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Recommendation: Adjustable Radiator Vents

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Dathanz
Dathanz Member Posts: 34
I'm starting to replace my radiator vents and am going to go with adjustable vents. Wondering what everyone's recommendations/thoughts are on different types, obviously there are a few different brands to choose from.

More importantly, are there any specific ones I should stay away from?

Is there much difference between Hoffman, Varivalve, Ventrite, etc.?

1 Pipe Steam System | Upstate NY

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
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    Ventrite is considered to be decent quality adjustable vents but I will leave others to comment.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,478
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    Stay away from USAV vents,they have a questionable design and spotty quality control. Heatimer Varivents are to aggressive for most applications, the goal is to vent the rads slow and the mains fast. I agree the Ventrites are good but a house full of them is a bit dear.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    scottie_2
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
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    My question would be: why adjustable vents? Are your heating needs in individual rooms changing?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Hap_Hazzard
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    If I absolutely, positively, had to have an adjustable vent, I'd look into the new Maid-o-Mist adjustable vent, which I believe is sold either as a complete vent or as a separate vent port that can be used with their standard radiator vents. Why? So I could replace it with a fixed size vent port after I finished playing around with the adjustment and figured out what size permanent vent I needed.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Dathanz
    Dathanz Member Posts: 34
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    My question would be: why adjustable vents? Are your heating needs in individual rooms changing?

    I think adjustable are the best for me at this point because I'm still trying to dial in my system. All the vents on my radiators are pretty much no good due to the prior homeowner running the system incorrectly in almost all ways that they could.

    Now that it's cold in update NY, my upstairs is much warmer than downstairs (7-10 degree difference). Part of the reason is because my downstairs is not the most airtight (old house under reno has many drafts). The thermostat is downstairs so it keeps trying to warm the downstairs and just continues to heat the upstairs. My thoughts are that using adjustable vents upstairs I can slow down the venting to try and decrease some of the heating upstairs that isn't needed. I actually ran my ceiling fan last night because my bedroom was so warm. I know that replacing radiator vents won't solve everything.

    I'm working on sealing up the drafty window/doors so that should help some. Full disclosure my main venting is **** because the current vent is rusted out and vents poorly. Unfortunately, due to rust/corrosion I'm still working on trying to get that vent/bushing out and plan to replace with a bigmouth. This may not happen though until the spring when I can shutdown the system as I may have to cut out the T the current vent is in and replace that along with the vent. I don't want to open up the system now incase I can't get it put back together quickly.

    1 Pipe Steam System | Upstate NY
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    You're correct. Vents won't solve everything. If that's going to be an ongoing situation you'd need something like TRVs on your upstairs radiators so they'll stop heating at a set temperature.

    As for balancing, the method Paul and I used was just getting a bunch of Maid-o-Mist vents in all different sizes and swapping the vent ports around until we got the right venting for each radiator. The advantage to this is that, once you're done, you can replace those vents with either MoM or Gorton vents when they need to be replaced, because you know the exact number to replace it with. When you replace an adjustable vent, there will always be a period of fiddling to get the new vent to work exactly like the old one.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
    edited January 2022
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    OK sounds like you have a good handle on things. I'm a broken record on this topic, but since all your vents are messed up anyway, you might have a look at Maid O Mist vents. They aren't truly adjustable, but their size is determined by an easily swappable orifice, so you can change the size of the vent in about 10 seconds. Then when they are all balanced, you have the benefit of no one being able to adjust (mess with) them, messing up your balance.

    They are very affordable and readily available at supplyhouse.com
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Dan_NJ
    Dan_NJ Member Posts: 247
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    If you go with the Maid O Mist, grab a few with the multiple orifices included for sure like in the link below. It makes swapping simple. I gave up on VariValve some time back and sold mine on ebay.

    https://www.doitbest.com/shop/heating-ventilation-and-air-conditioning/heating-system-parts/hydronic-heating-system-parts/radiator-valve-kit/kit-18-radiator-valve?SKU=466433

    For adjustable vents I would rank the top to bottom:

    1. Vent Rite (Most expensive, can be dialed down to "off")
    2. Hoffman 1A (Hard to accurately adjust, and makes loud click when opening/closing)
    3. Maid O Mist (Inexpensive. With multi orifice kit, makes for easy adjustment)
    4. VariValve (Too aggressive for most radiators, cannot be turned off completely)

    The Maid O Mist and Varivalve also have straight versions. I found this useful for one rad I have that seems to have a tapping that's pitched slightly down from horizontal. I used a straight MoM on an elbow to prevent water building up in the vent itself, seems to work OK.
  • Dathanz
    Dathanz Member Posts: 34
    edited January 2022
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    So I think I'll give the Made O Mist valves a shot. So this link, https://www.doitbest.com/shop/heating-ventilation-and-air-conditioning/heating-system-parts/hydronic-heating-system-parts/radiator-valve-kit/kit-18-radiator-valve?SKU=466433 shows the valve with 5 orifices.

    On supplyhouse, it looks to me like they sell the orifices separate from the valve? All the valves on the website says non-adjustable. Does this mean you can't interchange the orifices or simply that the one it comes with is not adjustable? Just wondering if I have to buy the valve and orifices separately on supplyhouse vs all together on DoItBest.

    I apologize if this is self explanatory.....guess I've looked at too many different options today.
    1 Pipe Steam System | Upstate NY
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    Unadjustable means the vent port is a fixed size. There's no thing to turn to change its size. But they're all unscrewable and interchangeable. Once you get a decent collection of these ports, you can buy any size vent—whatever's available or cheapest—and swap the vent port out for the size you want from your collection.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    Dathanz