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venting for in floor radiator

I'm working on balancing my one pipe counter flow system. I discovered this vent in the basement for my in floor radiator (see pictures- the first 3 are from upstairs, then from the basement). It seems be an adjustable orifice that lets the air out, but then it seems to just let the steam out as well. Can I just put a regular vent on here instead? Why is the vent like this? Is it functioning as designed?

When the vent's open (even just a tiny bit), it's the best place to stand in the house! Just don't want to loose too much water over the long run.


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,712
    That's an old differential-expansion vent. You'll want to replace it with a modern air vent, which will have to sit upright.

    Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • steamydeeds
    steamydeeds Member Posts: 7
    I'm in Minneapolis. So when the steam hits that tube it's supposed to expand and close the vent? I'll have to take a closer look and see if that's happening- maybe it is working. I think I can fit a Gorton in there upright but I'll have to check.
  • I'm sure a modern vent will be better. Measure up the vertical space you have, and post here for measurements of the popular vents, which may fit.--NBC