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How to tell if main vents are working properly...

Roddy Member Posts: 63
I have a total of six Gorton #1's on my one pipe steam return lines; three on each of my two returns. Not enough headroom for the larger Gorton #2's. What's the best way to check to make sure they're opening and closing, working properly? They get very hot, and no steam or water ever comes out of them, and I think I might occasionally hear a click when one of them closes, but how do I best do a check on them? Or, what should I watch for?
Thanks in advance,


  • Mark N
    Mark N Member Posts: 1,115
    edited December 2014
    The only thing that should come out of a vent is air. You can't see air and you shouldn't hear it. Do you smoke? Use a lit cigarette, the air will blow the smoke around. You can also use a piece of tissue.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
    Steam will burn skin so take a piece of tissue paper and tape in onto a dowel or whatever it takes to reach the vents. While the boiler is running but before the main gets steam hot, hold the tissue paper in front of the vent hole to see if air is coming out.

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