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.

Refinishing Recessed Steam radiators


   We've just bought our first home.  The house was built in 1930 and it has recessed radiators.  They all seem to work just fine but a couple of them squeal and make clicking noises from time to time.  Is there an easy fix for the squealing and clicking?

Also, although they work just fine, over the years, they've been painted and gotten dirty so they look pretty awful.  We'd like to strip them down to the original metal and restore them.  Unfortunately for us, we don't know how they work (ha!), so we don't know how to go about stripping them without interfering with their operation.  Does anyone have a manual (pictures would be great) on how these things work?  Or if not, does anyone know how to safely move these things from wall, strip, clean them, and then put them back? 

I've included pictures of two of the radiators in the home.  They all seem to be the same kind, just different sizes.

Thank you.


  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,756
    Those look like American Standard Sunrads

    You'll find the catalog here: http://www.heatinghelp.com/article/158/Radiators/1256/1897-American-Radiator-Company-catalog (courtesy of Steamhead).
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,350
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,756

    Thanks for bailing me out.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • SteamHeatNewbie
    SteamHeatNewbie Member Posts: 3
    Thank you! Now...

    The American Standard sunrad radiator from the 1947 catalog is definitely what we have. Thank you!  Now that we know what it is, we're one step closer...  Does anyone have the installation manual for these radiators so we can see how to disconnect and pull them out of the wall?

    Thanks again!
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,849
    days of double hung thermostats

    I wonder if dampers can be installed in those terminals ?
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,034
    I'm not seeing the problem?

    If the valve is disconnected you should be able to wiggle them out of the recess i would imagine..unless the floor was raised in front of them..am i missing something here?
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • SteamHeatNewbie
    SteamHeatNewbie Member Posts: 3

    Thanks, Gerry Gill.  I think we were the ones missing something.  Since we've got zero experience with radiators, we didn't realize that the bottom vent could be pulled down to access what are presumably the valves that you're talking about.  Thank you everyone for your help!
This discussion has been closed.