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Need more heat out of radiator. My room is FREEZING!

Hi all! I thank anyone for their help in advance. I am living in an apartment in NYC and I currently have a radiator right next to my desk that I can barely feel from a foot away and the rest of my room is unbearable. I work with a sleeping bag around my legs. 

My landlord has been no help and difficult to discuss with as he doesn’t really listen to me. Can anyone help me get more heat out of this puppy? 

Comments

  • thatonedudeyouknow
    thatonedudeyouknow Member Posts: 1
    Some more info: I have turned the valve at the base of the radiator as far open as it can go. The unit does get hot but doesn’t seem to disperse throughout the room or even a couple feet out. I feel it needs to be hotter? In the past where the silver shaped part (steam vent) I was able to make adjustments on that but this one doesn’t seem to have anything to adjust. 
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,268
    Probably not much you can do. Maybe get a small electric fan and blow air at the radiator. Does it heat all the way across?

    You could change the air vent to an adjustable vent (vent rite is the best) It may or may not help. But make sure the boiler is off when you change it. The shut off valve may or may not hold
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,049
    Does the radiator get hot at all?

    Is that a new vent? Did the radiator ever heat up properly?

    For what it's worth -- which, living in an apartment isn't much -- the vent is in the wrong location, and it is unlikely that the radiator well ever be able to get fully warm. It should be about a quarter to a third of the way up from the bottom, not right at the top -- and I see a boss on the radiator where it should be located. As I say, not much you can do about that...

    There are two possibilities that you can look at. First, is the vent opening properly -- and you could try replacing the vent, or the the inlet valve isn't fully open -- they do sometimes fail.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • thatonedudeyouknow
    thatonedudeyouknow Member Posts: 1
    Hey Jamie! Thank you for responding. How would I know if the vent is opening properly? There doesn't appear to be anything on it that would allow for adjustments - aside from just tightening or loosening it at the threads.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,049

    Hey Jamie! Thank you for responding. How would I know if the vent is opening properly? There doesn't appear to be anything on it that would allow for adjustments - aside from just tightening or loosening it at the threads.

    If the vent is opening, the radiator will get hot across the top. Sadly, given where it is located, that's about all the radiator will do -- plus maybe one or two columns on the inlet end. But at least it will do that...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,123
    edited March 15
    I think nyc has some pretty good tenant laws regarding the minimum acceptable temperature in rental units.

    do you ever hear air escape from the vent? Is the vent too hot to hold onto?
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • LS123
    LS123 Member Posts: 403
    @thatonedudeyouknow , can you post a picture of the whole side where the air vent is installed at the wrong location. I am attaching your pic with red box highlighted.... clear pic will help us possibly resolve your heater not working.

    I have attached where most steam radiators get their air vent valve installed...


    Clear picture of the side of your rad would help a lot.
    Best!
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
  • thatonedudeyouknow
    thatonedudeyouknow Member Posts: 1
    I'm not sure how to reply to a specific comment haha

    @LS123 attached to this is an uploaded picture of the location you asked to see.
    @ethicalpaul It does get too hot to touch. And I do slightly hear air escaping from time to time.
  • LS123
    LS123 Member Posts: 403
    thank u @thatonedudeyouknow. by the way, is there a screw in that place ... its hard to see?

    @ethicalpaul , @Jamie Hall @EBEBRATT-Ed - i am not as experienced as u 2 are. Could the air vent in the top be placed where there is a place to install the air vent toward the bottom of this steam rad?. then plug the top air hole.

    Also not sure the air vent on the top of the rad would fit on the lower part of the rad? or if OP would have to buy a smaller one that would fit lower part of the rad.

    Any thought? thank you!
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,049
    The boss in the picture you sent in reply to @LS123 is where the vent should be, @thatonedudeyouknow . Two problems that I can see, though... first, in your reply with that picture, you mention that the radiator does get too hot to touch? Pretty much all of it? In which case, moving the vent isn't going to help you much. Second, you mentioned, I believe, that your are a tenant -- and getting the landlord to drill out that boss and tap it to install the vent where it belongs may not be possible.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    LS123ethicalpaul
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,923
    Looks to me like the lower vent boss has a plug in it, a large Allen wrench may fit it. Getting it to turn, OTOH...

    Like Br. Jamie said, if the whole thing (or most of it) is too hot to touch, that's all it's going to. Ed mentioned a small fan to circulate air around it, I'd try that.

    LS123mattmia2
  • LS123
    LS123 Member Posts: 403
    i think OP mentioned the heater get hot, and he responded to @ethicalpaul about the Air Vent on the top getting hot... I do not think OP is getting his whole rad hot.I also noticed that the Air vent seems to be old and has a hole on the side and it seems like welded (OPs pics are on very top and damages to the steam vent. and I attached them ... see below)

    @thatonedudeyouknow " - Steam Rads gets really hot, that you would not be able to touch it more than a second or two ( please note that I am not referring to the Steam Air Vent on the Top) If you were to clarify, how hot the whole steam radiator gets? .... from 1 - 10, and 10 being unable to touch more than a second, how would you rate the radiator being hot?

    ** (like Br. @Jamie Hall said your radiator will only get hot or warm on the top and couple of columns where the steam inlet is at. Unfortunately your air vent is in the wrong place.... AIr vent is designed to shut release of air from the radiator once the inside the air vent metal parts get hot and stop hot air leaving the radiator) I have attached the pictures that looks like your air vent may be also damaged. one reason may be you may get air vent really hot, and sound of air escaping because its damaged.

    **Even if the air vent not damaged, like @ethicalpaul mentioned air valve would get hot and it will make air escaping noise.

    Like @ratio mentioned you might be in luck if you can open the boss at the lower part of the radiator and put a air vent ( perhaps a new one, they are not that expensive)... If you get that done you will be very happy with the heat from a steam radiators.... they get HOT! Also you need to slightly elevate the side where the vent is. That is so that when steam becomes cold condensation, or water can go back ( but first get the vents issue out of the way.
    best!


    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,123
    edited March 16
    Yeah I’m trying to see what’s getting steam hot. So far the vent is, that is good.

    next question although it’s academic: does the whole radiator also get too hot to hold onto like that? If so, it’s filling with steam. 

    If that’s happening the room needs more radiation or weatherproofing or as was said maybe a little fan blowing on the radiator (although that can also make the room be or feel colder!)

    that is a modern wimpy radiator. The original might have been much beefier
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    LS123
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,837
    edited March 17
    Move the vent. Doing so should be easy- just get the plug out of the lower boss in the pic. It's an Allen-key plug, but I don't remember the size. Put the plug in where the vent is now. the vent should fit in the lower tapping with no trouble.

    Then watch how much better it works.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    LS123mattmia2Turbo Dave