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HELP! dripping noisy radiator

hot Member Posts: 2
Hi, I live in an apartment building with radiator heat that we do not have control over. All winter long it basically rages at full blast making tons of noise. Whenever we have attempted to manually turn off any of the units, they leak terribly. The attached image shows the the type of unit. The leak comes from the underside of the vertical valve. Any advice on how to proceed? Our building maintenance is completely useless. We are at wits end and are willing to pay if needed but do not want to get ripped off on account of our ignorance. Thanks in advance for any help. – Josh


  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,393
    edited November 2010
    Broad Approach

    Where are you located? If a major metropolitan area, specifically NYC, Baltimore, Boston or Chicago, there are practitioners near you who may be able to help.

    Without seeing the place, here are a number of contributing factors that "may" be in play:

    1. Steam pressure too high- this can cause banging, can damage vents (that vertical valve you photographed is an air vent) and a host of other conditions.

    2. Near-boiler piping "done wrong". This can cause wet steam which may contribute to the vent spitting and a host of other conditions.

    3. Lack of pipe insulation. This too can cause banging, develop wet steam and waste energy in the process.

    Too many other things to mention, here are three.
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385

    That looks to me like a forced hot water wall convector with the wrong vent on it? Those wall convectors used to have a baffle that hinged over the top of the core. They had either a chain connected to a knob on the front cover, or some had a foot control under the core to open or close it. The baffle would regulate the air flow to help regulate it's output. Someone has installed a valve on the piping to regulate the water flow thru it? I could be wrong, but never saw a steam powered copper wall convector around here. More pics might help
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,216
    Typical "upgrade"

    the quick and cheap solution is to fold a triple layer of foil and cover the element. The system needs more attention than a tenant should be messing with. If your landlord wants to burn his money that is his concern. Who ever was in there and installed these units had enough knowledge to get paid and get out of the way before it went wrong. Leave the valves open they are only there for service not control. If you damage a ceiling below you the landlord will blame you not the shoddy heating system. If the landlord wants to save money and get piece of mind have him or her call the closet steam pro from the listing above and make everyone happy.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
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