of all, one would wonder why it is so difficult to remove the vent.  Frankly, we never anticipate the vent leaking at the threads and consequently needing to be replaced.  The good news is, Taco tech support does track these types of calls, and when you go from no calls on a product to even a couple, a red flag pops up, and we launch an investigation to determine if it may be related to a design, or product issue.    

    The product engineer has been on the production line validating the machining, and assembly process.  The mentioning of Loctite hardening was concerning, so we will investigate that too.  If you do need to remove the 419 vent, there is a simple procedure that should make everyone life a lot better.

    The 419 Hy-vent installed in the Vortech can be easily replaced in its entirety with a new 419 hyvent, as opposed to retrofit with a non-standard vent. This accomplishes 2 things, first you’re installing a complete vent that has been tested and complies with specification, and second you’re assured  all components are current revision and designed to fit together.

    There is a technique to changing out the Hy-vent. In fact, I’m advocating we include this procedure in the instruction sheet.  Remove the Vortech cap, and look at the underside. You'll see the Hy-vent connection is 3/4" NPT male on the outside, but there is also a convenient 1/2" NPT female on the inside that we can take advantage of.  What you do is install a ½” NPT threaded rod, or anything else with 1/2" NPT male connection, and turn it clockwise, literally jacking out the vent through the top of the cap.  Install the replacement 419 vent until tight, and thread the vortech cap back onto the vortech
    Joe Mattiello
    N. E. Regional Manger, Commercial Products
    Taco Comfort Solutions
  • Plumdog_2
    Plumdog_2 Member Posts: 873
    Well, thanks BUT......

    You might want to try that "jacking out" method and maybe post a video! I tried it today and the 1/2" NPT pipe I used only expanded the base of the Hy-Vent making it even tighter than before. I don't buy it and I call BS!!. The dowel method might work but I have not tried it yet as I don't have much dowel stock on my truck. You guys need to re-engineer that damn Hy-Vent and the way it is sealed so tight into the cap. They don't leak at the threads at the base, the little needle/seat is what leaks, and it would be nice if we could get the cap with the float/needle/seat as an assembly and not have to screw around with that cockamamie overtightened and epoxied 3/4 oversized Hy-Vent. Sorry. But I feel better now. Rob
  • Ditto

    I'll have to second that, i.e. "I call BS"

    What is a 1/2" NPT threaded rod?  When you buy threaded rod, it's machine thread, not NPT.  And like Rob, I tried the "jacking out" method with the same result.  Jacking in would be a better description.

    When I first started buying Vortec air eliminators, the attraction was interchangeable parts.  If the Hy-Vent ever went bad, I could switch it out.  Apparently, this is not so.

    Factory changes in the sealing process would be appreciated.  Caleffi has been my substitute even though I prefer to buy US made products.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Where's The Air?

    And again I ask, where is all this air coming from? Every system I see with an old fashioned air scoop with a "400 float vent with the cap tight never seems to have any air. My home that was built 12 years ago has a scoop and has never had any air issues or the sound of rushing air or blocked air bound zones.

    Every time I run into the competitor brand and it is leaking out of the vent, I screw a 1/2" coupling on to the fitting and add nipples and fittings to get a #400 vent on it and screw the cap down tight. No problem.

    The last time I had a leaker that had "issues", I had to remove it, put it on the ground and use two 3' pipe wrenches to get it apart. There was no way for this aging body to stand on a 6' ladder with two 3' pipe wrenches, and fit them between the existing piping. The repair/replacement parts wouldn't fit. I took the new one apart, Teflon tape and pasted the threads and lubed the O-RIng with silicone grease. It still took the 3' wrenches to get it together and take it apart before I installed it. I put the add on vent arrangement on it and screwed the cap down because I drain the system for the winter with compressed air.

    Another expensive trouble prone solution for a created problem that didn't exist before.

    It only fixes under sized, over run/length of piping that is severely over pumped to get flow rates up in undersized runs. Something that never happened with copper or screw pipe.

    Another confirmation affirming my choice not to use those expensive band-aids. If and when I find a situation where I need one, I will use one. Until then, I'm still waiting.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited April 2013

    On another note, buy some Kroil () and spray it into the rusted parts where the water leaked. Let it sit overnight. It will break up the rust and make it easy to get apart.

