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MoM Curiosity

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Lard
Lard Member Posts: 115
So, as I have mentioned before, I like to find out why things fail. It may be pathological...

One of the year-old MoM radiator vents stuck closed over at the church and a boil did nada. Time for destructive analysis!

These are crimped, unlike the higher-quality Gorton units that are soldered, so there is no reassembly. I pried the crimp apart and found a rusty mess on the bimetal strip. This corrosion had it frozen in place with no reaction to heat.

The “float” felt very dense to be a float. I actually could use it for tightlining catfish! It sinks like a rock in a glass of water. Out came the hacksaw to see if it was flooded but it turns out to be solid plastic.

Gorton at least has a float of sorts. No more MoM’s for me.

Comments

  • Precaud
    Precaud Member Posts: 370
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    Lard said:

    These are crimped, unlike the higher-quality Gorton units that are soldered, so there is no reassembly.

    That's a nonsense comparison. If you pried apart one of the Gorton equivalents, there wouldn't be any reassembly of it either...
    1950's Bryant boiler in a 1-pipe steam system at 7,000 ft in northern NM, where basements are rare.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    > @Precaud said:
    > (Quote)
    > That's a nonsense comparison. If you pried apart one of the Gorton equivalents, there wouldn't be any reassembly of it either...

    If the Gortons are soldered they can be taken apart without damaging them.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Precaud
    Precaud Member Posts: 370
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    I'd like to see someone do that.
    1950's Bryant boiler in a 1-pipe steam system at 7,000 ft in northern NM, where basements are rare.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,747
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    if you're careful about how you pry a crimp apart you can put it back together too...
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    > @Precaud said:
    > I'd like to see someone do that.

    You'd like to see someone unsolder something without damaging it?

    It's done all of the time.

    Plumbers often do it.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,335
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    Hi, So what happened? The vent stayed full of water allowing galvanic corrosion to eat up the spring? Also, might be interesting to contact MoM and ask about the float. Their response could be useful. o:)

    Yours, Larry
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,747
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    i wonder if the float would dry out and become buoyant again
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
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    Is it called a “float”? If a radiator vent sees enough water to float, the vent is not anything close to the top problem.

    And just to be sure, that vent is stamped MoM?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
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    > @ChrisJ said:
    > > @Precaud said:
    > > I'd like to see someone do that.
    >
    > You'd like to see someone unsolder something without damaging it?
    >
    > It's done all of the time.
    >
    > Plumbers often do it.

    I think the challenge is to see someone disassemble and then reassemble a Gorton vent, described by Lard as being a feature of a higher quality vent
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Precaud
  • Precaud
    Precaud Member Posts: 370
    edited January 2020
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    ChrisJ said:

    It's done all of the time.

    Plumbers often do it.

    No, not abtract. The equivalence he made was very specific. Let's see him pry a Gorton apart, solder it back together, and show that it functions properly.
    1950's Bryant boiler in a 1-pipe steam system at 7,000 ft in northern NM, where basements are rare.
    ethicalpaul
  • gfrbrookline
    gfrbrookline Member Posts: 753
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    I was recently enlightened by someone on this page that the plastic piece inside the MoM is supposed to be solid plastic, sorry I can't remember who. Neither the MoM plastic of Gorton brass units are floats, unlike Hoffman's and Ventrite's which have a float filled with alcohol that expands when steam hits is, the Gorton's and MoM's have a plug that is controlled by a bimetal actuator that pushes the plug up to stop the venting when it gets hot.

    If the plastic plug is solid in the MoM it is not inferior to the Gorton in terms of operation, just a difference in material quality and an attention to detail in the build quality with crimping vs soldering, ie Ford Vs. Mercedes.

    If you put the vents side by side you will notice a significant difference in the appearance. The plating on the Gorton is smooth, the lettering is crisp, where as the MoM the surface is rough, the lettering is often legible but rough. The MoM is made for a lower price point. Since Gorton puts so much more effort into the quality if their build I can only think there might be a difference in the quality of the bimetal actuator which is the part that makes the vent work.
    Gordo
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
    edited January 2020
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    When your vent costs <del class="Delete">4x</del> (edit: 3x) as much, there is lots of room to make lettering that is not visible in operation look pretty 😂

    If the vent performs 4x better or 4x longer, I haven’t seen evidence yet. But I remain open to the idea. I’ve seen reports of both failing, and I know there are many unreported cases of both working fine for years
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Lard
    Lard Member Posts: 115
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    > @Precaud said:
    > (Quote)
    > No, not abtract. The equivalence he made was very specific. Let's see him pry a Gorton apart, solder it back together, and show that it functions properly.


