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Varivalves in older convectors and Venting Help?

MissButtersMissButters Member Posts: 18
edited November 2017 in Radiant Heating
We recently bought an older house (built 1901), and although we thought the house was all cast iron radiators, it turns out that we have a mix of cast iron radiators and convectors (looks to be the American Standard Arco convectors). We are going to replace some of the valves with adjustable valves to try to balance the system, and we were wondering if we could use the Varivent adjustable valves (925006-00) on the American Standard convectors, or are there special convector valves we should be using?

Also, any tips on how best to balance a system that is a mix of both radiators and convectors? The thermostat sits in a room with a convector, but one of the bedrooms on the second floor that is farthest away from the boiler gets very cold (has cast iron radiator). We were hoping putting a new adjustable valve on that radiator with it being all the way open will help that room heat up quicker. We would greatly appreciate any suggestions!


  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,399
    First things first. What is the main venting like in the basement? That has to be correct before you have any hope of getting the system properly balanced.

    As for the varivalves, they are extremely aggressive and many times can cause other problems if used.

    Some alternatives would be the Hoffman 1A (rad) 1B (convector), ventrite#1, or the maid o mist "kit" that comes with a set of orifices to adjust the vent.

    As far as the convectors, most manufacturers make a version of their vents for convectors that have a straight instead of an angled connection.

    Again you must start with the main venting. Post some pictures of your main venting and measure the length and size of your main piping and we can give you some recommendations for main venting (most of the time it isn't adequate).
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • MissButtersMissButters Member Posts: 18
    Great - thanks so much! We will take a look at the main venting tonight and get some pictures. Will also look into the other valves you suggested,
  • MissButtersMissButters Member Posts: 18
    I've attached a few pictures of our boiler, the main vent (which is a Gorton but not sure of size), and the pressure controls and gauge. Does it look small, and if so, what should we replace it with?

    We definitely could use tips for balancing. As I stated, we have a mix of radiators and convectors. One convector on the 2nd floor fairly far from the boiler does not seem to be working at all - the steam pipe does not even get hot. Another convector in the master bathroom also isn't working, but the pipe going into the convector at least gets hot. Also, the radiator in the bedroom furthest from the boiler (in what is an addition to the house) on the second floor gets hot, but the room doesn't stay warm compared to the rest of the house and will drop to about 6 degrees lower than the other bedrooms. The thermostat is on the first floor in the dining room, which has convectors.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  • HenryHenry Member Posts: 963
    I have had success by using TRV on the fin stuff while leaving the cast iron alone. The fin will shutoff quickly while the cast iron is still heating. When the thermostat is satisfied, the TRV on fin would open and the residual heat would keep everyone toasty.
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