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HT vari-valve issue

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kcopp
kcopp Member Posts: 4,432
edited February 2021 in Strictly Steam
Has anyone had issues w/ vari-valves working fine for a few weeks then "failing" and not letting out any air? I have 2 homes where there were problem rads furthest from the boiler. Installed new vari-valves. Problem solved... then the issue returns. Also swapped out the main vents w/ Gorton #1. Is it possible to vent too fast and create a vacuum that locks the radiator out? The main in the basement is plenty hot.
TIA.
ksd99

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  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,785
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    Vari-Valves are made for a Heat Timer system , Apartment buildings where the building heats up a few times during the day by law . You would not normally use them for a residential home . You need resistance to balance the system and a float type just incase the boiler is over filled ..
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,432
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    Really... I have been on this forum for years and have never heard that they are a commercial air vent. And only to be use in a heat timer system.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    kcopp said:

    Really... I have been on this forum for years and have never heard that they are a commercial air vent. And only to be use in a heat timer system.

    They were designed for use with the Heat Timer System. When used as a regular radiator vent, they vent way too fast and usually spit water. I don't know why they would not vent at all, unless the system pressure is so high that they stick closed.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,432
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    I checked the pressure and it is ok. I replaced the heatimers w/ Gorton D and they do seem to be better.
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,967
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    They fail closed, all the time. Glorified junk in my opinion. 
    kcoppLong Beach Ed
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
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    Yeah, I avoid Heat-timer vents best as I can. There was a point in my life where I used them regularly because I was trying to achieve fast venting. I didn't think one could vent to fast.. then I achieved that level of stupidity and learned a lot from that day :D
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

    ethicalpaulkcopp
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,432
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    Good to know. Thanks. They are not cheap either.... Back to my old reliable Gortons.
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,785
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    To control the steam and balance a home you use resistance to heat evenly . We use large fast main vents to heat up the main first , then size the radiator vents for the size of the radiator , to fill up all the radiators at the same time .. On long run additions or problem radiators we use to instal king vents to bring the steam up to the radiator faster . Some added a second vents to the radiator ... I would try a very-valve first . They are a very fast vent , even with that sliding door ... Using them will throw off the whole balance ...
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,203
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    The bellows on the heat timer are mounted to the top and they expand to plug the seat on the bottom. They fall off their mounting and stay closed forever. We installed over a hundred in a year and about 30% failed. Calls, calls and even Certified Mail to Heat Timer, with an analysis of their failure cause and not a response.