Noxious Odor from Steam Radiator

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  #1  
Old 02-11-04, 05:58 AM
Maintenance Nun
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Unhappy Noxious Odor from Steam Radiator

Our building (circa 1939)has steam radiators. I recently moved temporarily into one of the bedrooms and when the heat turned on a strong smell (akin to diesel fumes) came out of the radiator. There is also leaking near the valve of the radiator (slight wetness with the wood floorboard discolored). Our maintenance men tightened the valve but the leaking continues, as does the smell.

Does anyone have any clues as to what might be happening? Thanks much!
 
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Old 02-11-04, 07:04 AM
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More info . Is this a very big boiler? Is it oil fired? have they worked on it of late? Has it ever have a crack in it. Do you know what psi it works at? Any info help. ED
 
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Old 02-11-04, 08:49 PM
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If a main steam vent isn't working somewhere in the main that feeds your radiator, you may have much more air than normal coming out of your vent. That could be why you have the odor. It could also account for the water leak. There should be very little water there and no pressure at all. If a main vent is bad, you will have too much water in the line and more velocity than normal.
 
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Old 02-13-04, 02:42 PM
imjerry
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The Smell of Stagnant Steam

Condensate very often resembles the smell of Diesel Fuel, Why I dont know, just is!!! Many times in taking out an old radiator, that Noxious odor is emitted!! Smelled it many times and was told by an old time steamfitter that it was carryover from Boiler compound!!! But I have smelled it !!!
 
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Old 02-15-04, 07:11 AM
H
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dirty boiler

this could just be a dirty boiler in which the workers put on a piece of new pipe and the thread cutting oil residue was still on the pipe. This gets into the water along with other stuff in the pipe coating that will come off with steam during the cycle. Very few heating people take the time to properly clean up the boiler BEFORE the first run. You may have to drain the whole system and replace the water several times, or may even have to skim the boiler. This is usually seen when the boiler is running and you can see the boiler surge in the sight glass, or if it takes more than 45 minutes to produce a head of steam from a cold boiler.
 
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