Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Turning rads off

It will short cycle and your comparative fuel cost (based on the amount of heat the steam system is providing) will increase.

Has significant insulation been added to the ceiling/roof above the 2nd floor?


  • Chris_35
    Chris_35 Member Posts: 49
    Turning some rads off

    I have a 1 pipe steam system.
    I already have most of the upstairs rads turned off because it gets too hot up there compared to the main floor.
    I just put in a wood stove and now I think I should turn off even more rads because I don't need them.
    My question; is it ok to run my boiler with only 4 of the 10 rads opened up?
    Will this hurt my boiler or cause any other problem?
  • Bob W._3
    Bob W._3 Member Posts: 561

    Suggestion: Balance the system using adequate main vents and smaller vents on the hotter rads; use TRV's if necessary. Then use your wood stove and let the boiler come on when the wood fire dies down.
  • Chris_35
    Chris_35 Member Posts: 49

    Yes, I have about 6 inches of blown in insulation in the attic and I just added another layer of pink r12.

    As far as balancing the system goes, I know I need main vents, could someone suggest a make and model?
    Also could someone suggest a make and model of very small vents for the rads that I don't want to heat up as quick?
    Thanks for all of your help.
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    Have you considered Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) for one-pipe steam (guessing you have one-pipe steam)??

    A TRV on a one-pipe steam radiator amounts to a variable vent. It will, in effect, change the apparent size of a steam radiator.

    You only need to install on the upper floor radiators that overheat.

    Some say the overheating upstairs in older homes is due to the "stack effect". I counter that the dead men fully understood the "stack effect" and sized their systems accordingly. What REALLY changes things is adding insulation to the upper floor. Significantly reduce the heat loss at the uppermost level where the "stack effect" takes it anyway and your upstairs radiators become HIDEOUSLY oversized.

    An alternative is re-sizing of the upper radiators. ONLY possible if you see small rods running horizontally across your radiators at top and bottom.

    Both of these measures (downsizing the rads and installing TRVs) will reduce the load on the boiler.

    Watch The Wall for reports on a system where TRVs have been installed on a residential one-pipe steam system. I suspect that the boiler has been replaced and that it's not sized strictly to the radiation.
  • jeff_51
    jeff_51 Member Posts: 545

    Think all the steam guys here will agree with that. I'm not the guy to size em for ya, steamhead or some of the other guys are much better at that then me. If you don't get a better answer, put in a blog asking for steamhead, he'll answer
This discussion has been closed.