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valve spits and gurgles and drips

hi everyone. new homeowner in a very old house. i have never had a steam radiator before, so i'm not sure what i did. this is a 100 year old house, and the radiator system heats fine. except the second story bedrooms. i'm sure the valves haven't been turned in 30 years or so. i tried opening one up a bit, not even a sixteenth of a turn because it was hard to turn and i didn't want to force anything. now there is a gurgling at the valve, and a bit of water on top. any suggestions? thanks in advance. jay


  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    fully open the valve. partially opening it traps water which leads to the gurgling you hear.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,942
    It may take some patience to get that valve open all the way. Counterclockwise! Furthermore, you probably have disturbed the packing where the valve stem goes in. Not hard to do... not hard to fix, either. There should be a brass (probably) nut right on top of the valve, which the stem goes through. Try loosening that a bit and it may make the valve easier to turn. If you loosen it more, you can slip it up and put new packing in.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • outatune13
    outatune13 Member Posts: 13
    thank you, i'll try that.
  • outatune13
    outatune13 Member Posts: 13
    thank you all so much.