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The pipe originally continued to the atmosphere. Either through the roof, into a stack pipe or back down to the basement and near a floor drain. You opened the manual fill valve in the basement until the water ran from the pipe (or off the roof).

The cap was added when the system was converted to a closed and pressurized system.

Tom Corrigan

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The gage glass often froze first. Yes, the nipple was a vent. Circulator pumps didn't come about until 1923 and the widespread conversion to oil fired burners. Prior to that hydronic heating was gravity as noted by the large diameter pipes. If the upstairs rooms don't get enough heat have a technician drain the system and inspect for an orifice plate used to force more hot water into lower floor rads by gravity. Often those orifices weren't removed once converted over to forced circulation.

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The pipe originally continued to the atmosphere. Either through the roof, into a stack pipe or back down to the basement and near a floor drain. You opened the manual fill valve in the basement until the water ran from the pipe (or off the roof).

The cap was added when the system was converted to a closed and pressurized system.

Tom Corrigan

Thanks, Tom

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It was still in use... I told the client to 'remove it'.. 'not needed/frost-prone', etc ,etc.. Oddly, the house had a modern-vintage Buderus boiler.. you'd think the heating contractor would have made sure this was done at the time of installation of that boiler.... (No.. it was not "Rich Trethewey", though we see thousands of his company's work all the time around 'heeyah'...:)

File under: Never Assume Anything..

I find tons of these all the time of course.. but never connected..

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