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Single pipe main vent questions

I'm new to this. I have Greening Steam and the Heating Help forum for learning.

I have single pipe steam heat in a standard Cape (2 story, plus basement). It was built in 1953 and has enclosed metal housings with finned radiators about a foot from the floor. I'm hoping to speed up the venting to save energy.

1.) So, I want to change my main vent. What's there is a Dole #4 at the elbow above the Hartford loop. Everything I've read says this is not a good place for a main vent. Since the Dole has no float, is this still a problem? Also read that a Dole #4 is too slow venting to be efficient.
I want to replace it with a Gorton #2 which has a float. I guess I have to move it away from the corner to prevent the water hammer damage.

2.) Even though this is a single pipe system, the last radiator in the run had a return pipe back to the main. A long time ago, the return pipe was disconnected and capped. The point is, I'm left with a capped T-joint with an 8" nipple about 6 feet from the boiler at the return end. Can I use that T-joint for the Gorton #2?

3.) There's no practical way for me to vent the 3 risers to the second floor. In the past the solution was to put Gorton D's on all the second floor radiators. I hope this is a good solution and I can keep that arrangement.

Is this correct so far? Thanks to all the experts here for help with my steam heat.

Comments

  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,263
    Pictures of the vent location will help a lot, descriptions can sometimes be confusing without the context of all the piping.

    Adding a much larger main vent is a great idea, and you may find those D vents on the second floor will be entirely too much once you do it.

    As said on this site many time, need to get the main venting correct first, then work on balancing the radiators.

    I have a 2 story house with 9' ceilings on the first floor and the largest vent I have is a #6, and that's only because the radiator has ~22' of pipe from the main.
    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
  • gfrbrooklinegfrbrookline Member Posts: 490
    Without a picture I am having a hard time visualizing this. If you had a return that was capped wouldn't the opening be facing down. If your current vent is at the end of the dry return it is not ideal but workable, just try and raise it up on a nipple as high as you can go to protect the vent.

    Once you have the main vented you shouldn't need to vent the risers, ditch the Gorton D's the fastest vent you should need is a 5 but if these are in bedrooms you may prefer 4's. You want to vent your radiators slowly and the main quickly. The D is basically a modified main vent.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 11,405
    Nothing inherently wrong with the location of the existing vent -- provided that pipe is a steam main -- that is, a direct continuation of the main, with no traps or water seals in between. The other location you mention probably would also work, provided it is beyond the last radiator takeoff.

    I'm a little puzzled by your comment on a "return pipe" from that radiator. How was that piped in at the radiator end?
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • JohnO'DonnellJohnO'Donnell Member Posts: 4
    edited December 5
    Thanks for these answers. It makes sense, so I'll get the main vented and then balance the radiators. I've since discovered the Big Mouth vent so I'm looking at that instead of the Gorton #2

    I'm a little puzzled by your comment on a "return pipe" from that radiator. How was that piped in at the radiator end?

    All the other radiators are connected at one end only with a single 1-1/4" pipe. The last radiator on the main pipe is attached with a 3/4" pipe coming from the main and a 3/4" pipe coming out of the other end that returns to the main. At some time in the past the 3/4" pipe returning to the main was disconnected and capped. It always worked anyway until the capped section of return pipe leaked (maybe rusted through because of water collecting?). It's turned off until I get it fixed.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 11,405
    That would work. After a fashion. At least it provides another way for the condensate from a large radiator to get back to the main. Fair enough.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • JohnO'DonnellJohnO'Donnell Member Posts: 4
    Here are some pictures that may make it clearer.

    This is the old main vent. It's only 3" from the ceiling (a fire break).


    This is the disconnected return from the last radiator. This shows the 3/4" nipple where I would mount the new main vent. It is 8 feet from the old vent with nothing in between.
    The new vent would be higher up than the old one. A longer nipple would bring it up even higher if necessary.


    Thanks again for the expertise.



  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 11,405
    Second location looks fine -- you can get a nice big vent or two in there with much less hassle! Lucky you!
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
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