Steam or Hot Water radiator


  #1  
Old 12-01-05, 03:28 PM
mattnyc
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Unhappy Steam or Hot Water radiator

Hi -

Hoping someone can help since my landlord is unreachable as usual. I live in an approximately 100 year old building in NYC. There are radiators throughout the apartment. Now my questions:

1) Are they steam or hot water? A single pipe runs from the celing into the floor in most rooms. Near most of those pipes except the bathroom (to small) there's a radiator with near the pipe with its own pipe going into the floor.

2) Some are missing knobs. it is so ridiculously hot in this apt, I have to turn them off. I know at least enough to realize that I should have the valve all the way open or all the way closed. In the absence of a knob, which part do I turn with a wrench? There's the stem where the knob should go but below that there is a much larger hex nut that also seems to turn.

3) The one in the living room in particular is giving me real problems. I have it turned what I believe is all the way off now. However, I fiddled with the shiny valve on the opposite side of it, it came off and hot water shot out of it all over my bare leg. Nice burn. Anyhow, back to my question. That valve is shiny silver in colour and says "Hoffman Specialty No. 40 Air Vent". I did manage to screw it back in. When heat is on in the building and I had the knob open, this valve hissed like crazy, sometimes shooting a guyser of steam and/or scalding water in a fine mist in the air.

a) Should the opening of this shiny valve be pointed towards the ceiling or floor? (maybe a stupid question?)

b) Now that I've got the knob closed, even though floor-to-ceiling pipe is scalding hot to touch (I'm assuming this means there's still heat in the building), that shiny valve on this radiator is dripping ever so slowly from a bit of water that bubbles out of the top of it. How do I stop this dripping? Is the hissing normal? Is the guyser of steam/fine misty boiling water coming out of it a normal thing when the valve is open and the building heat is on full blast?

Thanks for bearing with all the questions. I'm a bit over my head here.

Regards -

Matt
 
  #2  
Old 12-01-05, 05:33 PM
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Steam or Hot water

The fact you have a #40 vent, tells me you have a steam system, unless someone installed a steam vent on a hot water system. The hole should be pointed up.

Radiator valves: You should turn the stem then snug up the hex nut. Don't crank on it lest it crack. Just snug.

The #40 vent should hiss but not drip. The hissing is air being vented so steam can get into the radiator.
 
  #3  
Old 12-01-05, 05:43 PM
mattnyc
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Thanks alot for the reply. i don't think i'm able to close the stem completely hence the dripping, even though the stem felt snuggly closed. I tested it by completely reopening the stem all the way and it hissed for awhile and then both the hissing and dripping stopped. Now I'm back to way too much heat. Any idea what the solution might be for a radiator that apparently can't be completely shut off?

Thanks again.
 
  #4  
Old 12-01-05, 05:59 PM
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Matt

Without acess to the boiler to shut it off, you really don't want to mess with anything more than turning the valves on or off. Steam is very dangerous & must be treated with the utmost respect. It can burn you severely with only momentary contact.
 
 

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