    I have unsoldered , cleaned, adjusted, then resoldered Gortons without issue. I did not take photos unfortunately. No different than copper fittings or circuit board components. The crimp on the MoM is quite tenacious- uncrimping causes too much distortion for the rubber gasket to do its job. I suppose it could be gooped together with RTV.

    The vent in question is a genuine Jacubus MoM purchased from SupplyHouse.

    The Gorton design does have a float (as an inverted cup). This affords some buoyancy so long as the vent is upright.
    ChrisJ
  • Lard
    Lard Member Posts: 115
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    The corrosion is my biggest complaint. The bimetal strip rusted faster than a 1980’s Toyota. I’m guessing it is the cheapest bimetal sheet they can lay their hands on. The Gortons did not have rust on the strip whatsoever.

    Most of the time, the vent need not close upon water. If the Gorton is also not a “float”, the main vents share the same inverted cup design (and I often see the float feature brought up in the in the “Big Mouth vs. G2” debate).

    I am sticking to Hoffmans where the *plink!* is a non-issue (plus, they are completely non-ferrous) and Gortons in the quiet areas.

    There are some 30-year old hoffman 40’s on the system that still work fine (the ones that failed were brought to their demise by fatigue cracking of the float bottom after a -lot- of “plinking”— thus losing the magic juice). I consider that lifetime more than acceptable.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
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    Thanks for the info. The reason a float is desirable on main vents is because pressure can push the waterline higher in the return, perhaps up to the main vent.

    This isn’t an issue for radiator vents.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Lard
    Lard Member Posts: 115
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    > @ethicalpaul said:
    > Thanks for the info. The reason a float is desirable on main vents is because pressure can push the waterline higher in the return, perhaps up to the main vent.
    >
    > This isn’t an issue for radiator vents.

    > @ethicalpaul said:
    > Thanks for the info. The reason a float is desirable on main vents is because pressure can push the waterline higher in the return, perhaps up to the main vent.
    >
    > This isn’t an issue for radiator vents.

    It is an issue for a few I deal with- two-pipe air vent ceiling radiators in the basement. If the pressure creeps up from a setback on a cold day (it’s a church, incremental setbacks do save fuel on that weekly time scale) or condensate load is high from an extra chilly basement, the floats in the Gortons actually do shut the vent. It limits it to a small droplet instead of a fountain. Ceiling rads are tricky when it comes to condensate- it is mere inches away from the vent port.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
    edited January 2020
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    That'll teach me to speak in absolutes. But a 2-pipe air vent?

    Anyway, OK definitely don't use a MoM in a basement ceiling two-pipe radiator with an air vent.

    PS: Was this vent from one of the flood-prone ceiling radiators?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    What's the point of the plastic "thing" in MOM vents if it's not a float?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
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    It seems like it transfers the force from the bimetallic strip to block the port, and the top of it blocks the port.

    PS I found this review of Gorton from 2012 so I'm definitely going to try one!


    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    ChrisJKC_Jones
  • Lard
    Lard Member Posts: 115
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    > @ethicalpaul said:
    > That'll teach me to speak in absolutes. But a 2-pipe air vent?
    >
    > Anyway, OK definitely don't use a MoM in a basement ceiling two-pipe radiator with an air vent.
    >
    > PS: Was this vent from one of the flood-prone ceiling radiators?

    It came off of a second-story ARCO Peerless that does not have water issues.

    Two pipe, air vent is a thing! Steam supply in, drip to wet return on other end below the water line.
    ethicalpaul
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    I don't see any reason for preferring a Gorton in an application where water is an issue. They both use the same bimetal strip. If the Gorton fills up with water it's going to rust too.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Dollr
    Dollr Member Posts: 35
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    > @ethicalpaul said:

    > PS I found this review of Gorton from 2012 so I'm definitely going to try one!

    Funny, I posted a bit earlier about 2 new Gorton vents I installed earlier today. They both released steam throughout the heating cycle and only closed if I slap them. The Hoffmans on all the other radiators open and close as they should. That clicking clacking sound of warmth. I’m not sold on Gortons. Going to return them. That’s my experience anyway.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    edited January 2020
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    Lard said:


    The “float” felt very dense to be a float. I actually could use it for tightlining catfish! It sinks like a rock in a glass of water. Out came the hacksaw to see if it was flooded but it turns out to be solid plastic.

    Yes, it's solid plastic, but it floats.

    I don't know about you, but I call this floating!

