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What’s your favorite radiator vent?

merikus
merikus Member Posts: 73
A few years ago I bought a bunch of Heat Times for my house. They keep on failing, which I understand from some discussion on here isn’t unusual. 

So, what’s your favorite and why? I’d like them to be rather quick vents due to inadequate basement venting (yes, I know I need to get it fixed, but I can’t tap the lines myself and getting plumbers around here is not an easy task). 

Thanks!

Comments

  • vhauk
    vhauk Member Posts: 84
    I would be interested in knowing you guys thought on radiator vents too. 
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,108
    edited January 9
    Gorton. Most simple design, consistent construction, made in USA by a nice company. A little slower to close but last forever. They make me a star when I replace a house full of Chinese vents with theirs. I make my living specifying Gortons. Bought thousands of them.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,999
    My favorite one is the correct one for the situation, The one that works.
    Edward Young Retired HVAC Contractor & HYDRONICIAN Services first oil burner at age 16 P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
    question
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 4,230
    Helpful Ed LOL

    As a homeowner, I still prefer Maid O Mist. The mechanism is basically identical to Gorton (I believe Gorton copied it, don't @ me) and they are less expensive and they have swappable orifices for easy resizing.

    If they didn't exist I'd choose Gorton
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    BobC
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,999

    Helpful Ed LOL

    I do what I can to help
    Edward Young Retired HVAC Contractor & HYDRONICIAN Services first oil burner at age 16 P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,062
    The Hoffman reps swear their design is superior to Gorton when it comes to handling vapor and excess condensate. I mostly use Gorton though. I like the product line even though it is oddly enumerated as numbers 4, 5, 6, C, D, 1, 2.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting
    Plumbing in NYC or in NJ.
    Take his class.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,911
    JohnNY said:

    The Hoffman reps swear their design is superior to Gorton when it comes to handling vapor and excess condensate. I mostly use Gorton though. I like the product line even though it is oddly enumerated as numbers 4, 5, 6, C, D, 1, 2.

    I had 10 Hoffman 1A's brand new on my radiators.
    They would randomly stop venting due to a droplet of water in the venting orifice / hole.

    I fixed it by blowing in them with a can of air with the straw but it was annoying.
    I switched all of them for Gorton's nearly 10 years ago. The problem still happens, but very rarely. Maybe once a season vs once a week with the Hoffmans.

    Why this is, I have no idea, but I guess it's a downside to running really low pressure.

    My main beef with the Hoffman 1A is it's terribly sloppy adjustment cap that makes the numbers useless. A great idea, terrible execution. I have to think a long long time ago the caps fit correctly.

    That said, since it's mentioned here,
    Does anyone know that Gorton actually manufacturers their vents in New Jersey?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,108
    edited January 9
    ChrisJ said:

    Does anyone know that Gorton actually manufacturers their vents in New Jersey?
    Gorton has the vents manufactured entirely in the USA.
    Maid-O-Mist vents are made in China.

    We do institutional work so our major clients cannot purchase China-made products.
    ChrisJ
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,942
    Hoffman 75s and Gortons only. The rest are placebo. Mad Dog
    Long Beach Ed
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,080
    edited January 10
    Me ...Hoffman when you see them ,Gorden when you don't...
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,769
    Depends on where the vents are to be installed.

    Main floor where the thermostat is, kitchen and bathroom- Hoffman #40, VentRite #11 or appropriate size Gorton up to #6 depending on how big the rad is.

    Bedrooms- Vent-Rite #1 since they're so easy to adjust.

    The Gorton #6, C and D are also useful as main vents on short mains.

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Ollie_Hopnoodle
    Ollie_Hopnoodle Member Posts: 31
    edited January 10
    I was recently told by a pro that I don't have to replace my radiator vents as long as they are blowing air and not wet steam. And all seven of my radiators heat up pretty quietly (some much slower than others). I have no idea when they were replaced, at least not in the last ten years. But they all seem to work, pretty quietly and no water comes out of them. But I've seen posts here that state they need to be replaced every 5 years or so. I currently have vent rites #1 on all of my radiators. Any thoughts on if they should be replaced?
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 809


    I made this chart a few years ago to show head to head some of the valves available. For my 4 unit 100 year old rental I spent some time with Maid o Mists, but pretty much converted to Vent Rite#1s for the low end venting and Heat Timer Varivalves for the higher venting radiators. My tenants don't mess around with the vents, so it's easier on me.

    One surprise of sorts is that the Varivalves don't completely shut off venting.

    In the last about 10 years, I haven't had problems with my radiator vents (that I remember).

    I don't have any experience with Hoffman's, so I can't comment on them.

    Good luck.

