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Radiator Issue

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KAB
KAB Member Posts: 8
Sorry ahead of time for all the detail but you need to have the facts. I have a radiator that doesn't warm up. If the boiler runs for several hours the radiator will eventually heat up partially by the entrance valve but will never be hot the entire length. I have bled the radiator and water shoots out immiately.

Since it wasn't air I theorized the out valve (not good on terminology) was clogged so I removed it. There isn't any gunk in there. This piece is actually a steam trap, which is odd because my system is water and not steam. I don't know if this has something to do with it but all of my other radiators have a steam trap on the other end and they work fine. This part does slow down water flow substantially just because of its design so I thought I'd just replace it with an elbow. According to the area plumbing stores, that is impossible and I have to replace the whole steam trap. Considering I don't know if that's what the problem is I'm hesitant to pay $70 for the part.

Finally, since the steam trap really wasn't clogged when I removed it, I thought maybe I needed to flush the radiator out. I sprayed a hose into it and out the other end came black water. I still wouldn't think this would be clogging the system because even though the water was black it wasn't really gunky at all.

My question is; why is my radiator not warming up and how do I fix it? Is it possible that even though I found nothing that I thought could be clogging it that I've already fixed the issue? Thanks.

Comments

  • hope I beat Steamhead to this..

    I pulled off the road to reply this message and hoping to beat Steamhead....
    Ur system was converted to hot water from steam ( appartlty before you moved in) . You are not getting any flow thru the radiator..., u have pressure but no flow....
    You may have to restrict at some other hot radatiors to may the pressure differtanal across the not heat radiator. Whare are you located?
  • KAB
    KAB Member Posts: 8
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    I'm in Des Moines, IA.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
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    It might have been converted

    but maybe not.... Ken, did you have to drain out the entire system to take that trap apart? How did you "bleed" the radiator? Take some pics, post them here and we can tell you for sure.

    "Steamhead"

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  • KAB
    KAB Member Posts: 8
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  • Ken Baird
    Ken Baird Member Posts: 2
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    Pics

  • Ken Baird
    Ken Baird Member Posts: 2
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    Pics

  • Ted_9
    Ted_9 Member Posts: 1,718
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    If??

    If it was steam and converted, I wonder, is the radiator on the top floor? Maybe the the fill and expansion tank are not set right.

    The best thing you could do is either hire a hydronics/steam pro

    Or...

    Post pics of the radiator, valve, trap and multiple angles of the boiler and piping.




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  • KAB
    KAB Member Posts: 8
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    As requested I have attached pictures. One is the whole radiator, one is the steam trap, and I included a picture of where the steam trap goes.

    Quite frankly, if this isn't something I can handle myself, it isn't worth the few hundred dollars its going to take an expert to come in and handle it. I'll look forward to hearing your ideas.
  • the pictures help

    The given pictures help and we wallies love to see the bolier pictures, that's our "centerfold" on this site.... That raditor looks like been converted to hot water and since it so long and u may not getting any presure differral to get any heat...
  • Brad White_108
    Brad White_108 Member Posts: 23
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    I agree

    can you take a Delta-P reading across the troublesome radiator?

    And dig the colors- Are you and Mike T. competing for most colorful radiators and decor? Martha Stewart is taking names and is about to kick..
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
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    I was afraid of that.....

    a Vapor system converted to hot water. Be very careful working with it, it's now running 10 times the pressure that it did as a Vapor system. This can result in leaks.

    If the trap has a removable seat, visible as a hexagon at the bottom of the trap, try removing it and see if it helps.

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  • Brad White_108
    Brad White_108 Member Posts: 23
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    So what you are saying is

    Every time a vapor system is converted to hot water, a certain "orifice" is involved?

    :)

    This is clear to me now, Steamhead.
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