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So long Varivalve vents

Dan_NJDan_NJ Member Posts: 118
After repacking 5 out of 9 rad valve stems and discovering and replacing the last one of the 1920s vents in the house I came to find I was still losing up to 1/2 gallon of water per week depending on the weather. Checked with the mirror trick and sure enough the Varivalve on the largest rad in the place set about half way and it simply was not closing at all unless it was almost to the fully closed setting. Have since gone with a few more Hoffman 1As and have three days steaming with ZERO discernible water loss. Also will not miss the vacuum breaking noise of the one Varivalve closer to the boiler. Things are looking up!


  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,418
    Varivalves are so aggressive at venting. I would not suggest anyone use them in a residential setting. The Hoffman 1A's and Vent-rite #1 are both very good/reliable radiator vents.
  • Dan_NJDan_NJ Member Posts: 118
    Aggressive is one thing, never closing at all is something else. Maybe it's the design. I could have just dialed it down more until it closed but wouldn't want to find it stuck open later on.
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,124
    That vacuum breaking noise may indicate a lack of adequate main venting.--NBC
  • Dan_NJDan_NJ Member Posts: 118
    I don't seem to have an issue with main venting that I can tell. Big mouth main vent used to open first and I expect it will be back to that now.
  • Mike CascioMike Cascio Member Posts: 140
    You are much better off with these vents. Those varivalves are way too aggressive and in my opinion JUNK.

    I think the ventrite is the best radiator vent out there, but the hoffman is decent too.
  • Dan_NJDan_NJ Member Posts: 118
    I've got a mix of both. I think I am starting to like the Hoffman "click". Reminds me things are humming along in the background :)
  • SteamingatMohawkSteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 251
    Interesting, I have 9 vari-valves and lime in the makeup water. I like them because they are small and can be easily adjusted. Depending on what is in your system for foreign material, like rust, lime, etc. they may clog over time. I just clean them according to the manufacturer's directions in a vinegar mix. Thanks for your opinions on "better" vents.

    One thing I did recently in my 2 family house is replace Gorton#1s on the condensate return legs with #2s. Again, I talked to the manufacturer and that's what he recommended. 2s are 4 times faster than 1s and I immediately noticed shorter run times with the boiler.
  • Dan_NJDan_NJ Member Posts: 118
    I do like the size of them, but it's not critical. I was really surprised to find the one not closing since it is pretty new. As for the cleaning I'd really rather not have to bother with that if i don't have to and we'll see how the Hoffmans do in that repsect.
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,124
    Our rule of thumb for main vent sizing is one Gorton 2 for each 20 feet total length of 2 inch main, so Mohawk, you might be able to get even shorter steaming times by adding some more venting.—NBC
  • Dan_NJDan_NJ Member Posts: 118
    I may have been too quick to judge the varivalve on the not closing thing - they are still aggressive for sure, but I found a Hoffman 1A on the same radiator behaving similarly and when removed had a good amount of water in it. Could be a combination of my bad near boiler piping and the wet steam it's causing, the distance from the boiler, location in a colder room and radiator length (around 4 feet, 25 sections, ~125 EDR or so). Can anyone suggest what vent might be less susceptible to waterlogging that has a respectable CFM?
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,418
    The Vent-Rite #1 is a great adjustable vent. Make sure you have enough pitch on the radiator to allow condensation to flow back to the supply pipe.
  • Dan_NJDan_NJ Member Posts: 118
    I'll find one of those to have on hand too I guess, thanks.
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