    The advantage of using a solid plastic float is that it can't leak. Its specific gravity is not going to change. I don't believe you when you say that yours sank. It's simply not possible.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    Precaud
  • Lard
    Lard Member Posts: 115
    edited January 2020
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    > @Hap_Hazzard said:
    > (Quote)
    > Yes, it's solid plastic, but it floats.
    > (Image)
    >
    > I don't know about you, but I call this floating!
    >
    > The advantage of using a solid plastic float is that it can't leak. Its specific gravity is not going to change. I don't believe you when you say that yours sank. It's simply not possible.

    Mine sank like a rock. I did not have a clear glass on-hand, but the original post has a photo showing it lying on the bottom of a plastic cup of water.

    I have a couple more from the same batch starting to slow down, likely from bimetal rust death. I will dissect these when they quit and try the test again.

    Maybe the density of the plastic is not quite right in the one I took apart. If so, poor QC on their part if it is really supposed to float. I can’t see it becoming highly “saturated” over time either—though many plastics do have quite the affinity for water molecules. Certain nylons come to mind...

    I will still steer clear of these— not so much because of the apparently hit-and-miss float, but I can’t have bimetal strips seizing up in one full season of use. I imagine they were higher quality in the past, but have likely fallen victim to the “race to the bottom”.
  • Lard
    Lard Member Posts: 115
    edited January 2020
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    > @Hap_Hazzard said:
    > I don't see any reason for preferring a Gorton in an application where water is an issue. They both use the same bimetal strip. If the Gorton fills up with water it's going to rust too.


    This is where I believe there is a difference in the material used. I have not seen the extreme rusting in the Gortons of the same age.

    Same goes for import vs. US black pipe.. one rots out in a year, the other in 20 years... “but it is the same thing!”

    The corrosion in the Gortons is the brass— white barnacles encrusting the float and body but not the strip. Hoffmans get the same white buggers in them.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    You can use a lot of different grades of steel to make pipe. As long as it welds and holds water, you're good. But if you're making a bimetal strip that bends the same amount at the same temperature, you have a lot less latitude.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    Lard said:


    Mine sank like a rock. I did not have a clear glass on-hand, but the original post has a photo showing it lying on the bottom of a plastic cup of water.

    Are you sure that's water? It might sink in oil, but not water. There's no kind of alchemy on earth that can change the specific gravity of a piece of plastic without changing its form. You must be dealing with a counterfeit valve.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Lard
    Lard Member Posts: 115
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    > @Hap_Hazzard said:
    > (Quote)
    > Are you sure that's water? It might sink in oil, but not water. There's no kind of alchemy on earth that can change the specific gravity of a piece of plastic without changing its form. You must be dealing with a counterfeit valve.

    Yes, I put it in a light hydrocarbon to mess with everyone...
    It’s plain tap water (very hard tap water, actually, and the source is NOT the “burning” Cuyahoga river)

    I don’t believe it is counterfeit, unless SupplyHouse got ahold of cases of ‘em (this was from a sealed case I bought there).

    It is not a “Home Cheapo” knockoff that they sell now. We don’t even have one of those stores near enough to bother...
    ChrisJ
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    This is crazy. You should definitely tell the manufacturer about it. Something just ain't right there.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
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    Dollr said:

    > @ethicalpaul said:



    > PS I found this review of Gorton from 2012 so I'm definitely going to try one!



    Funny, I posted a bit earlier about 2 new Gorton vents I installed earlier today. They both released steam throughout the heating cycle and only closed if I slap them. The Hoffmans on all the other radiators open and close as they should. That clicking clacking sound of warmth. I’m not sold on Gortons. Going to return them. That’s my experience anyway.

    Yeah, sorry, I was trying to be funny because that review was from our own @ChrisJ almost 10 years ago on Supplyhouse.com

    I will buy a Gorton to compare to my nice MoM's but I'm waiting for my tax refund :lol:
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    Dollr said:

    > @ethicalpaul said:



    > PS I found this review of Gorton from 2012 so I'm definitely going to try one!



    Funny, I posted a bit earlier about 2 new Gorton vents I installed earlier today. They both released steam throughout the heating cycle and only closed if I slap them. The Hoffmans on all the other radiators open and close as they should. That clicking clacking sound of warmth. I’m not sold on Gortons. Going to return them. That’s my experience anyway.

    Yeah, sorry, I was trying to be funny because that review was from our own @ChrisJ almost 10 years ago on Supplyhouse.com

    I will buy a Gorton to compare to my nice MoM's but I'm waiting for my tax refund :lol:
    Will spend excessive money on clear piping in basement, but won't invest in better quality vents. :p
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
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    Haha how about "will spend excessive money on a main vent and then not install it for years?" :)

    We are strange creatures, for sure, but in this case it makes perfect sense--I've not yet had a MoM I have purchased give me any trouble (and I've had several ancient ones still working fine as well) so I just don't see the "better quality" yet

    I could still be convinced!
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el