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Two Pipe Radiator - Can’t Turn Off!

Hi, all-

I’ve got a two pipe system that’s gets really hot. I’ve turned off the radiator valve, but the radiator continues to heat up. Also, the valve itself bubbles as steam escapes. Is it a faulty valve? Another problem? Thanks for your help!

Comments

  • luketheplumber
    luketheplumber Member Posts: 149
    just replace all washers on the valve oh and up lode a picture of the valve so Gordy can help you he is the best with steam valves
    I just earned my GED and am looking for a apprenticeship with one of these steam gurus on this site!
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    How is the system controlled?
    If the system is properly balanced, all the radiators should get steam at the same time, and there should not be one overhot one.
    Is this an apartment situation, or is it in your house?
    Post some pictures of the valve, and radiator-both ends.
    I suspect the pressure has been allowed to go too high, possibly to compensate for bad traps.—NBC
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,912
    Picture of the valve. Some of them can be repacked or at least the packing adjusted.

    However, I'm going to be that if it bubbles as steam escapes the system pressure is much too high.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • thatdarnfish
    thatdarnfish Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for your replies thus far. Here are pictures of the valve and trap. My super said that he doesn't want to replace the traps because it would be too expensive to do so for the entire building. So, it makes sense that the pressure has been pushed too high. Any other ideas/thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you!

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,912
    That valve doesn't look all that beat up. Compared to some... have you tried closing it completely? Does it still bubble? As I said above, if it actually bubbles and not just drips, the building pressure is too high -- probably much too high.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    Most likely, the high pressure will cause more steam leaks, and as a result, more fresh oxygenated water will be added constantly. The end result, a hole in the boiler. Is that cheaper than a few trap inserts?
    Who make the decisions in your building, and who pays for it in the end?
    Maybe the management would like to know more about this situation, before the boiler fails on a Friday at 5:00 PM, and and all the pipes freeze.--NBC
  • thatdarnfish
    thatdarnfish Member Posts: 4

    That valve doesn't look all that beat up. Compared to some... have you tried closing it completely? Does it still bubble? As I said above, if it actually bubbles and not just drips, the building pressure is too high -- probably much too high.

    Yes, I've closed it completely, but steam continues to leak and bubble up around the nut.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,021
    Your valve could be closed completely.
    Your trap failed in the open position.
    Numerous other traps failed in the same manner.
    Steam is in the return piping and back feeding thru your radiator.
    Heating your rad from the wrong end perhaps.
    The boiler pressure is probably cranked up to 5-7 PSI to "fix" all these problems.
    Also steam could be pouring out of the condensation pump vent.

    Sounds like a good candidate system for steam valve orifices.
    A lot less money than new traps.
    But you need someone who understands the orifice application.
  • thatdarnfish
    thatdarnfish Member Posts: 4
    I don’t think the steam is coming from the return pipe, as the top portion of the radiator near the valve is the first to get hot.