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What valve to use for this different looking 1930s steam radiator (pictures included)

Hey, newbie here, so I'm going to give you as much info as possible hoping that you can help me choose which valve to use for this radiator. My super hasn't been much help and internet searches leave me with questions.

Problem: Valve is hissing, sputtering for 15 minutes - 2 hours at a time throughout the day at 45-75dB. I'm loosing sleep and going crazy.

Current valve info: No markings on valve, 1/2" pipe, top of valve is about 1" from upper enclosure
Radiator is: 29 columns, 15" column height, columns are slightly angled with no visible control valve.
Building info: seems to have 1 boiler for a 6 floor, 72 apartment building (thank you to the NYC dob archives)
Apartment info: 6th floor, 400 sq ft apartment, 2 small radiators in bathroom and kitchen that aren't problematic
1. Whole radiator
2. Valve (on left end of radiator)
3. Pipe that the valve is connected to
4. Right end of radiator

My research leads me to think I should get a C, D or 1 straight valve for a 1/2" pipe. MaidOMist has good reviews. What do you think?

Also, some things I cant figure out: Is this 1-pipe or 2-pipe steam? or a main vent? There is no visible control valve for the radiator


  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,306
    The vent you have now looks like a big box USAV vent and they are pure crap. That's a convector and those should be vented slowly, do you know if the rest of your radiators have the same air vent this convector has?

    Convectors don't usually have the room you need to install a gorton (or Maid O Mist) vent, the Hoffman 41 is a good choice. Make sure the vent has the threads coming out the bottom of the vent.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,760
    How many pipes come thru the floor for this unit?
  • Aeroconvector
    Aeroconvector Member Posts: 2
    One pipe through the floor.

    You are right BobC, there isnt a lot of space for the vent. I went to the hardware store and they hooked me up with a Hoffman 41.

    Didn't realize that the measurement is the inside of the pipe, 1/4. That really sent me in the wrong direction.

    Both the other radiators have Hoffmans as well, although now that I have the new Hoffman installed on this one I think I am going to replace the bathroom as well because now that is all I can hear even though it isnt as loud as the old one beside my bed.

    I cant beleive how quiet it is with the new vent. The guy at the hardware store blew into a Borton and a knockoff same as what was installed so I could hear the difference. The hole in it is tiny and compared to the Borton and the cheap knockoff with bigger holes, this one is definately the way to go.

    Thanks for the help!
  • Phil53
    Phil53 Member Posts: 70
    Interesting cast iron convector. Any idea who made this one?
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,564
    It would be interesting to know what the pressure is on this system, and how efficient it is in terms of fuel economy.
    If there is no adequate main venting, and excessive steam pressure to compensate, then the best radiator vents will be noisy.
    If the management, and the super had compensation tied to fuel savings, these problems would be cleared up quickly.—NBC
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,306
    Your buildings pressure might be set too high, it sb 2PSI or less in most cases. If the pressure is high air vents will have shortened lives.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge