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Purchase New Radiator Vents or Clean Them?

To clean the main vents (aka Gorton #1 and #2) or the radiator vents, they say that you should boil them in vinegar. How effective is it to get out the flakes of rust that clog the vents and prevent them from working properly?

Is it better to just buy new main vents and radiator vents and not deal with the hassle of boiling them and not working?

Comments

  • TeachMeSteam
    TeachMeSteam Member Posts: 128
    Also, how often should the main vents and radiator vents be cleaned? Once in how many years?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,122
    Vents, in my opinion, are pretty much an "on condition" item. If you have good reason to suppose that they aren't working -- you get steam coming out, or the vent isn't venting at all -- then it is time to take a look at them.

    If your problem is flakes of rust, though, vinegar won't help -- that's for dissolving scale and such like. I'd be much more curious as to how the flakes of rust are getting in there...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • TeachMeSteam
    TeachMeSteam Member Posts: 128

    Vents, in my opinion, are pretty much an "on condition" item. If you have good reason to suppose that they aren't working -- you get steam coming out, or the vent isn't venting at all -- then it is time to take a look at them.

    If your problem is flakes of rust, though, vinegar won't help -- that's for dissolving scale and such like. I'd be much more curious as to how the flakes of rust are getting in there...

    I know the vents aren't working because the vents are still hissing when the vents are hot. I've replaced them and the boiler has stopped losing water.

    I've never cleaned the vents, just replaced them. But, I'm thinking about cleaning them to save money, especially the large Gorton #1 and #2's. Wondering how effective putting them in vinegar is.

    Also, wondering how often I should be cleaning/replacing the vents...
  • TeachMeSteam
    TeachMeSteam Member Posts: 128
    By the way, I found a good website for the Gorton's and Vent-Rite's.

    Try https://www.wallingtonplumbingsupply.com/

    They are pretty cheap on that site.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,122
    What pressure are you running at? Makes a big difference to vent life...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ethicalpaul
  • TeachMeSteam
    TeachMeSteam Member Posts: 128

    What pressure are you running at? Makes a big difference to vent life...

    Venting at about 1.5 PSI.

    For this particular new boiler, I used to clean the water regularly for the first 2 years so the water used to be crystal clear. But like many things, I let this responsibility slide once the excitement of a new boiler wore off. I haven't been regularly cleaning the water (monthly flushes for a few seconds during the heating season) so my water has been pretty brown. I admit that I might have been flushing it perhaps once every 2 years. ☹ I'm speculating here but perhaps the steam is carrying some of the rust particles and clogging up the vents.
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,368
    > @TeachMeSteam said:
    > By the way, I found a good website for the Gorton's and Vent-Rite's.
    >
    > Try https://www.wallingtonplumbingsupply.com/
    >
    > They are pretty cheap on that site.

    Try supplyhouse.com. Less expensive and easier to navigate.
  • TeachMeSteam
    TeachMeSteam Member Posts: 128

    > @TeachMeSteam said:

    > By the way, I found a good website for the Gorton's and Vent-Rite's.

    >

    > Try https://www.wallingtonplumbingsupply.com/

    >

    > They are pretty cheap on that site.



    Try supplyhouse.com. Less expensive and easier to navigate.

    I tried supplyhouse.com. Unfortunately, they don't have the vent-rites that the people here desire. But for other parts, supplyhouse.com is definitely cheaper.
  • Mike_Sheppard
    Mike_Sheppard Member Posts: 680
    I’d try it and see if it works. Since you’ve already replaced them it wouldn’t hurt to experiment on the old ones. I’d try cleaning them with vinegar as you described and then test them on your system.
    Never stop learning.