1/8" automatic hygroscopic radiator air vents for hot water heating.

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Old 11-17-13, 10:36 AM
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1/8" automatic hygroscopic radiator air vents for hot water heating.

All this work converting my one zone system into six zones and also converting an area in my house that was steam boiler heated into a 2 pipe hot water system has got me running all over the place bleeding radiators both convector and large cast iron type so I got to thinking about installing these automatic vents.

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In my search I found that there are 2 types that suit me, one being the float type like the #67 and the other type that is alot smaller and looks to be a regular manual bleeder but has a plastic cap on it, these are called hygroscopic where the discs inside get wet, expand and hold the water in, If there is air in the system, they dry up and let the air out until they get hit by moisture and seal up again. There was a company that I looked at, Caleffi, that advised a replacement to the cartridges every 36 months.
Replaceable cartridge
The valve is constructed in such a way that the part containing the hygroscopic discs can easily be replaced without having to empty the heat emitter. This may be necessary because the discs can deteriorate in time if there is unfiltered or hard water present. In any case, it is advisable to replace the disc cartridge at least every 36 months.
Other companies making similar vents like Bell & Gossett, Honeywell-Sparco and Hoffman Specialties don't mention anything about replacing cartridges and discs or any sort of maintenance. Who wants to add something to the heating system that needs maintenance, not me thats for sure? If I want maintenance, I'll stick to bleeding the radiators manually, right?

Does anyone have any experience with these type of hygroscopic vents, if so please comment.
 
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Old 11-17-13, 10:48 AM
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Does anyone have any experience with these type of hygroscopic vents, if so please comment.
I do, and I can not print the words I would like to use to describe them. Can't say anything for the Caleffi, have never used one/seen one... at least they sort of admit to the fact that they WILL LEAK EVENTUALLY. Nope, never again will one cross my fingers.

I personally would not hide an automatic air vent of ANY type inside a convector cabinet, or behind a piece of furniture... because they too will leak... eventually...

Stick to the manual bleeders.
 
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Old 11-17-13, 10:54 AM
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The air will not necessarily be at the bleeder is the issue. The air may be elsewhere and to move the air to the bleeder one has to move water...
 
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Old 11-17-13, 11:14 AM
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Thanks guys for the quick comments.

NJ Troops, is there an automatic bleeder that I can consider as the "lesser bad"?

Are these ball type any better? I am thinking that even if you have a system with a good air eliminator near the boiler like spirovent, at some point air will accumulate in the radiators.

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Old 11-17-13, 11:21 AM
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ball type
"Ball type" ? Do you mean "FLOAT TYPE" ?

Use them if you want, leave them open for a couple weeks, but when the air is out of the system go around and screw the caps down tight.

When the minerals collect around that needle valve mechanism inside, they WILL LEAK... eventually.
 
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Old 11-17-13, 11:23 AM
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even if you have a system with a good air eliminator near the boiler like spirovent, at some point air will accumulate in the radiators.
And PUMPING AWAY... if properly designed, one should not have to bleed air at all after the initial air is driven out of the water in the first couple weeks of operation.
 
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Old 11-17-13, 11:44 AM
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"Ball type" ? Do you mean "FLOAT TYPE" ?

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...#ixzz2kvxYdbXf
Thats what I meant, float type.
 
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