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I have one pipe steam heat in a two family home that was originally built in 1910. There were two radiators on the first floor toward the front of the house that were not heating up. They would only get hot when the boiler temperature was turned up to 85 degrees and left on for several hours. I changed the main air vent to a maid o mist and when that seemed like it wasn't really working much better (heat was coming out of all radiators at a slower pace), I changed it to a gorton #1. I also changed the two radiator vents to hoffman adjustable 1As on the highest level, #6. When I changed the main air vent to gorton #1, the two radiators began working, but three of the radiators on the second floor did not work. As the days passed, the radiators on the top floor worked and now the two radiators on the first floor again are not heating up after one hour at 85 degrees while the other radiators are just fine. One of the two radiators on the first floor is the furthest radiator away from the boiler while the other one is in the middle of the house, not too far from the boiler. The boiler is located in the basement in the middle of the house.
Yesterday, I noticed that the kitchen radiator on the first floor did not have an individual air vent even though it was really hot and I did not see steam coming out of the air vent hole. I put a hoffman 40 on it which vents slowly and will see if it works at all today. I was told when a vent was placed on it before, it stopped working, so fingers crossed that it works. Do you know why a radiator would be so hot without an air vent? Also, how could not having an air vent and always having that hole open on the radiator effect my entire system?
I think I should reduce the air vents on the second floor, but this whole process has taken so long (2 months) and is so temperamental that I feel I need advice. I've called my local heating company and they've coached me through some to the things I've described (e.g. changing the main air vent), but I'm hoping I could get your opinion to fix this once and for all.
One thing I have not been doing regularly is letting water out of my boiler once a week. Also, my vents on both floors are not all the same brand or type. Let me know if you need more information.