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Removing 1 Radiator on 1 pipe steam system

HeronHouseHeronHouse Member Posts: 9
We have a 1-pipe steam system, boiler recently replaced, and overall it's working well, except in our bedroom where it's just way too hot. There are 10 radiators total in the house (3.5 stories) and the master bedroom is the only room with 2 radiators in it. We kept one of them turned off for the entire Winter and were plenty warm. So I'm thinking about removing that one, to gain more space. If I don't want to remove the whole riser, would it be ok to remove the radiator and leave the riser in place, and just cap it where it comes out of the floor? Would I need to add a valve? Could it potentially cause problems because there's no longer a radiator holding it up? I have a feeling the pros on here will hate this whole question for several reasons but ok, have at it ;)
Thanks all


  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 12,847
    Shouldn't be a huge deal -- although it will result in your boiler being even more oversized than it probably is already.

    Yes, you can just cap the riser. In fact, to avoid the potential hassle of covering the holes where it come up, plus allowing for the possibility that you might, just might, someday want to put the radiator back, that's probably just what I would do. That said, yes, you will have to figure out some way of holding the riser up in place, Can't suggest what, as I have seen it, but there are many many possible ways to do that.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,599
    edited June 29
    I agree completely with the always accurate @Jamie Hall.

    Use this if you don't mind the appearance. If you do mind the appearance, you could fashion a similar thing from some other kind of clamp.

    I went with these to hold up the new riser I ran to my bedroom.
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,599
    One small disagreement with @Jamie Hall -- The OP posted in 2018 about his boiler replacement. He went with the smaller one! So he should be in good shape even after taking this one out, definitely a rarity around here!
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,896
    If you can ID the riser in the basement, you can support the horizontal run out where it changes to vertical.
    If unsure of which riser, you can support any and all of them.
    A 2 x 4 cut to fit between floor joists and secured with screws.
    Extra support would be small plywood cleats screwed to the floor joists just under the 2 x 4's.

    I would secure the support before unscrewing the radiator.
    It is possible that a single riser can feed more than one floor.
  • gerry gillgerry gill Member Posts: 2,977
    Should be fine. Just be careful not to damage 100 year old pipe going to radiator valve.

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • HeronHouseHeronHouse Member Posts: 9
    Wow, 5 out of 5 comments with intelligent, well-informed, and helpful feedback? If only the rest of the internet would learn something from this site! Thanks so much, all of you.

    @Jamie Hall yes I'm definitely thinking of leaving the riser there for us or a future owner to use, just in case. That's pretty much our style... within reason of course.

    @ethicalpaul haha, thanks for noticing that we did indeed go with the smaller boiler when we switched to gas! And it's been working great. I'm tempted to post photos of our plumber's work, and get feedback on it from the steam masters around here. But then again, it's working quite well and it cost a pretty penny so I'm not going to change anything until I have to, which is hopefully a very long time from now...!

    @JUGHNE yes great point. I know which riser it is in the basement so I will make sure to secure it there first.

    @gerry gill yes also great point, and yep the heating system is probably about 100 years old. It's an 1888 townhouse in Brooklyn, NY. There's still a little bit of coal on the floor in the basement near the old coal chute, which is at the end of a very cool little tunnel.

  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,896
    If that valve will not unscrew willingly, you can cut the lower brass across the female threads with a hacksaw or grinder.
    2 cuts less than an inch apart then carefully spread the cut opening. That then may allow you to unscrew.

    Take care to not cut into the steel pipe...
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