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.

Steam Heat Problem

Adam_26 Member Posts: 9
I have steam heat in the house that I recently purchased. Upstairs, there are four rooms with the typical looking stand-alone radiators; steam pipe in one side, and air vents on the other. On the first floor, however, the radiators are flush to the wall, built into the wall if you will. I've never encountered these before. Anyway, one of the "radiators?" in my living room doesn't get hot. The steam pipe all the way to the radiator gets hot; the pipe on the other side of the valve gets hot, but the radiator stays cold. And recently, it started banging when the heat came on, which is a new phenomenon...but it still won't heat up. All the other ones in the house heat up just fine. Sometimes too fine, which brings me to my next point...my upstairs is way too hot, and my downstairs is cold. Is there a way to balance this, or am I stuck with it? And finally...any recommendations for a QUIET air valve?! The one in my bedroom is hissing and spitting all night! Thanks in advance for any help!


  • Try

    replacing the vent on the radiator.

    Havr you checked your main vents? These are (or should be) mounted at the end of each steam main. Measure the length and diameter of each main and we can tell you what you need.

    I find that Gorton vents seem to be quietest, followed by Vent-Rite.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • rjm
    rjm Member Posts: 60

    living rm radator- is the radator valve open or closed?- closed valves can trap water and cause banging/ no heat

    bedrm vent- probable venting to quickly/damaged- suggest replacing it with an adjustable vent-ie.ventrite#1
    also waht is your presuretrol set at?
  • gman_4
    gman_4 Member Posts: 12

    a service tech would be best{service call}, sounds like a new vent and a slight pitch back to boiler,water leval in boiler 1/2 to 3/4 in glass.SHUT OFF BOILER BEFORE DOIMG ANY WORK.
  • bb_7
    bb_7 Member Posts: 31
    check the library


    On the "Library" here on HeatingHelp.com is a seciton on Thermostatic Radiator Valves. There is an article that has info on 1 Pipe Steam Systems.

    To help balance the system you can istall Thermostatic Radiaotr Valves on the rooms that overheat. Do not install any in the room that has the whole house thermostat.

    To help save even more on fuel look into a Heat Timer control for 1 Pipe Steam.

    Take a look at the following:

    - Make sure the supply valve to the radiator is fully open
    - Make sure the radiator pitches back to the valve so the condensate may drain out
    - Check the vent on the radiators. If air can't get out, steam can't get in to provide heat
    - Check the main vents on the risers
    - Steam pressure should cut in @ about 1/2 lb and out @ no more than 2 psi!

    I would click on the "Find a Pro" lind and have someone come out and take a look! It's a good idea to have your boiler serviced annually. This is something you should not do on your own!

    Good luck

  • Adam_26
    Adam_26 Member Posts: 9

    I looked for main vents yesterday, but could not find any. I have 2.5 - 3" pipe running around the top of my basement. At the end of these mains, there is a much smaller pipe that comes out, drops to about 9" off the floor, and runs back around the basement wall to the furnace. I have no idea what this smaller pipe is for.
  • Adam_26
    Adam_26 Member Posts: 9

    The supply valve is open, but there is no way to pitch the radiators, as they are imbedded in the wall. At least I don't think there is a way to pitch them. They seem pretty solid in the wall...I would have to ruin a lot of old plaster wall to get these things out, and they look really heavy.
  • Adam_26
    Adam_26 Member Posts: 9

    The valve is open, and the pipe on either side of the valve is hot, which indicates to me that the valve works correctly. I have no idea how to see what my presuretrol is set at....I don't even know what that is.
  • Adam_26
    Adam_26 Member Posts: 9

    I can't afford a service technician right now....not with the holidays coming up. I have the water in the boiler set to slightly more than half.
  • Patrick Mullaney
    Patrick Mullaney Member Posts: 67

    Do yourself a gigantic favor and buy Dan's book We Got Steam Heat - http://www.heatinghelp.com/shopcart/product.cfm?category=2-109 - and read it thoroughly. It will give you a ton of knowledge about your Steam Heating System. I own a home with Steam, started running into problems, bought the book and now know what is going on (kind of as I still need a PRO to help me).

    Also, do a ton of research here on the Wall using the Search Option - plug in some key words and you will get a gazillion posts with some of the finest info you can ever get for nothing.

    I am new to this site - joined about 2 months ago - and have found it to be one of the most educational experiences I have found after being on the web since 1995.
This discussion has been closed.