    ChrisJquestion
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,108
    edited January 10
    Of the thousand or so Gorton vents we've installed over 40 years, I'd say we replaced less than ten. I don't replace them unless they fail. Certainly if your system is blowing wet steam or steam at too high pressure or is filled with dirt, the vents will more easily foul and need replacement.

    ethicalpaul
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,911



    I made this chart a few years ago to show head to head some of the valves available. For my 4 unit 100 year old rental I spent some time with Maid o Mists, but pretty much converted to Vent Rite#1s for the low end venting and Heat Timer Varivalves for the higher venting radiators. My tenants don't mess around with the vents, so it's easier on me.

    One surprise of sorts is that the Varivalves don't completely shut off venting.

    In the last about 10 years, I haven't had problems with my radiator vents (that I remember).

    I don't have any experience with Hoffman's, so I can't comment on them.

    Good luck.


    Interesting that I apparently could use Heat Timer varivalves on most of my radiators according to your chart.

    I have everything from 4's to C's on my system, but most are 5's 6s and Cs.
    IMO The Gorton #5 is the perfect starting place, so a Varivalve meets that apparently.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,108
    The VariVents have a HUGE failure rate.
    ChrisJquestionSTEAM DOCTOR
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,911

    The VariVents have a HUGE failure rate.

    Well, that's not good.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 809
    What are the most common ways they fail?

  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,108
    Heat-timer VariValves have a nice copper bellows mounted in the top of the valve. Steam boils the alcohol in the bellows at 150 degrees and it expends, pressing a pin into a seat below, closing the flow. Some bellows deform and falls out of their mounting. Then it sits on the seat blocking the flow whether it is open or closed. If you shake one and it rattles, this is how it failed.

    We installed hundreds of them, of which some 20% - 30% failed in the first year. Examining the failure, we reported it to the manufacturer, which had no interest in correcting the problem. It seems our remaining 60% are still functioning fine 15 years later.

    A nicely designed valve but with a flaw.
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,080
    I like a valve with a float just incase the boiler overfills
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 4,230
    edited January 13
    Big Ed_4 said:

    I like a valve with a float just incase the boiler overfills

    The water's going somewhere. Better not to have an autofill.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,942
    Vari-valves are nice, chunky little fellows that I am sure are well made (They are a Fine American company that makes the Great Control) , and I've seen them perform ok on very dry steam.  However,  on many systems that have them, they can GUSH hot 🔥 condensate on your legs as you walk by like a faucet!  I've also rarely seen the adjustment do ANYTHING to vary the heat.  They ARE nice and heavy 
    And they bring nice Mongo prices when you "catch" a bucket of em....Mad Dog 🐕 
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,911
    I like a valve with a float just incase the boiler overfills
    The water's going somewhere. Better not to have an autofill.
    You don't think those cheesy little valves and the steam system could hold back 40-80 psi of water?   ;)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    ethicalpaul
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,108
    JohnNY said:

    The Hoffman reps swear their design is superior to Gorton when it comes to handling vapor and excess condensate. I mostly use Gorton though. I like the product line even though it is oddly enumerated as numbers 4, 5, 6, C, D, 1, 2.

    We've had the same experience.
    neilc
  • dabrakeman
    dabrakeman Member Posts: 328
    Have 13 radiators 9 of which use Hoffman 1a's. I have had the house for 20 years and suspect most of the vents were 20+ years old when I moved in. Have had only 1 failure back early on when I didn't know anything about steam and was cycling on high pressure. Replaced it with a MoM and it failed nearly immediately. Lowered pressure and replaced with another MoM and 6 months later it failed again. Replaced it a third time with another MoM and it has been fine since. Replaced a couple of the bedroom radiators with VentRite 1's because I wanted those slow. I prefer adjustable vents because from time to time the needs in the house change and I need to make adjustments accordingly. I have no issues with the reliability of the Hoffman 1a's. The Ventrite has only been on for 5 years but has been good as well.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,911
    Have 13 radiators 9 of which use Hoffman 1a's. I have had the house for 20 years and suspect most of the vents were 20+ years old when I moved in. Have had only 1 failure back early on when I didn't know anything about steam and was cycling on high pressure. Replaced it with a MoM and it failed nearly immediately. Lowered pressure and replaced with another MoM and 6 months later it failed again. Replaced it a third time with another MoM and it has been fine since. Replaced a couple of the bedroom radiators with VentRite 1's because I wanted those slow. I prefer adjustable vents because from time to time the needs in the house change and I need to make adjustments accordingly. I have no issues with the reliability of the Hoffman 1a's. The Ventrite has only been on for 5 years but has been good as well.
    The Hoffman 1As I had looked beautifully made.

    Just the sloppy adjustment cap with the useless numbers that I didn't like.  The vent it self seemed solid
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment