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Steam radiator air vent with longer threads?


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11-12-17, 06:11 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Steam radiator air vent with longer threads?

I'm trying to balance my steam radiators a little better, and I want to replace the old air vent in one steam radiator. The problem is, I either need a vent with extra long threads to screw in without hitting the plug in the end of the radiator, or I need to rig up a little extension. What would you guys recommend? I'd rather just go with a vent with long threads, but I don't know if one exists. Oh yeah, I'd rather not try and remove that plug from the end of the radiator, I'd imagine it wouldn't be easy to get out.



Backstory with more information
So how'd I get the old vent out when it was hitting the radiator? Well, I could not twist this vent out, because it was hitting the plug. So the vent looked like it was two pieces, I tried to separate it with a wrench, and it broke off from the radiator. Used a screw extractor to extract the broken threaded part from the radiator, and that's where I'm at now.

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11-12-17, 06:15 PM   #2 (permalink)  
If you loosen the union on the valve side, you should be able to tilt the radiator.

 
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11-12-17, 06:25 PM   #3 (permalink)  
The vent being on the top of the rad and not half way up is telling me that rad is being used for hot water and not steam. Hot water vents are different than steam and the one you need will go right in. They are designed different and the nut will not be in the way.

If the rad is being used for steam the vent is in the wrong place and should be relocated to the proper place. You will find a small plug that looks like a screw about half way down on the side of the rad.

 
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11-12-17, 06:43 PM   #4 (permalink)  
Thank you for the replies. This radiator is being used for steam, and this is the only radiator in the house with the air vent in this location. I see the little plug on the side of the radiator where some of the other vents are installed, I'm not sure if I'll be able to get that little plug out..

 
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11-12-17, 07:41 PM   #5 (permalink)  
I don't know how bad the paint is but it should be a slotted plug for a flat screwdriver. They can be a little difficult but if you can remove the paint and get a large enough screwdriver and tap with a hammer they will come out.

If you have to stay on the top you can get a nipple and coupling to extend that vent.

Removing the nut would do you no good because it's the rounded part of the rad that's in the way and that is permanent.

Hope this helps.

 
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11-12-17, 07:59 PM   #6 (permalink)  
Thank you. I chipped away some of the paint, and tried to remove it. Tried with my cordless impact gun which obviously failed. Tried with my impact driver that you hit with a hammer, no luck there. I have a small air compressor with a decent impact gun that I've used on my car many times, it has never let me down. So I'm thinking about putting the slotted bit from the impact driver into an impact socket, and trying to with my air tools.. I highly doubt anyone else would try doing it this way, but I think it could work..

Then part of me is worried about somehow breaking something, not sure what could go wrong with an old steam radiator that I assume is cast iron, but who knows..

I hate to drag this out and keep asking questions, but is it really bad to use the top hole instead of a hole in the middle of the radiator with steam? At this point, sticking with the top hole seems a lot easier... But I'll keep attacking this center plug if that really is substantially better

 
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11-12-17, 09:00 PM   #7 (permalink)  
You seem to be adept at using tools so I will mention I have used heat also which has worked for me.

The rad is cast iron and there is a chance you could crack it so although you must use some force. It should be calculated for lack of a better word I guess. Although forceful you cannot attack this like a bull in china closet..

As far as using the top only you know how it's been working. If you're happy with it then I would just leave it if it works. It just seems like it would take a lot longer to vent and heat up since the rad doesn't begin to heat until the steam pushes out the air.

Depending on the size of the rad and location and how your system is set up that rad may never completely heat up before the stat shuts off because of the amount of air in the rad.

If you keep it on top I would get a vent with a large hole for quicker venting or get a varivalve and open it all the way up.

There are different brand vents that are also different physically. A varivalve may be small enough to go right in where as a Hoffman is much larger physically but does the same amount of venting.

VARIVALVE® | Heat-Timer

If you go to Amazon you can see what they look like. They also make a straight valve.

This item:Varivalve 925005-00 Adjustable Angle Vent Valve $24.91

Varivalve 925006-00 Adjustable Vent Valve, Straight

In case you want to check these out. I don't know what you have now but these may work.

Hope this helps a little.

 
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11-13-17, 03:50 AM   #8 (permalink)  
The radiator that is in the picture you posted is a radiator that can be used for hot water or for steam. That is why the vent hole is on the top. One comment; steam vents do not have to be on the side of the radiator, they can be mounted on the top as your's is, so I would not try to remove the plug that you have been working on. As per the pictures, you have a 1 pipe steam system. I would install a short pipe nipple and a coupling, and screw the vent into the coupling or you could install a short nipple , a 90degree elbow and a vertical steam vent. I would use a #40 or #41 Hoffman vent. If you post pictures of the other rads I could tell you if they are different than this rad and explain why.


Last edited by Steamboy; 11-13-17 at 03:53 AM. Reason: explanation
 
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11-14-17, 01:30 AM   #9 (permalink)  
Thank you for your reply.

I went out earlier today and got a coupler, 1.5" nipple, and an elbow. I think I'm leaning towards the elbow for aesthetic reasons, and pairing it with a #4 gorton straight valve. I'd imagine it'd be ok to use the elbow and a straight vent?

