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Question about old radiator spewing

Hi everyone,

I have an old radiator that spews water out of the thermostat valve after it's heated up. That's happened since we got a new boiler put in last summer. But radiator, which is bigger than the others in rest of the house, has always been much slower to heat up, even with the old boiler. The guys who put in the boiler told me the radiator's probably rusted inside, which is why it's spewing and slow to heat. Another guy who sells radiators says it's probably not the radiator but the new system. Anyone have any ideas? If it is the radiator, can it be cleaned out if it's rust, or do we need to replace it? Thanks.

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,476
    First question to ask here is

    "What changed"?



    I think the new boiler installation might be the problem- maybe it was not piped properly, which could result in "wet steam". Take some pics and post them here, along with the make and model of the boiler, and let's take a look at it.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Old Radiator

    Hi- There are quite a few things that could cause the problem with the radiator. First of all it's not likely to be the radiator itself. If the guys that put in your system told you that I would be very suspicious of their competence.

    The things you need to do.

    1. Check that the radiator has slope towards the steam pipe. This is so the condensate (water) in the radiator will drain back out. It doesn't have to be much slope, just enough to "encourage" the water to flow back out.

    2. Since you had a new boiler installed, there may be a problem with the installation. It is very important to get the piping near the boiler properly configured. It might be a help if you can post some pictures of your boiler and the piping around on here so we can check the piping.

    3. Was the boiler "skimmed"?  This should have been done by the installers.

    Let us know what you find and we can then go from there.

    - Rod
  • goodoldmikeyv
    goodoldmikeyv Member Posts: 3
    I'll take some pictures and post them

    Thanks guys for the help. I'll put some pictures up later today. 
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,186
    First question I have

    Mike how did they decide the size of boiler you needed. Second question what kind of pipe did they connect the boiler to the system with. Pictures are always needed but the answers to those two questions often allow us to form a good picture of the installers attitude.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Luv'nsteam
    Luv'nsteam Member Posts: 272
    Radiator spewing water

    What everyone else said is very true and important.  I will note, however, my neighbor, who also has one-pipe steam and several water-spewing radiators has two problems with his system.  First, there is not a single piece of insulation- anywhere!  Second, several of the pipes are not angled to drain.  All of his wet radiators have pipe pitched towards the rads.  Now, the issue is getting the guy to believe what I am telling him.  He also believes electric heat will save him money.  Go figure....



    Mike
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,186
    What type of vents?

    There are certain "fast" vents on the market I see that spit even on systems with little wrong with them. Mike does your neighbor have varivalves?
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,476
    Unless you live where electric rates are very low

    it won't save him anything. The cost per BTU of electricity is usually well above oil or natural gas. Propane is in-between. 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • goodoldmikeyv
    goodoldmikeyv Member Posts: 3
    radiator is flush

    hi everyone,



    thanks for the wealth of info. i didn't do the pix yet, but I did find that the radiator is flush with the floor. should i put a tiny wedge under the legs to tilt it back towards the drain pipe?



    not sure about the vent. we had an old vent, and it had the same spewing problem. which is why i bought the other one. i can get another one if you give me a brand that's reputable just to eliminate that as a potential problem.



    the guys who put it in have supposedly been in business for 30 years, though the pipe system looks like something in a mad scientist's factory. I'll do the pictures tonight and post.



    they checked the size of each radiator and distance from the boiler before they sized it, and again, the guy seemed like he'd been doing it for a while. i felt pretty comfortable with them.



    we're only having that spewing/slow heating issue with that one radiator, which is closest to the boiler and the biggest one in the house. everything else works fine.



    i'll post the pictures later.



    THANKS again for all the help.
  • Luv'nsteam
    Luv'nsteam Member Posts: 272
    kind of vents

    He has Hoffman adjustable valves.  Do you think these, combined with the water-filled pipes, are helping him have litterally flowing water out of his radiators?  (you should see the risers and radiators: they are covered with rust and part of his floors are stained).  As for the electricity, I know and you know it is the most expensive BTU you can buy, regardless of how "efficient" they claim electricity is.  However, for whatever reason, I have not been able to convince him of this.  A few weeks ago, I went over to his basement, with him and a two foot level, and proved my point to him about pitch.  It will not take much for him to fix this either.  He just seems to be having trouble wrapping his head around the importance of pipe pitch and insulation.  I even found an article about insulation written by Dan and forwarded that to him.  Not sure if he read it, though.  As the saying goes: "you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink" and for this thread: "you can lead a homeowner to true information, but you cannot make him think".   That's funny, I don't care who you are.  Git r' done!  lol  Sorry, I couldn't resist.



    Thank you,

    Mike
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