boiler steam vent?

Old 02-26-10, 07:04 AM
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boiler steam vent?


Can you tell me what this whistle type thing does on top of my home heating system boiler? I have a gas-type electric-start baseboard hot water heating system. I was watching it over the years and a little water would come out of it. But lately, it seems to plugged up with corrosion to do anything. What does this thing do? Should I clean it?

On a side note, I have this other issue, lately, when the heating system calls for heat, I get a buzzing in the heating system after the water pump starts circulating water (sounds something like the baseboard is vibrating) but I have placed my hand on every one of the house baseboard units and there is no vibration on each of them. The buzzing sound goes way after a few minutes, usually after the boiler flame is on. Any ideas?

Last edited by vinny121; 02-26-10 at 07:05 AM. Reason: forgot to include image link
Old 02-26-10, 11:52 AM
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Vinny, it is an automatic air vent. The purpose of it is to help eliminate any air that is in the boiler. By leaving the cap loose if working properly it vents unwanted air into the atmosphere. By the looks of that one it should be replaced. Some can be cleaned but that one cannot. As far as the buzzing sound goes, when you hear it go to the boiler and see if you can locate it. Check for a transformer buzzing or check your circulator. On a gas boiler you have very few moving parts.

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