Tunnel automatic opener

Polytunnels, cold frames, greenhouses, propagators & more. How to get the best out of yours...

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Westi
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I have not noticed by tunnel vents opening but tbh I have not been looking exactly, just working all around the plots. I was thinking about this as been quite surprised at temps over 40C regularly which seems a bit high for this time of the year with the outdoor temp only around 14C so wondering if the openers aren't opening? Some plants not looking too happy in there either but just thought they need to go out & in as telling me they are ready.

I turned to Mr Google for advice so could be prepped when I go down to twiddle something & fix it if needed, but as usual way too much information for my addled brain! All this stuff about wax cylinders & stuff. Anyway it might be nothing, I just might have knocked something when I disinfected & cleaned the inside. The only thing I touched is a big screw thing sticking straight out at me as I wiped this over did twiddle this up & down. I have no idea what this is for, so would appreciate your advice what it is & where how far back or toward me it should sit to open. If you think it is the wax cylinder thing break it to me gently & use total idiot language on how to sort & where to get!
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The ones on my greenhouse do not look adjustable, either on purpose or by accident, I guess they have a limited life span and may need replacing?
Mine open at 20 degrees C but it still gets over 30 on a hot day, so the manual side vents have to be opened as well.
Been gardening for over 65 years and still learning.
Westi
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I will take a pic tomorrow but it won't be open even if it could as temps not looking too encouraging, but it would help me if you note the screw thing is in the wrong place. I plan to give it a good spray of WD40 as that was mentioned on one of the things to try & can do no harm - can it? Next week is looking more likely to be way warmer so need it fixed for ventilation as the nights are still a bit nippy so can't leave a door open all the time.
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oldherbaceous
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You won’t have done anything to the openers by just knocking them….the knob on the end is for adjusting them, if you wide the knob in, it should make the vent open a little earlier and a little wider.
Sometimes they can get stuck shut, so if you give the vent a gentle push, this is sometimes enough to get them working again…..but they can be temperamental things….
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Westi
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Thanks OH.

I had a fiddle with it today & gave it a spray with WD40. While I was doing this I gave the frame a push & it easily opened about 6" but it was not warm enough to see if it did open by itself. The online stuff I read indicated you wouldn't be able to do this if the wax cylinder was stuffed. I have attached a photo just to show it & maybe you can confirm the length of the screw bit is too long.
IMG_6975.JPG
IMG_6975.JPG (1.55 MiB) Viewed 22841 times
Cheers!
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oldherbaceous
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I would wait until you have a warm day, Westi and if it still doesn’t open, turn the knob clockwise by a few full turns and see if that helps…if it still doesn’t open turn it a few more turns in the opposite direction, if that still fails, you might be buying a new one….not sure what make it is, but you might be able to buy a new cylinder for it…when a couple of mine went a few years ago, the cylinders were nearly as expensive as the whole unit, so I bought the whole unit!
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oldherbaceous
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Well isn’t it strange how things happen, now I have two vents that have decided not to open, had a play about with them, but it looks as if the wax has leaked out of them…. these two are the older Bayliss ones that have a slightly different cylinder in them compared to the latest ones, (the cylinder has a slightly bigger end on the old ones,15mm for the old ones, 10mm for the new ones) but have got two new cylinders ordered, although they were nearly 2 thirds of the price of new auto vents, but it saves changing the whole vent…..glad the other four are working okay!
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Oops! I know a problem shared is a problem halved but didn't mean to share it with you! ;)

I had a feel around for any wax & couldn't find any but my guess this will be the way I will need to go. Mine is a Bayliss as well. I did the undoing today you suggested & I could fully push it open so it might work if temp hits the mark! Until confirmed it is the cylinder I might make do with something to hold the window open until I can find someone on the plot who can help me change over the cylinder. I am thinking if I get extra long gate hooks & eyes & screw them in the frame & it would stop the vent getting caught by the wind, but I will have to be diligent as still getting sneaky colder days & nights which doesn't match what my tunnel thermometer is saying.
Westi
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Quick Update - the vent opened today. Maybe the WD40 worked after all?
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oldherbaceous
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That’s brilliant news, Westi….🙂 of course mine didn’t….😕😀
Kind Regards, Old Herbaceous.

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