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Weird Wall Mounted New York Basement Steam Radiator

jkamberos Member Posts: 1
Hello. I found this wall mounted steam radiator in New York's Greenwich Village in this basement bar that my friends and I visited recently. I have some familiarity with steam systems, and I noticed that there was a funnel with a hose on the side of it that seemed funky. However, the more I looked at the radiator, the weirder it looked to me. It appeared to be 2 ten tube radiators joined with two unions. It had an air vent in the top left corner, but it seemed to have three pipes coming out of it which I've never seen nor did it make sense to me. The pipe at the top right corner had some sort of valve stem which was also where the funnel was located. The bottom left pipe had nothing of note, and the bottom right pipe was significantly smaller and ran back up the length of the radiator which seemed odd. I'm not a heating contractor, so there is a lot I don't know, but some of what I know made this seem really weird to me. Any help with understanding this situation would be helpful. 


  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 683
    edited July 2022
    Looks like the funnel and hose are a makeshift solution to a leak from the  steam supply valve. The piping at the bottom left is for condensate return, probably tied into a wet return to the boiler if this is a gravity return system. The pipe at the lower right is probably a condensate drip from some source on a higher floor. They may have tied it into this radiator as the easiest place to reach.

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 8,434
    A better picture of the device at the upper left would tell us more. Are you sure that is a steam vent and not some sort of automatic air vent? Are you sure this is steam? There are also some schemes to use the steam to push the condensate up out of radiators below the water line.
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,205
    That looks like the worst bar ever. Go anywhere else next time.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Plumbing in NYC or in NJ.
    Take his class.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 6,100
    edited July 2022
    That funnel as you call it,  with drain tube is a very sophisticated and  technical device for the collection and diverting what could be high temperature condensation from a central steam source in order to prevent personal injury to patrons that may be too inebriated to realize that they are being treated with a seriously high temperature liquid while consuming lower temperature liquids of the intoxicating variety. 

    All those other pipes are what makes  the room get warm in the winter 

    I hope this explains everything 

    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics