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One Room Is Cold!!

the most likely culprit is a water pocket in the piping caused by improper pitch. Or, the shutoff valve may have come apart with the disc still on the seat.

Also, you need to add the right main vents. Your system will heat faster and more evenly with them. Measure the length and diameter of your steam mains and we can tell you what you need.

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Comments

  • Chris_67
    Chris_67 Member Posts: 7
    One Room Is Cold!

    I bought the book "We have Steam." I have a one-pipe system. I lowered the pressure to 1.5 (from a whopping 5 which was the last knucklehead plumber's idea of how to heating my house), I opened all the vents on the radiators because there is not a main vent in the bathroom. The heat is working wonderfully EXCEPT the one radiator in the baby's room. After investigating, I noticed that the baby's room's one radiator is separate from all the others which are working great. It is above just one other radiator which is in the living room and is heaing o.k. What could be the problem. I already had a professional here who pitched it and gave it a new vent....
    HELP!
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Is there


    air coming from the new vent when the boiler cycles on?

    Mark H

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  • Chris_67
    Chris_67 Member Posts: 7


    Not that I notice. There is alot of air coming from the one below it that is in the living room. I had that vent closed and just opened it last night to see if there was a difference. It seems as if there is something completely blocking the pipe leading to the upstairs radiator. THe pipe may be too close to the outside of the house and the steam condensates as it passes the first floor up the wall of the house? we live in a brick house built in 1928. If that is the case, what is the solution?
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Can you


    trace the source of the second floor radiator?

    Mark H

    P.S. Are you sure that the supply valve is open to this radiator? Not to insult, but I have to ask.


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  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,188
    The pipe may...

    be getting cold for lack of insulation. Insulate it if possible.

    Or it may be blocked with water. Look for anywhere a bad pitch could be holding a slug of water.

    Or it could simply be too far from the boiler with a boiler sized to small for it. Ot the pipe may be too narroe. Does it heat if other radiator vents are closed?

    Or it may need more venting. Take the vent off and see if it heats. If it does, tap a vent into the riser or even into the valve side of the radiator to give more venting.

    Sounds like pipe pitch, size and insulation here, but that's just my guess.

    ... hay, wait a minute... that's what Steamhead said!

    Long Beach Ed
  • Chris_67
    Chris_67 Member Posts: 7


    How do you tell if the supply valve is open. You are not insulting at all! I am a stay at home mom (former attorney) who is consumed w/ learning about our heating system. Is the supply valve the big knob at the opposite side of the radiator from where vent is? Do I twist it open? It is very tightly shut.
    Also, we had a "professional" recommended from heatinghelp.com come and pitch the radiator.
  • Chris_67
    Chris_67 Member Posts: 7


    How do i know if the shut off valves have come apart. We had a professional already pitch the radiator.
    I can measure the steam mains, but how do you add a main vent? When the professional came to my house, i asked him to point out the main vent and he said there wasn't one in the basement - someone took it out along the way? Is this a costly project - adding a main vent? The professional acted as if it would be very expensive.
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    It needs to be fully open

    and I mean FULLY. Lefty loosey, righty tighty. Counter clock-wise is open. Clock-wise is closed.

    Try that and let us know what happens.

    Might not be the issue, but then again..."Simplicity is the ultimate complexity".

    If you ask me who said that I will answer, "the guitarist in the heavy metal band I was in MANY years ago".

    I forget his name.

    HAY!!!!!! IT WAS THE 80's FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD!

    Mark H

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  • Chris_67
    Chris_67 Member Posts: 7


    One more thing, if I turn up the thermastat to 78 degrees - which the professional did when he came to service our heating system - the radiator heats! but if I keep it at 69-71 it doesn't heat. Again, the rest of the house is heating great ever since I lowered the psi to 1.5 from 5.
  • Bob W._3
    Bob W._3 Member Posts: 561


    Chris, if the main vents have been taken out there are still tappings where they used to be. Measure the length and diameter of the mains and post them on this Thread. Steamhead or some of the the other steam guys will tell you what main vents you need. Not that expensive a job either.

    P.S. You should consider doing this even if you get that one rad to heat. Tuning up the system will save fuel.
  • Chris_67
    Chris_67 Member Posts: 7


    Thank you very much for you help. It is so frustrating troubleshooting for a baby's room that is cold!! I wish it were our room b/c my husband is always hot and I am always wearing 100 layers b/c I am always cold no matter where I am!!! At least, b/c it is the baby's room, I am forced to learn about our one pipe system! Thank you again.
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Thermostat


    satisfies before steam gets to the radiator.

    Could be a few things. Wrong size pipe to the radiator, wrong size air vent, combination of the above just to name two.

    If the air can't get out, the steam can't get in.

    Mark H

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  • Chris_67
    Chris_67 Member Posts: 7


    Do you do work in New Jersey - north jersey?
  • Bob W._3
    Bob W._3 Member Posts: 561


    Chris, I would urge you to buy Dan Holohan's book, The Lost Art of Steam Heating, on this site. It will give you a full explanation of one pipe steam. You can also just go to the Hot Tech Topics on the main menu and read all you can about steam, from Dan's articles. There is a good primer on one pipe steam there. Once you understand the concept of venting you will be able to get an idea of what needs to be done to get your system working well. You can also click on the Find a Professional link and get someone that knows steam. There should be lots of them in the NY/NJ area.

    I was forced to learn about steam when we bought an old home with an equally old steam system. It has turned into something of a labor of love.

    If you main vents were removed they can be replaced. New main vents from Gorton are readily available online. Proper venting will help your system to run smoothly. Good luck.
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    YES!


    For $1,000,000.00 per hour!

    Just kidding Chris! Sorry, I am about 3.5 hours north of you. Got some relatives in Bogota though!

    Can you take some digital pictures of all of the piping you can see? Post them here and we'll try to narrow down the issue. At least then you may get an idea of where to point your local guy. Not trying to make him out to be unqualified, but 10,000 eyes are better than two any day yes?

    This is what makes Mr.Holohan's site so unique. We're not here trying to bash the other guy/gal, no-one has seen everything. There are just SO MANY years of experience here that the odds of an issue going unsolved are slim.

    Ever heard that statement, "I've forgotten more than you'll ever know!"???

    Well Frank "Steamy Steamhead"Wilsey never forgot! Just like a bunch of the other weirdo steam freaks that gather here, myself included. We don't forget because we consider it important to remember.(Unlike anniversaries)

    Post some pics if you can.

    We'll at least get you pointed in the right direction.

    Mark H

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  • Mike camperlengo
    Mike camperlengo Member Posts: 13
    Vent size

    Chris-
    Sounds like the steam can get to the radiator it is just going everywhere else first! I had a similiar problem that was solved by getting a bigger vent on the radiator. (Gorton or Maid-O-Mist size D)
    What vent is on there currently?
    As for main vents they need to be added. This should not be a big deal if the tappings are there. Main vents are crucial to pull steam through the mains before it starts heading to the radiators. This will ensure more even heating. May be a big part of your problem if the baby's radiator is from a branch at the end of the main.
    In short- bigger vent and main vents.
This discussion has been closed.