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best quality steam valve

bostonapt
bostonapt Member Posts: 10
edited December 2021 in Strictly Steam
I need to get replacement steam Radiator Valve. Which brand is the best, aka last the longest.
My options are
watts, B & K, bluefin, Matco-Norca, Legend Valve
or another brand?
I see watts makes and brass and a bronze model, but I cant tell why you would want one over the other.
Any American made valves? I would like to avoid the cheap Chinese mades ones.
Trying to not just get the most expensive one. Yes my plumber will be installing it I am just buying the valve.
Any idea where I can find radiator shims?
Thanks

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,510
    Watts, Hoffman, Wolverine Brass.

    Any brand is JUNK compared to the old days.

    I would strongly suggest you let the plumber buy the valve.

    Someone needs to check the dimensions of the old valve versus the new valves available. You may have some movement in the piping to install a valve with slightly different dimensions and you may not.

    You might end up having to shim or block the radiator up higher. If the plumber get's there and can't install the valve you bought..........then what???
  • bostonapt
    bostonapt Member Posts: 10
    I return it if they can't use the valve. The current valves are seized up.

    No steam valves are american made? I thought watts was a good brand? What is the difference between watts brass and a bronze steam valve?
  • If they are seized open, then leave them be, or replace with plain pipe, and fittings, as the valve must never be closed, unless the radiator is removed temporarily, for painting.
    Changing valves can be a can of worms, even for an experienced steam fitter.—NBC
    cross_skier
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 912
    Is this a one pipe or two pipe steam system? If it’s one pipe, you can control the heat using the air vent rather than the supply valve.

    Bburd
  • bostonapt
    bostonapt Member Posts: 10
    It's a one pipe system. It is in a single condo unit in a multi unit building so incredible amounts of heat come out. Think 85F all winter long. So last year's stupid tenants turned the valves off, then this years stupid tenants could not turn them on since they where so messed up.
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 912
    bostonapt said:
    It's a one pipe system. It is in a single condo unit in a multi unit building so incredible amounts of heat come out. Think 85F all winter long. So last year's stupid tenants turned the valves off, then this years stupid tenants could not turn them on since they where so messed up.
    Ouch. Unfortunately it sounds like you do need new valves. I’ve had good luck with Hoffman.


    Bburd
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    Marsh is made in the US- and they're packless! :)
    marsh-steam.com/radiator_valves_r100.html
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • bostonapt
    bostonapt Member Posts: 10
    Nice Marsh looks like they actually have a metal handle unlike all the others have a cheap plastic handle.
  • If you loosen the packing nut, then the seized valve will usually turn.
    How is the system controlled? It sounds like the balance is off as well.—NBC
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,736
    bostonapt said:

    It's a one pipe system. It is in a single condo unit in a multi unit building so incredible amounts of heat come out. Think 85F all winter long. So last year's stupid tenants turned the valves off, then this years stupid tenants could not turn them on since they where so messed up.

    I get the impression you are not a tenant by your post, but I could be wrong. My question, why have the system running and or set up such that it is overheating apartments? That is a tremendous waste of fuel/money.

    I know that isn't your original question, but when I read something like that I feel the need to comment as to other aspects of your system we could help with.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • bostonapt
    bostonapt Member Posts: 10
    It is a 100+ old building where the steam heat comes on when the temperature outside drops below a certain temperature outside, I think 55. I am pretty sure the boiler provides steam to 12 units between two buildings. It is a very basic one pipe system because of how old it is. Check out a few pictures https://imgur.com/a/xxJ84nV No I did not paint any of the radiators, the person who painted them did a hideous job. It is just how they where designed back then.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    That's not hideous. Hideous is when there are so many coats you can barely see light between the sections. At least it looks like they stripped the old paint before they repainted them.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,736
    When that system was designed, it heated the building evenly and to the proper temperature, if that is currently not happening then the system has a problem.

    The controls are adjustable, and 100 years ago they wouldn't have even had the controls you describe, those are newer, but should be fully adjustable to tune the system in.

