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Blocked Steam Radiator -- gurgle sound

ccddo Member Posts: 11
I have a one pipe steam system.  Two radiators on the second floor will not heat(the other radiator on the same floor work well).  I checked the vents -- they are ok.   I turned down the pressure on the boiler.   Still no luck.

I checked the pitch on the rad's.  I think these two radiators may have been over pitched  in the past-- both had shims on one side. (note: the other --working radiators -- do not have shims)  So, I change the pitch to a slight angle to the inlet pipe. 

The pipe leading to the non-working rad's is hot. So, steam is getting the value.

Despite all my efforts, both radiators stillmake a gurgling noise -- condensate/water is not draining -- and do not heat.

My question: is there a way to "clear" or "flush" out the individual radiators?  Does that seem like it would solve my problem?


  • babbling radiators

    what was the pressure [in ounces] before you turned it down? are your main [not rad] vents adequate?

    try removing the vents on one of those rads [with the boiler off]. then with a helper turn on the boiler, and listen for the sound of air puffing through a low spot with water in it. naturally, your helper must be able to shut the boiler off when any steam arrives at the rad. for more discussion on this, get a copy of "the lost art of steam heating, at the shop here.

    if you hear this effect, look for some part of the pipe which has sagged, as it is unlikely that any debris is in the pipe.--nbc
  • ccddo
    ccddo Member Posts: 11
    vent of rad

    I tried removing the vent with the system running -- it was no problem, since that end of the rad is cold.   With the vent of the rad, air comes out in "puffs" not really continous. 

    I have the vent off the rad, so it is "wide open".
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,892
    Puff puff

    somewhere water is backing up in there -- that will keep you from getting heat, and also give you the puff puff effect (panting).  My guess would be something about the valves.  Are they fully open?  Can they fully open (not such an obvious question(.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
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