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Cold radiator

Cindy_3 Member Posts: 8
Cindy Foreman

Greetings! I have a question about two of my steam radiators. One has not been working at all, the other barely. Tonight when I got up to the house, my room was so cold that I couldn't stand it so I took the vent off the side of the radiator. It blew lots of air, and then all of a sudden steam was blowing out the side - I have NEVER had much heat in this one at all. I put the vent back on, and now it's perfect - it has never worked so well! And, the one that hasn't worked in over a year is starting to heat up. This is a beautiful thing! What happened? Did I blow out system or something? If they stay warm, should I consider buying new vents? Any insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated. THANK YOU!

Cindy :o)


  • Brad White_143
    Brad White_143 Member Posts: 22
    New Vents

    Sounds like the vent was clogged with something, Cindy. Not sure what else it could be. It may well work for years now that "whatever" has been dislodged.

    Add to this that the one radiator that you "vented" probably vented the main serving it in the process, allowing the other radiator a shot at the title. See if you have main vents, especially if these radiators are remote.

    Buying new radiator vents every decade is not a bad thing to do, especially if you have had a bad experience like this. Vents can last far longer but peace of mind is worth something too.

    Other simple things beyond venting are to insulate the piping if bare and crank down the pressure (really!). Both will speed things up for you.
    Others will certainly have other ideas; those are mine.

    Not to sell anything, but Dan Holohan's We Got Steam Heat! is a great reference that can explain so much more, but you seemed to hit the cause very well.

    As Patrick Linhardt (Author of Linhardt's Field Guide to Steam Heating, another fine book), always reinforces amongst the masses:

    "Air out, steam in, water back". Rather like breathing.

    Your radiators will be practicing Yoga in no time, keeping you warm and avoiding near-shavasana experiences.

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