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Gorton 2 Vents for 2 Mains

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Don10000
Don10000 Member Posts: 21
Just received 2 new Gorton 2 vents. Both are closed shut (won't open). Noticed old paste on threads and suspect they were previously found defective > returned and then sold as new again. Can I use Barnes & Jones Big mouth on a steam system supplying two 50' mains? I see they are thermostatically controlled and don't know if that will work on my system. (12 convector radiators).

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,326
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    The Big Mouth should work just fine -- but don't buy it from the place you bought the Gortons from, wherever that was. That wasn't the Gortons fault...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,844
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    Before you condemn the Gortons, try this:

    1- Hold each Gorton upside down under a faucet, then open the faucet to a trickle and fill the vent with water.

    2- Hold your thumb over the vent's pipe connection and shake the vent vigorously.

    3- Turn the vent right side up and let the water drain out. The vent should have come unstuck and should now work normally.

    Sometimes this takes a couple tries, but I've never known it to fail.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • pugman2
    pugman2 Member Posts: 8
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    I have a Gorton #1 3/4 main vent valve that doesn't close. It allows steam/air to escape all the time and I have to keep adding water. The valve is new. I have been adding "steam clean" to the boiler to avoid fresh oxygenated water to the boiler. Thanks for any help.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,326
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    Try the trick @Steamhead mentioned above. They do sometimes stick.

    And stop adding boiler treatment. Unless your pH is way off, it won't help and may well make other problems worse.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 1,008
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    Oxygen in makeup water added to the boiler is released the first time it boils (solubility goes to 0). The only oxygen that is routinely in the system is when the vents reopen as the system cools down between boiler steaming cycles.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
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    I don't disagree, and I also don't disagree with Jamie that he shouldn't add more treatment, but that's because he's only losing distilled water...the treatment level is not changing despite his water loss (since it's coming from steam).

    But having said all that, does that mean that you're saying that makeup water can't be bad for a boiler since the oxygen is released the first time it boils? Because that would be news.

    I propose that when that oxygen gets pushed out of the fresh water is in fact when it gets heated up, and it goes into the top of the sections where it (and perhaps the higher heat) seem to cause a lot of damage.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,326
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    Oh no. Fresh water is bad for a boiler, even if you boil it. Can't avoid it. So... the idea is to use as little of it as possible. But the question always is -- how much is too much, or to look at it another way, how much can one add before it becomes wise to either adjust the pH or add oxygen scavenging and corrosion resisting compounds? And the answer to that one is... it depends. On the water quality being added, the temperature and pressure the boiler is operated at, the quality of the iron and steel used, what the steam is going to be used for... and so on.

    Large power station or marine boilers always use an interesting array of such compounds -- mostly toxic -- despite usually being closed systems with very little makeup water. On the other hand, steam locomotive boilers (with a few fascinating exceptions) are completely open systems -- once and done -- but normally treat only for hardness, if that.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,844
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    @Don10000 , any luck?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Don10000
    Don10000 Member Posts: 21
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    @ steamhead
    I tried filling the vents up with water (trickle in) and shook hard for about 1 minute and still stuck so I returned both and got two new ones. Now, one of the two is stuck closed and just tried the water/shaking with no success. Is there anything else I can try to unstick it?
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 1,008
    edited March 2022
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    What I am saying is that the dissolved oxygen in feedwater gets removed at the first boil. Obviously it gets mixed with whatever other oxygen is in the piping throughout the cycles. I just don't want folks panicing and thinking they have to add more chemicals each time they add feedwater.

    I can't speculate on how much goes back into the boiler water as the system cools down and draws outside air back in. But, that can't be changed in an "open" system that vents to the atmosphere.

    What I've seen on HH about chemicals tends to indicate some people add too much and create other problems.

    I am not enough of a residential boiler water chemist to make any intelligible comments other than "don't overdue it", which is what the experts on HH tend to advise.
  • Don10000
    Don10000 Member Posts: 21
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    Gorton #2 Main vents : 1 vent is good, but the other vent is blocked. I looked inside the inlet of both vents and noticed a difference. The good one has a pin inserted and the bad one has an open hole. See attached pics:

  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
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    I have been seriously disappointed with Gortons vents over the last year. Did staff change. Does anyone know?
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

    STEAM DOCTOR
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,844
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    @Don10000 , I just had one today. Filled it with water, shook it and it still didn't release. So, while still full of water, I hit it with the palm of my hand several times, on different sides of the vent, and that worked.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    Don10000 said:

    Gorton #2 Main vents : 1 vent is good, but the other vent is blocked. I looked inside the inlet of both vents and noticed a difference. The good one has a pin inserted and the bad one has an open hole.

    The pin you see in the good vent is what holds the float in the bottom of the bimetallic strip. When this strip is heated by steam, it presses the top of the float into a valve seat at the top of the vent. Since the pin is no longer in the hole in the bad vent, it's pressing against the bimetallic strip, which leaves no clearance between the float and the valve seat even when the vent is cold. I'm guessing that the bad vent doesn't rattle when you shake it, right?

    It's unlikely that this can be fixed without opening the vent, which I wouldn't recommend attempting on a new vent, but if you want to try something crazy before you return it, try getting the vent as cold as you can—put it in a freezer or leave it outside, whichever is colder—and see if it frees up the float, allowing it to rattle around inside the vent. If it does, try rocking it back and forth while holding it upright, and see if you can get that pin to drop back into its hole. You'll have to hold it over your head to look up into it. Don't turn it upside down until the pin is back in the hole and the vent is back up to room temperature.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Don10000
    Don10000 Member Posts: 21
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    This is the Gorton #2 vent cutout. The new vent I received does not show the pin inside the bimetal strip.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,844
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    Send it back, then.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
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    Steamhead said:

    Send it back, then.

    Hi Frank, I have the same people are still at Gortons? Seems like an awful lot of bad product coming out of there as of late.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,844
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    That's correct Gerry- no changes there. We buy #2 vents by the dozen and haven't noticed a lot of bad product though. And they're pretty good about replacing any bad ones.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting