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.

What kind of weird radiator is this?

Just moved into this apartment, and I've been in lots of steam heated apartments, but I've never seen radiators that look like this.  Anyone know what they are called?  And how can you make sure they are pitched?  They have a pipe on both sides so you can't raise either end of them.



My problem is that something is stuck in one of the pipes underneath the larger of these two, and I don't know how to get it out.  It's rattling around and making me nuts.  Either that or the pipes are vibrating...

Comments

  • numberforty1
    numberforty1 Member Posts: 97
    Also...

    You'll notice the vent is turned upside on the smaller radiator, and yet it still heats right up.  How do you figure that?  Actually that radiator is the one that works the best.  Go figure, its in the kitchen where I don't care what noise it makes.  The one rattling all the time is in the bedroom...
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,381
    Sunrad

    That is a burnham sunrad radiator and they put out a lot of heat for their size, it's about 2.25 sq ft EDR per section. It should have a slight pitch towards the input valve.



    Maybe that upside down radiator's float has debris in it so it's not closing.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    stormbytes
  • numberforty1
    numberforty1 Member Posts: 97
    Thanks

    So how can I tell which side is the input valve?  Wouldn't I want the input valve side to be higher, so that condensate runs down toward the output valve?
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,381
    One pipe or two pipe?

    If this is a two pipe steam system it should not have an air vent on the radiators. Look underneath and see if there are one or two pipes hooked up to them.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • numberforty1
    numberforty1 Member Posts: 97
    Actually...

    Come to think of it, why are there two valves and two pipes in the first place?



    Thanks again
  • numberforty1
    numberforty1 Member Posts: 97
    Yes, Two Pipes

    One on the left and one on the right, with a valve for each pipe.  It shouldn't have an air vent?  But you can see the vents on both of them...I'm confused.  When I say "vent", I mean the little silver guys you see in the pictures, on the smaller radiator it is upside down.
  • Steve_210
    Steve_210 Member Posts: 625
    Looks like

    There are two Ball valves underneath the radiator

    Copper supply and return can you take a picture of the bottom of the radiator showing the valves

    Methinks somebody is confusing steam what hot water
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,901
    vents

    I seem to recall some two pipe systems also having rad vents?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • numberforty1
    numberforty1 Member Posts: 97
    Its Steam

    Pretty obvious when it's hissing at you...I'll take some pictures.
  • numberforty1
    numberforty1 Member Posts: 97
    Here's a Picture

    You can see the two pipes coming out of the floor, the valves on each,

    and the air vent.  The system seems to work except for a lot of old

    useless air vents and this incessant rattling coming from this one,

    which I am guessing is either something in the pipe or the pipe just

    vibrating on its own.



    I guess what I don't understand is...if one-pipe systems use these air vents to release air, and some two-pipe systems use them as well, what is the benefit of the second pipe?
  • numberforty1
    numberforty1 Member Posts: 97
    Bump...

    I've realized that by closing the valve on the right hand side I can hear the sound of running/gurgling water just under the radiator itself when the heat comes up.  With typical one-pipe radiators I would assume the pitch just needed to be increased to get condensation out of there, but with this Sunrad two-pipe thing I have no idea what to do.  Anyone know how this unit is supposed to return condensation to the boiler?  There doesn't seem to be any way to pitch the thing...



    Anyone professionals in the Brooklyn area?  I'm about ready to just pay someone to fix this thing and then take it up with my landlord later...
  • numberforty1
    numberforty1 Member Posts: 97
    Turn down the pressure?

    So my landlord said he would turn down the pressure to stop the rattling noise under the radiator.  Of course that was no help.  He said he put the air vents on this two-pipe system to make the steam come up faster.  Does he have any idea what he's talking about?



    A rattling noise comes from under the radiator whether the valves are open or closed.  Also it appears that it rattles slightly sometime even when the heat is not coming up at the moment.  ANYONE with any idea of what I am dealing with here?  It sounds a lot like this, just not as constant.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZRTcTEPIiw



    If it is vibrating pipes, how the heck can I stop that?



    It seems to me that if I open the vent and both valves when the heat is down, the pipes should fill with air.  If I then close the valves and vent, the trapped air should prevent any steam from coming up, and thus prevent any rattle.  Well, I tried this, and the damn thing rattles no matter what.  Ironically, last night it made no noise, and tonight (with no changes made) it is rattling consistently.  Am I missing something here?  It's gonna drive me to drink even more...
  • Rattling rad

    What happens if both valves are closed? This problem is probably a system-wide problem. The poor landlord is likely paying through the nose for extra gas to overcome the deferred maintenance of the whole system, and is afraid to add to his expenses with consulting a knowledgeable steam pro (even though the savings would be returned in a month or two!).

    Get him to come to this site, and see what can be done by himself if he is unwilling to pay a competent professional.--NBC
  • numberforty1
    numberforty1 Member Posts: 97
    Same thing

    Well, like I mentioned, the rattling noise persists even if both valves are closed.  I've noticed that if I close the supply valve and open the return valve then there is somewhat less of a "rattle" and more of a gurgling.  If I leave both valves closed for some time, and then open them, I hear large amounts of water suddenly run down the pipes.  Seems to indicate that the valves are not completely cutting off the steam, right?



    One thing I've failed to mention - the average temperature in this apartment is 85 degrees, very often going to 90!  I like it warm, but I've tried telling the landlord how stupid that is.  Is the temperature affected at all by the pressure, or is it purely a thermostat issue?  I'm still wondering if the pressure is insanely high and contributing to the overall problem.



    I agree it must be a system wide issue, but of course that doesn't explain how to fix it - I'm sure I'll discover the real issue before the landlord will, so I'm here trying to figure out what to tell him to do!
This discussion has been closed.