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Steam Radiator - Steam coming out of valve

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Moved into a duplex in an old colonial with steam heat. Knowing very little about steam heating, radiators and the like -- noticed that the valve is not (threaded) correctly and you can no longer use it to turn one of the radiators off.

As the weather has dropped, noticed this happening. Understanding I will be calling in an expert, curious if someone can help me better learn and understand what's going on (see video, here: https://vid.me/GYDb).

Note: in addition to steam coming from the valve, the vent is dripping water.

Comments

  • Mark N
    Mark N Member Posts: 1,115
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    Sounds like the pressure is too high and the packing nut needs to be tightened or the stem needs new packing and tightened down.
    acs212
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,742
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    That appears to be a bad packing on the valve stem. Do you know what pressure the boiler is running at? These systems should run at very low pressure. Is the boiler yours or common for the whole house? I wouldn't worry too much about being able to turn the valve off, they are to be left wide open at all times. I would start getting familiar with your system read this site and maybe even buy Dan's books for some education. It's good to know your system even if you don't plan on working on it. It is good protection against a bad contractor. There aren't that many steam experts and others say they work on steam, but don't know what is going on. Education is your best defense against those that don't know.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    acs212
  • acs212
    acs212 Member Posts: 3
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    What a great board -- thanks you both for the quick responses. Any insight is really helpful.

    I don't know much about the boiler -- and it is common for the whole house. The home is partitioned into several apartments. I'll definitely read through some of the threads here and check out the books avail in the store for more info.

    Wasn't sure what to tell the landlord or how to best approach this.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,742
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    Tell the landlord (if they don't know) steam leaks will kill their expensive boiler. Leaks cause excessive make up water, excessive make up water brings oxygen. Oxygen+cast iron equals corrosion, corrosion eats boiler, boiler fails and needs replaced. It's that simple. Not sure how good or bad your landlord is, but sometimes in a rental situation telling them fix my cheap valve or end up replacing multi thousand dollar piece of equipment gets a more positive response for you. Preventive maintenance is always cheaper...IMHO. We are always happy to help. Oh and the reason I mention boiler pressure is because high pressure wastes fuel...are you paying for fuel or landlord? I would assume landlord, but either way you are paying right?!
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    acs212
  • acs212
    acs212 Member Posts: 3
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    Second question -- looking at the layout of the apartment, the area I am in has three radiators. The other two (not pictured) have valves that are fully closed (but are still giving off some heat). Could the fact that they are closed by adding to this third radiator working harder?
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,742
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    Just to verify one thing is this a one pipe or two pipe system? Basically how many pipes are hooked to each radiator one or two? I assume one pipe by what you have said. If it is one pipe all the valves should be fully open. Closing them can have adverse effects to the system and the radiator. The valves typically don't seal and will still let some steam in. The problem then is that steam can get in, but the condensate (water) typically can not so the rad starts filling with water. In addition closing off rads basically makes the boiler over sized and it will cycle more often. If you want the rads off because of excess heat turn the vent upside down this will keep the air from escaping which can prevent most of the steam from getting in. Since it's not your system and you are only a renter there is only so much you can do with the system and then you have to get landlord involved. If you are having spitting vents that could be high pressure or wet steam or a bad vent. There are several causes, but most if not all of them I am guessing are the responsibility of your landlord?! Might be a good idea to discuss with them to find out who controls what...I really don't know how your situation is.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15