If you think the hoffmans are better though, I have no problem with going with one of those. I've heard a lot of good things about gorton valves, so I thought they might be a good choice as well, and going with a straight vent seems to limit my options a bit.

This is one of the longest and probably largest radiators in the house, and it's also the radiator that's closest to the thermostat. It sits under 3 windows as well.

I seem to have a few different types of radiators in the house, I've attached pictures of them. I also have a lot of these adjustable vent rite vents, as seen in another picture. I have to read up on the best way to adjust them, which number to set them to.

I also have a few adjustable dole vents that are a little confusing for me. They are installed on two steam radiators that are pretty far from the boiler, and the adjustment on top was tightened down all the way. The two radiators were stone cold, so I went to adjust them. I noticed that when you adjust them, the metal dial with the numbers on it can spin. I can't remember how it was originally oriented, so I don't know how to properly adjust them now. I looked at some pictures online of these dole valves, and it looks like there is a little notch imprinted on the side of the vent, and in most pictures, I see #1 or #10 above that notch, so I guess that sort of gives me a rough idea.. If anyone is familiar with these dole vents and how that ring is supposed to be, I'd really appreciate it.
https://youtu.be/WDKLTI7apyw

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Last edited by apexigsx; 11-14-17 at 02:07 AM.
 
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11-14-17, 04:45 AM   #10 (permalink)  
Please read my answers to the question posed on 11-05-17 by Moniti621 (Help!! leaking steam radiators!!!!). My answers will help you understand the steam system you have in your home. My answers were #16 and #17. Now for your information; The 2nd to last picture in your latest post shows a steam only radiator, all the rest can be used for 1 or 2 pipe steam and hot water systems. The difference is the top connections between each vertical section. All the other radiators are connected at the top and bottom. That is the difference. One more fact is that the steam only radiator will heat much slower than the other radiators due to the bottom only connections. I rarely used the adjustable vents but if you do not have "end of main supply line" vents then adjustable vents are sometimes used. The higher the number the faster the venting. Line up the number with the indicator. One more thing, if you have trouble controlling the temperature in some rooms and they overheat, there are individual devices that can be installed on each radiator. (that is another discussion) Remember the radiator inlet valves are not to be partially closed. They are not to be used to try and balance the temperature in the home. The maximum steam pressure in your system should be 3 psi.


Last edited by Steamboy; 11-14-17 at 04:53 AM. Reason: more information
 
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11-17-17, 08:27 PM   #11 (permalink)  
Thank you very much for you replies once again, I read the other thread and learned a lot.

There is a bedroom that is farthest from the boiler with 2 steam radiators, both are about the same size. They're the water/steam style radiators. They both take longer than the other radiators to heat up, but one of them takes especially long. So I'm trying to get that one radiator to heat up a little faster if possible.

Which brings me to one more quick question. I noticed that the pressure needle on the boiler always seems pegged at 0, is that normal or ok? It sounds like the pressure should always be fairly low, but the needle doesn't appear to move at all.

*One more thing, my house is a single story house, and the boiler is in the basement

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11-18-17, 04:50 AM   #12 (permalink)  
steam pressure gauge

You need to find a pressure gauge for steam boilers that has a range of " 0 to 15 psi." or" 0 to 10 psi" and no higher. The gauge should be mounted above the water line and is usually mounted above the boiler on the automatic water feeder / low water cut-off piping. (watch a u-tube video on how and where to install a steam pressure gauge). Next, try this on 1 of the 2 bedroom radiators to see if it helps; install a pipe nipple and a tee and mount 2 radiator steam vents on this radiator. For clearance to mount the vents , you may need to add a short nipple and pipe coupling on one of the "T" connections so the vents can turn when screwing in. This is not normally done but sometimes will work. If it works on that radiator you may want to do it on the other radiator. The idea is to vent the radiator quickly to get heat faster. The best solution is to have a heating company install a Hoffman #76 main line vent for vacuum service at the end of that steam main to vent that line quickly. I used to drill and tap a pipe fitting that was near or at the end of that main line. Remember that these 1 pipe steam systems were not intended to be used with a thermostat for temperature control, they were for coal only heating and later adapted for oil or gas fuels. Adjustable radiator vents can sometimes work against a steam boiler allowing it to produce too much steam too quickly. Remember that the maximum steam pressure is 3 psi. I also mentioned that you could add some room control of temperature if necessary with individual radiator controls. This only works on rooms that always overheat.


Last edited by Steamboy; 11-18-17 at 04:53 AM. Reason: more information
 
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Yesterday, 05:43 AM   #13 (permalink)  
additional item

If you can not get heat into your coldest room, you could move the thermostat into that room and add "Danfoss 1 pipe steam thermostats" to the radiators of the other rooms. You would need a valve, thermostat, and a vent, for each radiator. Just make sure that the thermostat to turn the boiler on/off is in the coldest room and that, that radiator does not have a Danfoss valve. This would yield temperature control in each room. Let us know how you proceed.

 
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