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Does a leaking valve need replacement?

lisab Member Posts: 8
I have a steam radiator that is very noisy and so I like to turn it off at night when I sleep. After turning it off and on a few times, it leaks from the top. The super came earlier in the season to tighten it, but it started leaking again. Now he’s going to come and tighten it again. Does it need to be replaced? And is it wrong usage to turn it off and on every day. In the small closeup of the valve I circled in red where the leak is from. 

I turn it off at night by using the circular thing at the top to screw it down or up. I’m worried the super will just tell me I shouldn’t turn it off on. I don’t know if it makes a difference, but I’m in a large pre-war building, on the fourth floor, there are six floors. I have a D size Gorton valve on the outlet valve. It is pitched.


    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,317
    Super needs to take the valve handle off and loosen the packing nut and repack the valves stem. That will stop the leak. The packing dries out over time. He can use Teflon tape twisted up. Then put the valve handle back on. Perhaps a smaller adjustable air vent like a "vent rite" would be a better choice.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,916
    The Gorton vent, if turned upside down, will reduce -- by a lot -- the amount of heat you get. However... they aren't meant to be turned frequently -- they will start to leak where they are threaded into the radiator. For that matter, the service valve -- the one you are working with -- isn't meant to be used to regulate heat, either, just turn it off for service. But it is easy to fix the leak -- as @EBEBRATT-Ed said, just repack the valve stem. Doesn't take long.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • lisab
    lisab Member Posts: 8
    edited February 4
    Thank you so so much all! That is so good to know there’s a simple solution.  Even if for some reason, the super can’t or won’t, then I could at least explain to him that a plumber could find a simple solution. I will try to turn the Gorton valve more so it’s face down, it just reached its limit of how much I could turn it.

    Just to check- to clarify, I’m not using the service valve to regulate heat, I’m just turning it off at night because it’s noisy, and then turning it on in the morning. The heat is fine. But turning it is what made it start to leak more and more. Is that a permissible or appropriate use of the service valve? Or is that considered inappropriate use? Like, if you had a private plumber, install it and then later on it leaked because you were turning it off and on. Would the plumber say, well you’ve used it incorrectly, so that’s why it’s leaking?
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,929
    Get an 1/8"male by 1/8" female ball valve and install where the Gorton D is currently installed. Will hold up much better to frequent turning on and off. 
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,929
    Let it leak. When the downstairs ceiling collapses from the water buildup, the building higher ups will take care of it. You are not the super's or landlord's babysitter. 
  • Dan_NJ
    Dan_NJ Member Posts: 247
    edited February 4
    You could try replacing the Gorton vent with a Vent-rite #1 which gives you the ability to turn off the venting altogether via adjustment dial on the bottom of that vent. it's a slower vent but it might work well enough when turned on. I wouldn't want to be repeatedly working the threads where the vent is installed. Vent-Rite #1 or do the ball valve thing suggested above.
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,094
    Tighten the packing nut or repack and then about get rid of the vent installed opposite the supply valve in the lower tapping for starters .Then what ever everyone else has said . I agree on just rotate the vent if you don’t want any heat instead of shutting the valve off .
    Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating