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Do i really need another vent?

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Ollie_Hopnoodle
Ollie_Hopnoodle Member Posts: 73
edited December 2022 in THE MAIN WALL
Hi all,

It was recently recommended to me that I should install a vent in my main steam lines. I have a one pipe parallel flow system.The only vent that I found on my system is the one pictured in this photo, on the return line. If I do need to replace can i just upgrade this existing vent?My pipes don't really bang and all of my radiators heat up but it does take a while . Thoughts?

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,567
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    If that vent is located on an extension of the steam line -- which it looks as though it may be -- then just upgrading that one in the same location will work -- and probably speed things up.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Ollie_Hopnoodle
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,761
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    Buy a Gorton #1. Then, to see if a single Gorton #1 is good enough, what you can do is time it with the vent removed (open pipe).

    1. Interrupt your boiler in the middle of a call for heat so everything is hot and steaming
    2. Shut down the boiler
    3. Remove your existing vent
    4. Start up your boiler
    5. Start your stopwatch
    6. Stand at the place where your vent was and see when steam starts to come out (you can use your hand, but don't burn yourself). Air will come out first, then steam.
    7. Stop the watch when steam appears

    This gives you the fastest possible time from start of boiling to steam at your main vent, with the mains nice and hot. You don't want to time it with cold pipes because the steam flows very slowly through a cold pipe (it has to heat the pipe as it goes).

    Then run the test again, but with the Gorton #1 on there (or your existing vent if you want to test that first).

    If the time difference is less than 30 seconds or so, you have enough venting IMO
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Long Beach Ed
  • Ollie_Hopnoodle
    Ollie_Hopnoodle Member Posts: 73
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    @ethicalpaul thanks I will try that out. 
  • Ollie_Hopnoodle
    Ollie_Hopnoodle Member Posts: 73
    edited December 2022
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    @Jamie Hall @ethicalpaul I haven’t gotten a chance to run the test as you suggested yet, but tonight I wanted to test the speed as I have it now before I make any adjustments. I turned on the thermostat in my apartment on the second floor. I called heat for 69 degrees it was at 67 when I called. I went downstairs to check out how fast the steam was flowing at the boiler. The boiler ran for 4 minutes before the near boiler piping started to get really hot and move up slowly to the main line. The boiler continued running the whole time (about 40-45 mins, but did turn on and off a few times during that time. It took about 23 minutes for the pipe section where the vent is to get real hot. It seems as if that vent never got hot and never expelled any air. It was still cold when the copper piping below it was way too hot to touch. It took about 27- 45 minutes for all of my radiators to finally be hot. The first one was my small bathroom radiator at 27 minutes and the last was my living room radiators at around 41 minutes. It seems like I def should be getting heat to those radiators before that, no? Some radiators never even got hot all the way through the columns.  I will attempt to take out the vent tomorrow and test the speed like you suggested. I’m not sure if I can get a Gorton #1 locally in RI but I will check tomorrow. 
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 994
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    What size boiler and did you know the attached EDR of the system
  • metrosilo
    metrosilo Member Posts: 33
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    Holy asbestos Batman!
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,761
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    that is a good test. By seeing that no air escaped your main vent, you are able to see how long it takes for heat to get to your radiators.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Ollie_Hopnoodle
    Ollie_Hopnoodle Member Posts: 73
    edited December 2022
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    @ethicalpaul It looks like my vent is the same as the clip in this video here https://youtu.be/F50tKsqzJGE?t=183
    According to this video, the location of my vent should be 8-10 inches back from the elbow and six inches above the pipe. He says that it isnt good for the vent to be right on the elbow like it is on mine because the condensation and force of the steam could damage the vent. That's probably why mine doesn't seem to work. Should I have this vent moved when I get a new boiler installed? And do you think it is worth replacing in the meantime before I get a new boiler?



  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,761
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    Yes it's worth replacing, it's so cheap and easy to install a Gorton #1.

    Honestly I wouldn't worry too much about the location, I have observed my system extensively and there really isn't some massive rush of water and steam that smacks into the main vent.

    But you can improve its position by installing a short nipple vertically, then an elbow, then another short nipple, then another elbow, then the vent. Like this:

    O
    |-----
    |
    -----------|
    |
    |
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Ollie_Hopnoodle
    Ollie_Hopnoodle Member Posts: 73
    edited December 2022
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    PC7060 said:
    Thanks @PC7060 I was able to buy one yesterday through supplyhouse.com. I'll try to install later this week.
    PC7060
  • Ollie_Hopnoodle
    Ollie_Hopnoodle Member Posts: 73
    edited December 2022
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    @ethicalpaul So I finally got the Gorton#1 and the vent piping installed, based on your diagram. I timed from when the NBP got hot, to when steam came out of the ventless hole. It was just about 8 minutes. That same test took 18 minutes when I first tested with the old vent. I'll try later and time it again with the new vent installed. cc: @PC7060 @Jamie Hall
    PC7060
  • Ollie_Hopnoodle
    Ollie_Hopnoodle Member Posts: 73
    edited January 2023
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    @ethicalpaul Update: I timed the test from when my NPB got hot to where the newly installed vent got hot, and it timed 8 minutes. Just like it was without the vent in place. Also, all of my radiators were hot to touch all the way through in about 30 minutes which was 11 minutes faster than when I tested it with the older valve in place. There was less banging in my pipes and less hissing from the radiator vents too. But i feel that the radiator vents are def old ( at least older than 10 years) and have never been replaced and at some moments they were pushing a lot of air. The are currently all Vent Rite #1's. Maybe I should try replacing the old vent rites with new ones? I still have some improvements to make but thank you all for the advice so far!
    @PC7060 @Jamie Hall
    PC7060ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,761
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    Sounds good, but in the best test, all your pipes are already hot. You would interrupt a call for heat, wait just a few minutes for air to re-enter the system, then time it.

    but your test is still valuable because in most calls for heat, the steam does have to heat the pipes, even insulated ones, and that slows the steam
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el