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Shutting off one pipe steam radiator

Julian Member Posts: 11

I have two steam radiators in my room and they are far too much for the size of the room. I'm renting on the 3d and last floor of an old townhouse building and the landlord really doesn't do much of maintenance so I'm not sure if I asked to regulate the amount of heat would work. Anyhow, I read some old threads here on how to turn of the radiator but I still have a couple of questions, mainly because there's one difference in my radiator system - there's another pipe coming out of the main one carrying the steam and water that goes up and ends with an air vent (please see attached photos - air vent 2). So I read that I can turn the radiator vent 1 downwards and then shut down the valve but not sure if in my case it'll go well, considering the other pipe. Also, don't really want to affect the rest of the apartment/house heating distribution so wonder if shutting down that radiator would make the pipes crack or rattle?

So basically can you tell me how to properly shut the radiator off?

Will ONLY turning the air vent 1 downwards be enough to stop the radiator or after I do that should I also shut off the valve?




  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,877
    You should leave

    air vent number 2 -- the one on the top of the riser -- alone.  That is exhausting air from the riser, and fiddling with it would affect all the other radiators on that riser -- which you don't want to do.

    Turning air vent number 1 upside down should do the trick -- pretty much.  You will still get a little heat out of the radiator, but you shouldn't get much (unless the building pressure is way out of whack, but there isn't much you can do about that).

    Don't turn the valve off.  Some steam will always get by, and if the valve is closed it will accumulate and cause difficulties.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Julian
    Julian Member Posts: 11

    Thanks for the reply!

    So I tried that - turning the air vent upside down - and absolutely nothing happened, meaning that the radiator is still crazy hot (I left it overnight thinking it might gradually fade out but no). The room gets so hot that I have to open two windows wide and it's not even enough and it's been like 0 degrees out these days..

    Any suggestions?

  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    Ask the landlord if he would like to save money

    This system is probably in need of having its pressure checked, and is therefore burning about 15% more fuel than it should. The over pressure is no doubt compressing the steam into the radiator in spite of the closed air vent.

    I can see from the pictures that some work has been done in the form of an air vent on the riser, presumably to get heat up to your space more quickly. Now it's time for another visit from the steam pro.--NBC
  • Julian
    Julian Member Posts: 11
    i would love to get a visit by

    a professional but the way things are handled in my building i presume that is a wishful option rather than a real one. In the mean time I know you don't recommend turning the valve off but that would probably solve my problem in the short therm, correct? Is it also possible that the air vent needs replacing - i mean i can get that done myself i feel.

    Thanks again,