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Cant reach the vents on my radiator.

BlaineBlaine Posts: 21Member
After lurking hear for several months and absorbing some of the wealth of information I have just about got the one pipe system in my (new to me) 100 year old Dutch sorted out. All the radiators get steam at just about the same time and they all get plenty hot. I am now focusing my attention on two of the radiators in my family room. They get hot but the vents are noisy as heck. I would like to change them as I did with the other 10 in the house but I cant reach them. The radiators are different from all the others in that they are kind of built in to the wall. I believe they are called convection type? I can see and touch the vent but there is no way I could get my hand in there to change it out. There are a couple of screws on the front that have been painted over probably a thousand times. From the position of the screws I cant imagine them being what would give me access to the vent. I'm wondering if I have to disconnect the unit from the pipe to pull it out of the wall and get at the vent? I hope not because the nut is very close to the floor and the foot of the unit so getting it off with my big open end wrench will be a problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



Blaine
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Comments

  • BlaineBlaine Posts: 21Member
    Pics got turned over

    Sorry, not sure why the pics came out upside down.
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  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,616Member ✭✭✭
    Radiator

    The vents are inside the radiator. Well...sort of. You need to take the radiator out of the wall in order to get to them.



    Love the way these radiators looks...hate working on them!
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357 ext. 2
    jstar.HVAC@gmail.com
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  • BlaineBlaine Posts: 21Member
    that figures.

    Thanks! I figured as much. Nothing with this house has been easy.
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  • BobCBobC Posts: 2,759Member ✭✭✭
    Pressure high?

    If the steam pressure were higher than normal the vents would complain about it, have you checked what pressure the boiler is operating at? It should not be more than 2 PSI and hopefully less.



    It looks like your going to have a devil of a time replacing those vents but at some point it will have to be done. Lowering the pressure might allow you to delay replacing those vents till the spring.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
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  • BlaineBlaine Posts: 21Member
    I'll check

    I'll check the pressure when I get home. is there a rule of thumb as to how far you can dial it down before the steam doesn't get where it needs to? My boiler has some years on it so I don't want to do too much fiddling while its cold out.
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  • BlaineBlaine Posts: 21Member
    follow up

    quick follow up, what about shutting one or both of them down for the season? assuming that it that the valve at the pipe is in tact and will hold the steam back. Also, will these types of radiators take adjustable vents? its taken quite a bit of tweaking to get the house to heat evenly, I'd hate to replace the vents and then not get steam on the second floor.
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  • BobCBobC Posts: 2,759Member ✭✭✭
    Pressure

    Steam will work at very low pressure if it is setup correctly. Assuming your pressure control device is a pressuretrol, you won't be able to set it much below 1.5 PSI.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
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  • BlaineBlaine Posts: 21Member
    doubt it.

    this house was a flip so I'd bet against the system being mapped and measured correctly. I've got 15 or so radiators and maybe 3 sets of matching units among them. i know you need varying sizes for different applications but my setup looks like whatever was left in the contractors storeroom. that said the boiler and all the pipes in the basement seem to be in good working order. i get good heat and relatively little noise after addressing the pitch on a few radiators. the renno upstairs hides most of the pipes so is hard to tell whats downstream from what. took a while to figure out the venting so that every room would get heat. im sure a pro could have done it in a snap but after being absolutely robbed by my first heating professional on replacing my thermocoupler I've been trying to do the little stuff myself.
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  • BobCBobC Posts: 2,759Member ✭✭✭
    LAOSH on sale

    If your going to be doing some of the work yourself, pick up a copy of The Lost Art of Steam Heat that is for sale on this site. It's on sale through this Friday for $30 (usually $40). That book is worth its weight in gold



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
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  • BlaineBlaine Posts: 21Member
    no gauge

    so there is no pressure gauge but it appears that it is set as low as it will go.
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  • BobCBobC Posts: 2,759Member ✭✭✭
    Settings

    If you take the screw on the front cover off you can remove that cover and make sure the wheel inside is set to one. Don't touch any of the wires inside because they could have 120v on them. That should limit the pressure to 1.5 PSI.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
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  • MDNLansingMDNLansing Posts: 297Member
    Water Line

    Is your water line the dark spot low in the glass, or the other spot bout 2/3 the way up? Hard to tell in the pics.
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  • BlaineBlaine Posts: 21Member
    neither

    It's the faint bluish line about an inch below the black fill line. I've since moved it just about dead center halfway up. heats up quicker now which stands to reason since it has 3 gallons less to boil. Vents are making less noise too which I didn't expect.
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  • Bob HarperBob Harper Posts: 699Member ✭✭
    gas piping incorrect

    The gas cock should be before the sediment trap-not after.



    Any more pics?
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  • BlaineBlaine Posts: 21Member
    The gas cock should be before the sediment trap-not after.

    not sure what that means.
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  • MDNLansingMDNLansing Posts: 297Member
    edited November 2013
    The gas valve

    with the red handle (gas cock) should come before the T with the capped pipe that drops to the ground (sediment trap)
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  • BlaineBlaine Posts: 21Member
    no clue

    i know less about gas then i do about steam so i have no idea. there is one turn on the vertical pipe before you are at the meter and its pretty close to the wall so maybe there was no room? the boiler was moved twice and the pipes are obviously different in places so it might have had to be redone in some spots. i'll add it to the laundry list of things i need to have looked at while getting this place back up to snuff.
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  • MDNLansingMDNLansing Posts: 297Member
    Like This

    Move the gas valve up to this vertical pipe. Simple job for a DIY'r but its gas, so you gotta be careful and confident you know what you're doing.
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  • SWEISWEI Posts: 5,055Member ✭✭✭✭
    Looking at those pipes

    I'm guessing he will need a valve which is one size larger.
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  • MDNLansingMDNLansing Posts: 297Member
    For Sure

    It appears the gas line feeding the valve is 3/4" and it then reduces to 1/2" obviously using a 1/2" valve. When you move it you'll need a 3/4" valve and union. Don't hold me to those sizes though, it's hard to tell from the pics. It's either 3/4" reducing to 1/2", or 1" reducing to 3/4". I'm pretty sure it's 3/4"reducing to 1/2" though.
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This discussion has been closed.

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