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Found Main Vents!

Hello Everybody,

After reading Dan's book, I went searching for my main vents.  I had to saw through some dry wall at the end of my basement, but finally found them!

Can you take a look at these puppies and let me know what you think?  There is not a whole lot of room to take these out.  But, they don't look like they are in great shape.

I think the first one is a Gorton#6 and the second one looks like a Hoffman of some sort.

Everybody talks about venting the mains fast, so I was thinking about adding some Gorton #2s.  However, this job seems like more than I can do myself!


    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 2,022
    Main vents

    Those are not main vents.They are radiator vents on the main!
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
    edited October 2013
    Hidden main vents

    The effort of removing/replacing those main vents will be well worth it in terms of speedy steam arrival, and better balance, as well as not paying for extra fuel to force the air out.

    Get some regular open end wrenches which fit the flats, and then use a hammer to tap the wrench end, which may start them turning. Otherwise, make some axial cuts into the bushings, and use a chisel to collapse the bushing so it can be removed. It will be worth the effort.

    You will need to have the new vents on hand, and even though I do not know the size of your system, I would recommend the giant of the industry-the Gorton #2 (pexsupply.com)--NBC
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    edited October 2013
    In Tight Spaces Use an "Antler"

    Hi- Congratulations! After renewing your main vents you should notice a much better response from your steam system.

    I've attached a reply I did on venting for someone else which I thought might be of help to you. You should be able to modify it to suit your purposes. Note the use of the pipe union which allows you to make up the "antler" on a bench and then install it using the union, that way you aren't trying to attach and tighten multiple fittings inside the wall.  In the attached drawing the pipe and fittings are 3/4 inch. To save space you could use 1/2 inch pipe/fittings instead of the 3/4 inch in the diagram.  1/2 inch pipe has the venting capacity to support two Gorton #2 (s)

    - Rod
  • conversiontime
    conversiontime Member Posts: 87
    cheater bar

    Nice find. Those look pretty crusty so probably will need a cheater/breaker bar for leverage when removing. I had to use an almost 4 ft cheater bar (old fly rod metal tube/case!) on large wrench to remove my old rusty/crusty mains. But once I did and swapped in gorton 2s the system improved 100% relative to steam reaching the rads. Some might suggest factoring whether gorton 2s would be overkill but I personally don't see how you can go wrong with "too much" main venting.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    Those need to be mounted higher.

    As you can see, the USAV vent (the silver one) has been ruined by water. The same thing will happen to the new ones. The higher you can extend them above the main, the longer they will last, and when access is a problem, you want them to last, right?

    I recall a discussion on here a while back about using thermostatic traps as main vents. They cost more, but they will last a lot longer than conventional main vents. You might want to see if you can get a pro to install them for you so they vent to a safe place where they won't damage anything. If done right, you might not have to touch them again for a long time.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • HelpMyHeat
    find a contractor

    Heatinghelp.com has been such a tremendous resource with steam experts providing consistent and extremely helpful advice.

    Unfortunately, it has been really hard to find an actual steam pro to come to my residence to fix my steam issues. I live in Queens and have used find a contractor ...yet either I am too far for them, despite their profile stating they service all of NYC, or they get to my house and tell me they never heard of heatinghelp.com But, worse they tell me that they are steam experts but never heard of gorton #2s or vent-rite vents...

    Anybody from Queens, NY on this forum that can help me? I need the basics performed... These main vents replaced with Gorton#2s and a possible radiator replacement with a baseboard...
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752

    Give me a call or write any time. I service Queens, and definitely know what Gorton #2's are!


    ALIGA Member Posts: 194

    i am a homeowner from queens, and can give you a lending hand on the valve replacement.
  • Blaine
    Blaine Member Posts: 21
    edited October 2013
    are the vents always at the far end?

    my largest pipes have vents but they are on the boiler end. above the boiler to be exact. are the main vents supposed to be at the far end? the pipes appear to be a circular run with the leads that go up from the basement at various intervals. unlike the rest of the house all the pipes in the basement are all exposed. the only place i see vents are above the boiler. (beams are top in the pics. not sure why all my photos get turned)

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
    Good location, but

    they can have a short life if left there. If possible run them back along that pipe about a foot so they are isolated from any slugs of water that come along and make sure that new pipe has a little slope so the water finds it's way back to the boiler.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
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