    Don't bother with the PB Blaster, WD-40's and any of the other rust loosening products. I've used them all. There is absolutely no equal to Kroil, I always carry two cans in the truck. In case one runs out or I can't find one. I spray it on faucets under sinks that the installer didn't grease up and it is all green and nasty. After a shot of Kroil, it come apart easily. I've had underground stops that I couldn't turn with a 2' wrench. I pour a cup of Kroil down the curb box and come back the next day and it turns easily. Where I work, the local water company has a 5 gallon can of the stuff.

    You can't buy it in a "normal" retail store. Internet order or in specialty stores like some marine stores.

    Since using Kroil, I have never had to cut off a circulator flange bolt because I couldn't get it off.

    Try it, You'll like it.

  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    closing vents.

    "And again I ask, where is all this air coming from? Every system I see

    with an old fashioned air scoop with a "400 float vent with the cap

    tight never seems to have any air. My home that was built 12 years ago

    has a scoop and has never had any air issues or the sound of rushing air

    or blocked air bound zones."

    I wonder at what pressure people run their systems. I wonder because I have two automatic air vent valves on my system. One on the top of my W-M indirect tank (tank within a tank type) with one by Taco on the top. And the other that is part of my Taco microbubble resorber. The 4900 on this page:


    I can close the former by tightening the cap with my fingers, and the latter by tigntening a screw in the top. But I do not do this, and yet I never have air problems.

    I assume this is because my boiler is at almost the lowest point in the system (other than the radiant at grade slab zone that is lower) and both these air vents are just above the boiler. The upstairs zone has no vents at all, and does not seem to need them. Most of the air comes out of the purge valves when it is necessary to use them, and the last little bit come out with that microbubble resorber. Furthermore the circulators for the heating zones pump away from the expansion tank.

    I assume I could have air problems in the upstairs if I had an automatic vent valve up there, but I do not. No valves up there of any kind. And even then, I would not expect problems unless I were running the system at too low a pressure. I run at between 13 and 15 psi, and the upstairs is only about  6 feet higher than the pressure gauge. The pressure gauge is the one that came with the boiler and I cannot read it all that accurately.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,286
    country of origin

    just because it is purchased from a US company does not alway mean it is manufactured in the US :) I'd venture to guess many if not most hydronic components are shopped from around the planet these days, especially brass components.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Joe Mattiello
    Joe Mattiello Member Posts: 630
    Vortech vent removal

    I had an opportunity to discuss this issue with the people a lot smarter than me; they know the product very well.  The product engineer looked into it, and although there is no direct correlation to what you’re experiencing in the field, after reviewing the quality data on the vent, in early 2012 there was a dimensional issue on the thread of the 419 vent.  Apparently the thread engagement did not meet minimum 4.5 treads, but the issue was immediately contained and mitigated.  Although, every Vortech built is 100% tested; it is possible a small amount of the vents with shallow treads were assembled into product.  If this is what happened we apologize for the inconvenience. 


    The thread on the 419 vent is a ¾ NPT and intended to be an interference fit by design. The vent is mechanically torqued to the specification required for ¾” NPT threads, which is a high torque value, and could add to the frustration when trying to back the vent out. In addition to the high torque value, we also use an anaerobic adhesive/sealant which cures in approximately 8 hours.  The sealant is designed to protect the dissimilar brass, and cast iron from corrosion.  We have tested other sealants and other assembly processes and have found the current method to be the most effective in preventing the threads from leaking. That doesn’t mean we stop looking, we continue to look for ways to improve all products, including the Vortech.


    Although, the vent can be physically changed, it can be a difficult task.  There are a couple of procedures that will make changing the vent a little easier.  If anyone has a vent that is leaking, I suggest you should call Taco and ask for the tech support department, they should be able to quickly assess the situation, and give you some direction on how to mitigate the situation.
    Joe Mattiello
    N. E. Regional Manger, Commercial Products
    Taco Comfort Solutions
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,839
    A possible suggestion....

    I know its not easy to implement changes on a moving assembly line, but if there were an internally machined hex recess in the bottom nipple of the vent body, wrenchnicians would be able to insert a hex (allen) wrench into the body of the threads, and facilitate full body removal. Like an "easy out", but better.

    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst...

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469

    I hate tapered easy-outs, because more often than not, they do exactly what your 1/2" pipe thread is doing. They spread the part you're trying to remove, and lock it solid. Mark's idea would be an improvement. Thread sealant with less aggressive adhesive qualities would also be an improvement. The torque applied is not an issue.
This discussion has been closed.