    Also imbalance and overheating on a one pipe system are almost always a venting issue that is relatively easily fixed.

    Like I said, we like to help around here, and part of that is correct misunderstandings about what these systems are capable of. You present as having the opinion it's old and that's the way it is, which would be incorrect.

    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    Hap_Hazzardcross_skierdelcrossvmattmia2
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    Personally, I'd be looking for the valves that match the dimensions of the existing valves, not looking for the best ones, and, assuming the tenants are going to monkey with them, I wouldn't look for anything too expensive. But that's just me.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,965
    Have the plumber remove the guts of the existing valve (will turn it into a fancy elbow with a union). Install a 1/8" male by female ball valve, in the air vent tapping. Screw the air vent into the valve. 
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,965
    Dahl makes a good version. Available @ Supplyhouse 
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,510
    As much as I agree with not having tennents messing with stuff in an apartment or condo I think valves should remain in case the heat needs to be shut of in an emergency. ......broken air vent.

    It could make a big mess by the time the tennent finds the leak then finds the super to shut the boiler off because the tennent doesn't have access
    Hap_Hazzard
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    edited December 2021
    @bostonapt You can't "throttle" one pipe steam using the radiator valve. It's either ON or OFF. Adjusting output is at the vent as Steam Doctor suggests. Close the vent and the radiator won't heat, Install a smaller vent, and it will heat slower and less.

    https://supplyhouse.com/Dahl-521-50-60-1-8-FIP-x-1-8-MIP-Straight-Mini-Ball-Valve-Rough-Brass-Lead-Free

    FWIW, in one of our buildings the system was installed in 1912 and the boiler replaced in 1965. It heats evenly and maintains a nice 70 degree +/- 2 degree temp in all apartments.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • bostonapt
    bostonapt Member Posts: 10

    Dahl makes a good version. Available @ Supplyhouse 

    I can only find three brand of 1" Steam Angle Radiator Valves on supply house, none are Dahl.
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    edited December 2021
    It's a valve that goes before the vent, not on the supply. See my supplyhouse link above.

    The vent is the roughly cylindrical item halfway up the radiator on the opposite side of the radiator valve.

    The way this works is that as long as the air in the radiator can't escape from the vent, the steam can't get in regardless of whether the supply valve is open or not.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • bostonapt
    bostonapt Member Posts: 10
    edited December 2021
    Sorry @delcrossv I would rather use designed for steam.
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    edited December 2021
    @bostonapt ??? designed for steam? It's a mini ball valve. .
    Has nothing to do with the supply valve like the Marsh one I posted earlier. Two different animals for two different purposes. Maybe this will help:


    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • bostonapt
    bostonapt Member Posts: 10
    Sorry @delcrossv I had no idea you where referring to a Dahl air vent.
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    @bostonapt No worries. The valve would go between the radiator and the air vent to throttle the radiator.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 887
    Marsh valves are fine, so are hoffman valves made by the zylem company.

    Brass is fine bronze is used mostly for maarine use.

    Jake
    delcrossv
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846

    Brass is fine bronze is used mostly for maarine use.

    Jake

    Technically, the difference between brass and bronze is that brass is a copper-zinc alloy and bronze is a copper-tin alloy. In alloys containing both tin and zinc, it depends on which is higher, but many brasses are called bronze and vice-versa. Properties of these alloys vary widely depending on other metals added to improve machinability, ductility, maleability and corrosion resistance. Naval brass like 464 and 485 are widely used in marine environments, and 280 was specifically designed for marine use. Most clipper ships had hulls lined with 280 brass.

    A recent requirement that has had a huge impact on brass alloys is the requirement for lead-free products. Lead was traditionally added to alloys like 314 and 360 for machinability, which is essential in an alloy used to make valves. Most valves today are made from 693 eco brass, which contains no lead, arsenic or bismuth, but it machines at roughly the same rate as 360 free-machining brass. It also has excellent strength and corrosion resistance.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24