Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Balancing a two-pipe Trane vapor system

Dave_23 Member Posts: 190
I have a two pipe Trane vapor system. It works quite well, however one of my rads (actually the room it's in) gets warmer than I'd like. Is it acceptable to partially close the shutoff valve to reduce the amount of steam delivered to the rad? Generally, is this good practice for system balancing on a two pipe system? (Note: It is impractical for me to replace rads with smaller units)

Also, any advice for loosening a stuck stem on a radiator steam shutoff valve? I can get the stem to move about +/- 5 degrees of rotation, but no more. I'm very reluctant to put a big wrench on the stem to loosen it.


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,719
    That will work fine

    This type of system was designed to let you adjust the amount of steam entering each radiator. If the room in question is a bedroom, the rad was probably sized to keep the room warm when the windows were open- strange, but true.

    To loosen the stuck valve, shut down the boiler and remove the cap on top of the valve body. Spray some penetrating oil into the valve as you work the handle back and forth- don't force it!

    If this doesn't work, Tunstall can supply replacement parts. They can even convert a standard valve to a thermostatic valve, which shuts off the flow of steam to the rad when the room reaches a set temperature. These are great for bedrooms and other parts of the house that you want to be cooler than the main living areas.


    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Dave_23
    Dave_23 Member Posts: 190
    Radiator sizing

    Rads sized for open windows? Very interesting. My 1926 Michigan home was originally equipped with single pane Fenestra-brand metal frame casement windows without storms. During the Winter, there wasn't much difference between the windows being open and closed - they leaked like a sieve. Apparently, many decades ago they were adapted from a Florida design, and installed throughout homes in the Northern Midwest. I recently replaced with modern windows, which has left me with more radiator surface area than I need. I'd really like to downsize some of my rads, but I'm not sure how to properly cut and thread iron pipe, in place. Any suggestions?
  • Eli
    Eli Member Posts: 42

    My suggestion is don't cut and thread! Either work with a box of fittings and nipples (since you are going smaller, you'll probably be adding pipe anyway) or (going out on a limb here, since I'm not a pipefitter -although I play one on TV -) transition to copper and go with solder joints. Or just balance the system to your liking/ lower the thermostat.
  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059
    Listen to Steamhead

    David ---Do what steamhead says and it will be ok.
  • Dave_23
    Dave_23 Member Posts: 190
    Steamhead says...

    I'll go with the Steamhead recommendation. The reason I inquired about cutting and threading is because on all my rads, the inlet to the rad from the top. Therefore a shorter, smaller rad would require shortening the riser supply line.
  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059

    I understand that currently a room or two is overheated The thermostatic valve that steamhead suggested along with getting your present Rad valves working properly should help a great deal with your familys comfort. Best Wishes J.Lockard
This discussion has been closed.