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Macon OPSK vs Varivalve Quickvents?

JU22
JU22 Member Posts: 7
Hi! I have a one pipe heating system, and the upstairs of my home is unbearably hot, while the downstairs is comparably chilly. I installed Varivalve Quickvents on all the radiators except for the one in the room with the thermostat. Opened all of the ones downstairs and left all the ones upstairs on "closed" setting on the valves. Don't think it really did anything to help the situation. I've been reading that the Macon OPSK is the best TRV for one pipe systems and I see that they are significantly more expensive than the Varivalves.

Can anyone tell me what is different about the OPSK that may help my situation? Thank you!

Comments

  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 979
    One thing of high importance for you to know is the "Closed" position on Varivalves still lets air out of the radiator. An angle Varivalve at the minimum setting passes the equivalent of a Maid-O-Mist #5 or between a Gorton #5 and a #6. If you need to reduce the venting rate, you need something that passes less or an adjustable vent valve like a Ventrite #1.

    To learn more about the vent rates of lots of valves, etc. go to the URL below. It is a report done a few years ago and is tremendously valuable in understanding the capabilities of lots of different pieces of equipment.

    https://heatinghelp.com/systems-help-center/balancing-steam-systems-using-a-vent-capacity-chart/

    Pages 11 and 12 of the report list the vent rate of the Gorton, Heat Timer Varivalve and Maid-O-Mist valves.

    I had Varivalves in my system and swapped almost all of them for either orificed vents or the Ventrite.

    Whatever you do, avoid cheap knockoffs. You will end up spending more in the long run in time and money.

    The guys, with decades more experience than I, will probably add to this discussion and ask for more information on your system before recommending actions.
    JU22
  • What sort of main vents are on your system? They are better prepared to allow the air out of the main pipes faster than the radiator vents. A low pressure gauge will confirm when your main vents can allow the air out at a backpressure less than 2 ounces, although some systems can do this at even lower pressures.
    All being well, the main pipes fill first, and then steam arrives at all the radiators simultaneously.--NBC
    JU22Dave in QCA
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,698
    To add to above, no one is saying don't use the TRV, but the reality is the system needs to be fairly well balanced before fine tuning with a TRV.

    I agree with the above about varivalves, they are quite aggressive which would make them tricky to adjust.

    Start with main venting and go up from there.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    JU22Dave in QCA
  • JU22
    JU22 Member Posts: 7
    Just started looking into all of this today, so I feel pretty overwhelmed by all of the advice out there and different ways to approach the problem.

    Yes, it seems like a balanced system is the first order of business. It looks like I have a single Gorton#1 as the venting for the main. Also, it may hiss. Don't know if this is a sufficient amount of venting/if the hissing also indicates a problem? I assume the hissing is a problem, just as it would be for a valve attached to a radiator.
  • JU22
    JU22 Member Posts: 7
    Anyone know if putting a Big mouth on instead of my old Gorton is a safe bet?
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,698
    Need to know length and diameter of each main and we could recommend a proper amount of main venting.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    JU22
  • JU22
    JU22 Member Posts: 7
    Ok, hopefully I am doing this right. It looks like there are two mains? And right near the boiler, there appears to be one main vent. It's a torpedo shaped Ventor Hoffman. The outside circumference of that pipe is ~5.5", not sure how to calculate the inner diameter from that. There is only 1-2 ft from the boiler to this Hoffman. The other main spans across the original part of the house goes all the way across an addition that was put onto the house in the 70's. The total length there is 60', and the circumference of that pipe is ~7.5". At the end of the pipe going across the addition is another vent. That one is a Gorton No.C. I've attached a pic just in case I am assessing the number of mains incorrectly (which seems more than likely)!