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Add main vents in basement?

I have single pipe radiators on the second floor. They take a while to heat up but they do heat up. I found that I have no main vents in the basement. It would seem like there are places in the basement where they potentially should/could go but I'm no expert. The pipe with the quarter on it in the first pic, is that where there should be an air vent? Right now it's just capped off. In the last pic there's another capped of opening. Is that for an air vent? And in the second to last pic there's that opening with a plug screwed in.
Enlighten me please.

Comments

  • FredFred Member Posts: 6,487
    Main vents need to go at the end of each main, or anywhere after the last radiator run-out. It looks like those location are perfect for vents. Do you have 3 Mains? It looks like 3 different locations. The one location with the plug, that is angled will need a 45 degree elbow so the the vent will be upright. The rule of thunb is the equalivent of one Gorton #2 vent for every 20 feet of 2" main. Put those vents on and the steam will get to the rads much faster.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 3,483
    I agree with Fred, and would also speculate at least one of those was from a radiator that was removed. I am almost thinking all of them are from old radiators judging by the pipe size. Any evidence of radiator removal in the house?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • SteinwaySteinway Member Posts: 4
    I'm not sure what exactly constitutes a main. Here's a crude drawing. The circles are where the long pipes turn up to go through the basement ceiling. The circles are also about where those capped/plugged pipes are. Does that mean I have 4 mains? Or is the long pipe in the middle the main and everything else a branch?
    The house is from 1890. The piping is probably mostly original. I have steam radiators on the second floor and hot water baseboard on the first floor. Yes, there were originally radiators on the first floor; I can see indentations on the floor in each room from the feet.
    Thanks for the help.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 3,483
    Do you only have 4 radiators on the second floor? And BTW those rads are gorgeous, can't imagine why anyone would tear them out....yikes.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • SteinwaySteinway Member Posts: 4
    There are 6 radiators on the second floor. Two of them are like a foot and a half apart (separated by a wall). Maybe the pipe splits in the floor? Is that a thing?
    Yeah, I wish whoever took out the first floor radiators would have left them in the basement for me like they did with the 100 year old shutters.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 3,483
    I would put some kind of venting on those mains. From the pics and your drawing it "appears" like those pipes are basically just radiator run outs, but in reality they are the house mains still. Venting them in the basement will help get the steam moving faster and save you on fuel for sure. Measure the length and size of the pipes and we can recommend how much venting to use.
    Steinway said:

    T Maybe the pipe splits in the floor? Is that a thing?

    The house is 125 years old, anything is possible. It would be good to know what is going on because it could help with balancing the system.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • FredFred Member Posts: 6,487
    Oh My Gosh!! That radiator is amazing!Why would anyone have removed those??? Put the vents on both of those branches and at one end of the long horizontal.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 4,393
    It reminds me of a hand carved chess piece.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 12,122
    Steinway said:

    Yeah, I wish whoever took out the first floor radiators would have left them in the basement for me like they did with the 100 year old shutters.

    You can't fix stupid!

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Member Posts: 1,947
    Looks like someone decided to make up for lack of main venting using heattimer varivents on max. Vent the mains fast and the rads slow.
  • SteinwaySteinway Member Posts: 4
    Vent the mains? Why didn't I think of that?

    I was able to get a Gorton 2 on the main where the plug is. That is located on the right end of the pipe that runs left to right in the awesome picture I drew and posted in my previous post. There are two spots that have caps on them where I was going to put additional vents. There's one at the left end of the pipe that runs left to right and another one on the pipe that ends at the top of the drawing. Both of those spots feed 2 radiators each so I was really hoping to get vents there but I couldn't get those caps off with big wrench. They're stuck on there pretty good. Is there any trick to getting these old caps off besides brute force?

    I put the varivalves on all my radiators a couple years ago because some rooms were scorching and some were freezing. So some valves are open all the way, some are half, some are closed. I think they actually work pretty good.

    I saw in another thread as well that the mains should be vented fast and the radiators slow. I understand venting the mains fast when possible but why vent the radiators slow? If someone is bored and wants to show how much they know, I'd love to know why.
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 4,783
    If you vent radiators too fast it can imbalance a system because steam will always take the path of least resistance. Fast venting can cause steam to short circuit - it blasts across the bottom of the radiator and up to the vent, that means the radiator won't heat up fully. If you vent a radiator too fast and the pipe size is marginal it can produce condensate fast enough to interfere with the steam that is trying to come up that same pipe

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Local1PlumberLocal1Plumber Member Posts: 10
    Those radiators are gorgeous.
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