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Which Are the Best Radiator Air Vents For Steam Heating System?

savageblu
savageblu Member Posts: 10
Hi,
I need to replace a number of my radiator air vents, as well as the main pipe vent, and would like some recommendations as to the best brand or brands to purchase.

Comments

  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 651
    Mains vents are system dependent but after trying a bunch of different rad vents, I'm pretty happy with Maid-o-mist.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    ethicalpaul
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,877
    I like the big Gortons for main vents.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Waher
    Waher Member Posts: 230
    edited January 8
    Gorton #1 and #2 and (situationally because they had a high rate of leaking in the past) Barnes & Jones' "Big Mouth" main vents.

    Gorton, Hoffman, Vent-Rite, Maid O'Mist for radiator vents depending on what venting capacity/ability to adjust you want.
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,684
    If you see the vents use Hoffmans if you don't use Gorton....
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,214
    For steam main vents, Gortons ( but they don't work well in very warm environments), Ventrite #1 adjustables for radiators ( very slow vents with good adjustability), Maid o Mist for inexpensive vents but only use up to #6 size. Gortons up to #6. We've used Big Mouths, but they do seem to have a high leakage rate,...they work well in hot environments.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    andrewfb1
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,088
    Gorton the quality of maid o mist is a thing of the past . Customer replaced a bunch everyone stopped working . Upon closer investigation it seems the 1/8 npt thread is longer then the older ones and does not have a slight crook in them making them not drain well and become water log and stop working . This was recent within 2 months and just about every new maid o mist installed worked like poo . Home owner refused to pay for gorton vents years ago and continues to replace maid o mist w another over and over . As much as the quality of everything has been on the down slide I still find gorton failure rate in comparison to there’s acceptable for what it worth not that I’m happy bout eating radiator and main vent failures but that’s bussiness if you charged enough it doesn’t hurt so much to do some things for free and still keep them happy .
    I stopped using Hoffmann for adj rad vents over price and the quality is in the can ,stopped using them after high failure rate and general quality seemed poor as for the rest of them never used vent rites and when I’ve come across at a supply house there price was as if they where made of gold ,sticking to gorton .
    Peace and good luck
    Clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    Long Beach Ed
  • savageblu
    savageblu Member Posts: 10
    OK guys. Thanks for all the input. I think I'll stick to Gortons, like many of you suggested. They're expensive but decent quality and are worth paying more for.
  • SgtMaj
    SgtMaj Member Posts: 74
    edited January 9
    @savageblu mostly each radiator will need to be vented differently depending on the size of the radiator and how fast it needs to heat the room. Here’s a great chart:


    Additionally if you’re good at mental gymnastics follow these rules:
    https://heatinghelp.com/assets/documents/Balancing-Steam-Systems-Using-a-Vent-Capacity-Chart-1.pdf
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,927
    Distance from boiler is entirely irrelevant if main is properly vented
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,574
    edited January 9
    Well not entirely
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,433
    edited January 9
    All of my radiators are vented differently based on the total distance from the boiler.
    There's friction losses and they add up, mains included.

    I have radiators very close that are using Gorton 5's meanwhile a similar radiator 30 feet away has a Gorton C. They perform similar.

    I've also calculated the total friction losses to each radiator and they correlate to the size vent that ended up being used. The higher the friction losses and the lower the available pressure will be at that radiator, therefore a larger vent is needed.

    I do disagree with their "near thermostat" comment though.
    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
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,574
    I wouldn't call it "friction losses", I'd call it "amount of air that has to be vented from the supply line". The friction is in the orifice. A radiator supply pipe provides immeasurably low friction.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,433
    edited January 9
    I wouldn't call it "friction losses", I'd call it "amount of air that has to be vented from the supply line". The friction is in the orifice. A radiator supply pipe provides immeasurably low friction.
    It's literally the friction losses of the piping. So....


    And this applies to the steam as well as air.
    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