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.

Sounds like boiling water in my radiators and lots of whistling

I have a number of problems with my steam heat. After reading We Got Steam Heat, I think my largest problem is the main vents. I have two vents in the basement that look like the same shape and size as the ones on my radiators. When I hold a finger over them, I get a little air fro one and none from the other. Can I take these off, soak them in vinegar, and replace them? Should I have more or larger vents? I'd get a repairman to do work, but I haven't found one that seems to know steam heat.


  • Small main vents

    If they look like radiator vents, then they are probably too small to be of much use. What size is the tapping into the main?

    Pictures would help to identify them.--NBC
  • Skindel
    Skindel Member Posts: 14

    They are Vent-Rites #35. Only a little air seems to be coming out of one of them. 3/4" male/ 1/2" female. Should I replace them or just clean them? What should I replace them with.

    Thanks so much!
  • Main vent replacement

    Our favorites are the Gorton 2, but they are tall so measure what your headroom is.

    They can be found at pexsupply.com--NBC
  • Skindel
    Skindel Member Posts: 14
    edited February 2014
    main vent measurements

    I have 6" from the pipe to one of the main vents and 3.5" at the second. I know Gorton #2s won't work on the 3.5", but will they fit on the 6"? Is it okay to have Gorton #1 for one vent and a Gorton #2? The Vent-Rites also have a 3/4" opening, so is there a converter?

    Any one know of anyone who works with steam heat in the Mystic, CT area?

    (photo is sideways)
  • Double D
    Double D Member Posts: 442
    edited February 2014
    3/4"x1/2" bushing

    Tha depends on how much cubic feet of air you have in your piping. You could use an antler with 2 or more Gorton1s on it.

    You could reduce the 3/4" with this bushing.


    Or you could also remove the 3/4"x1/2" reducing coupling and install a 1/2" coupling