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Steam vents vs thermostatic

I live in a 8 unit apartment building and every apartment has 2-3 radiators in a steam single pipe system. I'm on the 3rd floor boiler is in the basement and the zone control (thermostat for boiler) is set to a radiator on the 1st floor apartment.

Our two radiators get super hot during certain times of the day so we currently end up closing the radiator during the evening hours and having to turn it back on sometime during the day as the apartment gets colder and the radiant heat from other apartments aren't enough to keep warm.

I was looking at the Macon opsk kits for my two radiators and then found the vent rite 1 valves that might do the trick for me as well. I'm slightly confused, they both limit the amount of air our therefore theoretically controls how hot/cold the radiator gets, both my radiators are exposed but the opsk would kinda protrude enough for me to walk into it, is there any benefit of one vs the other in controlling the heat?

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,049
    The device which you mention is called a thermostatically controlled vent. There are a number of makes of such things; that's one of them.

    If the room is above the setpoint when the boiler turns on, it will keep the radiator from getting any steam, and thus keep it from heating the space. If the room cools off while the boiler is running, it will allow steam in -- but what it won't do is turn the steam off again while the boiler is running, or if the room gets too warm while the boiler is running.

    So long as that is understood, they do work well as a temperature control for a room which is overheating.

    On the other hand, so will slowing the venting rate. A slower vent will do that and thus reduce the heat a little more reliably -- and every time -- but not as much.

    Bottom line: I'd try the slowest vent I could first (the Ventrite at the lowest setting is OK; again, there are others (Gorton, Maid-O-Mist) which also will work.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ouikikazz
    ouikikazz Member Posts: 2
    The device which you mention is called a thermostatically controlled vent. There are a number of makes of such things; that's one of them. If the room is above the setpoint when the boiler turns on, it will keep the radiator from getting any steam, and thus keep it from heating the space. If the room cools off while the boiler is running, it will allow steam in -- but what it won't do is turn the steam off again while the boiler is running, or if the room gets too warm while the boiler is running. So long as that is understood, they do work well as a temperature control for a room which is overheating. On the other hand, so will slowing the venting rate. A slower vent will do that and thus reduce the heat a little more reliably -- and every time -- but not as much. Bottom line: I'd try the slowest vent I could first (the Ventrite at the lowest setting is OK; again, there are others (Gorton, Maid-O-Mist) which also will work.
    There are no markings on my current vent, precious owner bought the cheapest he could off Amazon to sell the place I believe so without knowing the size I wouldn't be able to figure out what to size down to other than using the vent rite and playing with the settings I'd presume?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,049
    Cheer up. It's unlikely that the previous sizes were correct anyway... there is no good way to predict what size vent will work best for a give radiator. It's a bit of a guessing game, made more interesting by the fact that changing a vent on one radiator will likely affect others. This is why the adjustable ones are so nice.

    Start slow and go from there.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • motoguy128
    motoguy128 Member Posts: 378
    The ventrites are nice because they are adjustable and I find they are quieter than most in vacuum and when they close. They are a fairly slow vent to begin with. I’d start there and see if it helps before trying a TRV.

    With a TRV the one problem is if it closes while the boiler is running, steam will still heat to the furthest point it reached. So if the radiator is heated 1l2 way (vented 1/2 way) then half off it will keep heating.