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Unsure what replacement vent to get

Shan_S Member Posts: 2
Hi all,

I habe recently purchased my first NY apartment and now that winter has set in one of my 2 steam radiators is constantly hissing and not heating the room, while the other hisses a tiny bit then stops as exptect.

I replaced the vent with the same model as I expected it was defective but it has not solved the problem so now I wonder if maybe the vent is the wrong type/pressure?

Video of radiatior (quite small as you can see)

It is the bedroom radiator so the dilemma is either sleep in the cold or not sleep in semi cold.

Really appreciate any advice on how to resolve, I read through the threads here but I dont understand what I am looking for.


  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 855
    Hope this helps. We've been using Gorton vents for a long time with good results. I have read on this site that there have been a few defective units as of late.
  • Shan_S
    Shan_S Member Posts: 2

    Hope this helps. We've been using Gorton vents for a long time with good results. I have read on this site that there have been a few defective units as of late.

    Thanks for your quick reply Scott, does it matter about the type and size of vent I use though?

    I imagine there is different pressure ratings? Maybe the one I have is too high and thats why it doesnt shut? Or is it temperature that shuts the vent?
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
    There aren't pressure ratings...the pressure isn't supposed to be over about 2psi (but it often is especially in NYC apartment buildings it seems).

    It's temperature that closes the vent. Overly high pressure will force its way out, possibly damaging the vent and making hissing. You might have to try a few designs of vent to find the one that closes best against this probably high pressure.

    Unfortunately your super or landlord won't listen to you if you try to tell them you think the pressure is too high.

    It's strange that your hissing radiator isn't heating the room. Maybe it's too small even when it's getting tons of steam.

    I like Maid O Mist but whichever way you go I would recommend supplyhouse.com

    Looks like you need a "straight" design vs an "angled" design that most radiator vents are. Most brands have "straight" options.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 855
    Technically what you have in your video is a not a radiator but a convector. I would think a Gorton #5 or #6 (straight type) would be a good starting point for this emitter. As you may have read, when it comes to radiator vents it's kind of a balancing act.

    In very simple terms, let's say there are one hundred radiators in your building, all exactly the same size. Let's assume your perfectly sized boiler produces (and delivers) exactly 100 balloons worth of steam to the system. The goal is to have EXACTLY one balloon of steam go to each radiator. If a few radiators "steal" two balloons worth of steam (with oversized
    or leaking vents), other radiators (with properly sized and functioning vents) will not get their fare share. As a result these radiators will be cold and the rooms they are situated in will be cold.

    Oftentimes the dead men installed these systems a hundred years ago and everything worked perfectly. Since then, the pipe insulation was removed. The removal of the insulation was equal to loosing say ten balloons worth of steam. The steam wasn't actually lost, but instead the hallways (with the uninsulated steam mains) are now80 degrees and your apartment is now 60 degrees.

    Make sense????
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 918
    edited January 2022
    @op if your apartment is far from the boiler, it’s possible that steam does not  reach that cold convector before the burner shuts off. This can be caused by many things:   the cycle rate setting of the thermostat or heat controller; clogged or missing steam main vents; uninsulated piping; sagging pipes where water can pool and condense the steam prematurely.

    You may have to experiment with different vent sizes. A faster vent may get that convector to heat, but if it is too fast you may get gurgling and water spitting from the vent as condensate can be produced so quickly that it cannot leave the convector against the incoming steam; in one pipe steam the steam and condensate flow in opposite directions at the supply valve. 

    Perhaps try a Vent Rite #1; it’s well made and has a wide range of adjustment.

    If adjusting the venting rate does not solve the problem, then it is elsewhere in the system and you will have to get management involved.