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Update: New Gorton Vapor Equalizing Valve No.D Replaced BELOW Old Steam BB Radiator Also Leaking

antoniron
antoniron Member Posts: 6
edited March 2022 in Strictly Steam
Bought 2 NEW Gorton Valves. Tried them Both and both were leaking when Boiler "fired up".
Got to be a clogged return. Took pics behind the finished wall in the basement and saw a Union in this Wet Return.
Thinking This entire Wet Return needs to be FLUSHED Out along with the rest of the return.
Thoughts ???

Trying to find someone who can handle working on 100-year-old steam pipes and flushing out returns on old steam baseboard radiators in Southern Westchester County NY.






My 100-year-old Single Family House (which my family bought and moved into back in 1965) has a Single Pipe Steam Heating System, currently with a 12-year-old Weil-McLain Boiler.
There are 6 traditional freestanding cast iron radiators with their respective venting valves screwed into their sides on the second floor.
On the first floor, there are 3 functioning traditional freestanding cast iron radiators with their respective venting valves.
The "twist" is along with the 3 freestanding cast iron radiators on the first floor, there are also 3 OLD Base-Ray cast iron baseboard Steam Radiators, each with feeds and returns on the first floor as well.

NOW the issue: In my finished basement, which has 1 bedroom, I noticed the carpet on the concrete slab started getting soaked with water 3 weeks ago.
After removing a bunch of drop ceiling tiles, I noticed that BELOW one of the Old Base-Ray Steam Baseboard radiators above on the first floor, that in this basement bedroom there is a Gorton Vapor Equalizing Valve No.D screwed into the return line BELOW the floorboards underneath the steam baseboard radiator just above on the first floor which is NOW spewing 3 to 4 ounces of water every time the boiler cycles.
There has been NO problem the entire 57 years which I have been living in this house until NOW.
My questions are:
1) Why would there be a Gorton Vapor Equaling Valve No.D installed into the return line of a Base-Ray Baseboard steam radiator on the first floor be installed BELOW the floorboards in the basement?

... and ... 2) How do I fix this water leaking issue which is now happening with this
57-year-old plus Gorton Valve?
This OLD Gorton Vapor Equalizing Valve No.D is NOW leaking approx 3 to 4 ounces of water each time the boiler cycles?





Comments

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,058
    Replace it.

    Few things with moving parts, exposed to steam and water, will last 57 years.
    mattmia2antoniron
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,622
    The longer answer is that baseboard is set up 2 pipe but the return only connects to that baseboard and a wet return so it needs a vent somewhere on the return to vent the radiator and that vent below the ceiling is it.
    antoniron
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,272
    All single pipe steam radiation needs to be vented -- step 1. They all also need to get rid of the condensate -- that's step 2. For a regular radiator, that's easy -- the vent goes on the end of the radiator opposite the inlet, and the condensate goes back out the way the steam came in. Simple (usuall!).

    Baseboards not so simple. It's hard to get the condensate to peacefully go back to the inlet. So in your situation, someone very correctly arranged an outlet at the opposite end -- and put a vent on it. Which should work just fine, as you have round over the years.

