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Too much heat in the wrong places.

LIsteampad Member Posts: 6
edited January 2016 in THE MAIN WALL
Hello, I am a fairly new homeowner (2 years) of a home that has steam heat. When I first moved in we turned the heat on and found that the old homeowners closed 80 % of the valves to the radiators likely because the did not want to pay a high oil bill, (my municipality has own own electric). As time went on I discovered a few leaks at valves that were an easy fix. One radiator how ever is not putting out nearly enough heat. I thought it may be the pitch so I adjusted that, still nothing. One or two sections may get warm but that's it, the resulting room temperature is only about 60 degrees. This radiator is a 24" 3 column US Radiator Corp. In an adjoining room, that is my bedroom there are two 20" 4 tube 20 section National Radiators. The heat in the bedroom can reach 80-83 degrees with the thermostat on the first floor set to 72. Minor note the bedroom is a 14x14 extension that was put on in the early to mid 50's, that cold radiator in my estimation was moved as a result of the extension to an opposite wall. Additionally its one pipe steam. If anyone has any ideas on how to fix this please let me know.


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
    Might be an air venting issue. Looks like you're on Long Island, right?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • LIsteampad
    LIsteampad Member Posts: 6
    I am on Long Island. I have two main vents. As such in Dan Holohan's books he says that with main vents in place the vent should be matched to the radiator size. Does anyone know the calculation for this? Another issue is that there is no insulation on the mains in the basement that was what I would consider the original system. Can anyone recommend a suppler that has quality fiberglass insulation on Long Island? Home Depots products are 3' lengths and the fall of in hours after putting them on.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,478
    Do the rest of the radiators heat ok, what kind of vents are on the radiators. Check the pipes in the basement with a level to make sure the slopes of the steam mains and radiator feeds are all correct, especially the one you think might have been moved. If water can collect in a mis-sloped pipe it will kill steam flow in that pipe.

    You could try unscrewing the vent on the cold radiator to see if it gets hot then, just have someone be ready to shut off the boiler when steam comes out of the open port. If steam comes billowing out it may well be a venting issue. Vents have to be sized by the size of the radiator and the length of pipe that connects it to the steam main. Most systems work well with slow venting on the radiators and fast venting on the mains. What kind of vents are on the steam mains?

    For the hot bedroom, you could try turning one vent upside down, that should stop that radiator from heating AS LONG AS IT"S NOT A HEATIMER VARIVENT (they don't have a float in them).

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,425
    edited January 2016
    Good evening @LIsteampad, my name is Danny Scully and I operate Scully's Plumbing with my father and brother in the Nassau County area of Long Island. Visit us at http://www.scullysplumbing.com, we'd love to help in any way we can!
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    @LIsteampad , if you can get @Danny Scully to service/look at your system, you will be in great hands!
  • LIsteampad
    LIsteampad Member Posts: 6
    I insulated the mains since the post and determined the problem with the cold radiator to have been a vent tag was way to small. Thanks for the help.