Steam Heat, Half Cold Radiators


Old 11-18-08, 04:13 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Steam Heat, Half Cold Radiators

Hello Everyone,
I have a very old Bryant natural gas boiler. The model number reads 234-35 series D. The same plate also listed an input of 70000 and out put of 56000 whatever that means.

The glass tube is half filled with water (right at a tape line left by the last owner). There are two other gadgets near the glass water pipe and I'd be glad to tell you what they say if you tell me what to look for.

My problem is nearly all of the radiators in my house only get partially warm. The pipe side gets hot and the valve side usually stays cold. One of my radiators works better then the rest which vary in their crappiness.

I tried self diagnosing the problem last year and replaced the steam release valves (they never pssssffft and release pressure like my last house with steam radiators).

I read this thread but the user specified that his problem happened suddenly but mine didn't. The radiators have acted like this since I moved in. That user also seemed more familiar with how a boiler works so some of the feedback went over my head.

I could use whatever advice you might have for me, I don't know where to start trouble shooting the problem.

p.s. It's probably worth noting that the original system is slightly modified, two radiators have been closed off.

Thanks in advance!
Sponsored Links
Old 11-18-08, 05:33 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 14,247
Received 23 Votes on 21 Posts
Air valves

You don't get any hissing at all? Silly question but you don't have a valve shut somewhere do you? If this is a two pipe system, check valves on both supply & return.

Here's a link to a place to buy a book I suggest every homeowner with steam heat has.
Old 11-18-08, 06:34 PM
rbeck's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,482
Received 5 Votes on 4 Posts
You may not have a problem. It may not be cold enough yet. The heat loss is lower when it is not cold out. The colder it gets the more heat loss and the boiler runs longer. The hissing should not be real noticeable unless the main line vent is not working properly.
Old 11-18-08, 07:13 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the book suggestion I'll order it tomorrow.

I used the system the entire winter last year and it never hisses.

I'm not sure whether its a one or two pipe system is there a quick and easy way to tell?

I tried to have the system diagnosed last year but I got a response close to "your boiler is probably weak ... here is a quote for a new boiler" ...
Old 11-18-08, 09:03 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
"your boiler is probably weak ... here is a quote for a new boiler" ...
"weak" ... I am 100% sure that your BS detector went off full blast with that line, eh ?

You are going to learn more than you want to know about your system by reading that book ...

Pictures may help some ... set up a free account at and upload pics of the sytem there ... with close-ups of the 'gadgets' so we can ID them for you ... provide a link to the pics here ... and we'll look .
Old 11-22-08, 08:04 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yeh I'm not that trust worthy when it comes to my boiler. I have had the system looked at twice and services twice and there hasn't been any improvement.

I have a flickr account so I have uploaded photos of my boiler there. I am pretty positive it's a one pipe system.

DSCF4525 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
DSCF4526 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
DSCF4527 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
DSCF4528 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
DSCF4529 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Thanks for taking a look and for all the help!
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: