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Finding Steam Pipes behind DryWall

Dairon421 Member Posts: 33
The problem is one radiator out the whole house not getting hot. Its a one pipe system. I took off the air vent no action. I crack the radiator valve and got constant air and gurgling sound. Main return vents are good and all the supply riser on the main is hot. I suspect that a pipe in the drywall have a negative pitch and condensate is blocking it. The home been under alot of construction so I think someone moved a pipe or bump it while working. My question is are their any tools or techniques to find the piping inside the walls. The radiator is on the 3rd floor so im going to have to go underneath.


  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 273
    FLIR camera is what I use. At a minimum will let you know the pipe is cold if you have general idea of location. 

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,666
    The part with the pitch problem is much more likely to be in the ceiling/floor or where it offsets around the framing to get in to the ceiling from the wall.
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 1,208
    have you tried lifting the whole radiator?
    or, if you open the valve to rad union, does that supply pipe have slack in the floor and can it be pulled up?
  • Dairon421
    Dairon421 Member Posts: 33
    @neilc radiator was to heavy to lift up and pipe can't be pulled up
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,373
    Is it that the pipe can't be pulled up because the radiator can't be lifted, or that the pipe can't be pulled up when disconnected from the radiator? If it's the former, try again. Only don't strain your back -- use a 2x4 as a fulcrum and another one as a lever. Or a pry bar as the lever. Try the end without the pipe first -- that will verify that you can, in fact, lift the radiator, so if you can't lift the end with the pipe, you will know that it's the pipe.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
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