    The vent should not be spitting water, however. So -- two things. First, I'd replace the vent in kind. They do get tired, and that one has had a good long rum. Those are still available. Second, though, I'd check to see if there is any possibility that something in the basement has shifted enough to allow water to get trapped in that "return" line.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    mattmia2antoniron
  • antoniron
    antoniron Member Posts: 6
    edited March 2022
    Thank you to those who replied to my post ... much appreciated! @JUGHNE , @mattmia2, @Jamie Hall
    To share what I have already done,
    I called Gorton Heating Corp in Cranford, N.J., and spoke to the individual running the operation.
    This individual is very receptive, friendly, and willing to listen and help. That individual in turn instructed me to speak with the company's "Steam Tech".
    The company's "Steam Tech" is also very friendly, receptive, and willing to listen and help.
    The Gorton Company's "Steam Tech" also agreed with me, and what you all have mentioned, the first step is to replace the OLD original 57 year old Gorton Vapor Equalizing Valve No.D with a NEW Gorton valve, the EXACT same model.
    The "Steam Tech" gave me the name, phone number, and address of the closest plumbing supply that carries Gorton valves. I drove the half-hour to this plumbing supply and when I was handed the supposedly "NEW" Gorton Vapor Equalizing Valve No.D, which is stapled in the small clear plastic bag with the Red "Gorton" logo on it, I saw the threads on the valve looked a little corroded.
    I opened my mouth and said to the guy behind the counter, "is this a NEW valve?"
    The response from the guy behind the counter was, "they all come like that."
    When I got back home and opened the bag, not only were the threads that come out the back of the valve have corrosion on them, there was rust deposited on the inside of the threaded inlet to this valve.
    I also noted that there was some slight pitting of the metal on the back of this valve.
    And on closer inspection, I saw where the front housing is pressed into the backplate of the valve and where the top vent is attached to the housing there was this slightly white discoloration all the way around these joints.
    I said to myself, "this is a USED valve."
    Frustrated, I still put Teflon tape on the threads and carefully screwed this supposed "NEW" Gorton valve in the threaded hole where I removed the old valve.
    I then "fired up" the boiler and this supposed "NEW" Gorton valve that was sold to me as NEW, leaked more water than the 57-year-old original Gorton valve that I had removed.
    My next step is to obtain a definitive "NEW" Gorton Valve. If a definitive "New" Gorton Valve does NOT leak water, problem solved. (Yes, I returned this supposedly "NEW" Gorton valve back to this highly regarded Plumbing Supply Company)
    But if a truly NEW Gorton valve leaks water, I am very much inclined to agree with Jamie Hall that something is "up" with the return line.
    Thank you again @JUGHNE, @mattmia2, and much thanks to @Jamie Hall for responding to my post and for your recommendations.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,823
    @antoniron , take it back and get another.

    We deal with Gorton all the time, and they take reports of defective product seriously.

    If you continue to have trouble, make sure the return line coming down from the vent, and the main return going back to the boiler, are not plugged. This can cause water to back up and result in the spitting issue you are having.

    Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    antoniron
  • antoniron
    antoniron Member Posts: 6
    edited March 2022
    @Steamhead
    I already returned the Gorton Valve back to the Plumbing Supply I bought it from.
    I will get a Brand New Gorton Valve and give it shot.
    Unfortunately, our basement is "finished" ... 2x3 framing out from basement walls with sheetrock and Panel on top.
    The wet return is behind the finished wall with sheetrock and panel.
    Thanks for replying.



  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,823
    Looks like that's a water seal behind the wall. It may be clogged.

    And- in the second pic, what is that pipe that comes thru the paneling with asbestos insulation, then elbows right to a vent? End of the steam main? That elbow is causing water to back up and may cause banging and spitting. It needs to be repiped so the pipe diameter does not reduce before the pipe turns down, under the vent.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    antoniron
  • antoniron
    antoniron Member Posts: 6
    @Steamhead ... Yes, there could be an issue with that wet return which is behind the panel and sheetrock wall that comes from the steam baseboard above...
    If so I will leave that for Steam Professional.
    As far as the pipe that comes thru the panel wall with the insulation in the second pic, that is the End of the Main that circles around the basement ceiling returning to the boiler.


  • antoniron
    antoniron Member Posts: 6
    @Steamhead ... Thank you for your keen observation of the elbow and changes in pipe diameters.
    This would be beyond my basic capabilities.
    Appreciate the recommendations!
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    And call the nice Gorton steam tech back and tell them this plumbing supply is selling old rusty vents as new, blaming the company for their appearance
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    mattmia2antoniron
  • antoniron
    antoniron Member Posts: 6
    Update: New Gorton Vapor Equalizing Valve No.D Replaced BELOW Old Steam BB Radiator Also Leaking

    Bought 2 NEW Gorton Valves. Tried them Both and both were leaking when Boiler "fired up".
    Got to be a clogged return. Took pics behind the finished wall in the basement and saw a Union in this Wet Return.
    Thinking This entire Wet Return needs to be FLUSHED Out along with the rest of the return.
    Thoughts ???

    Trying to find someone who can handle working on 100-year-old steam pipes and flushing out returns on old steam baseboard radiators in Southern Westchester County NY.