Radiator not Working- Please Help!

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Old 12-14-11, 08:40 AM
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Radiator not Working- Please Help!

Just moved into a house that has had a brand new steam furnace installed last year. Well, they called it steam heat, but now i wonder as when I turn the heat on steam does not shoot out as I had expected it too. It is a double pipe system. It is NOT oil, it is a gas boiler.

In any case, all the radiators work and get very warm EXCEPT for two. I took tried turning the knob on one of these two, and it did not want to turn at all (except for maybe 3 millimeters or so). I was afraid to put too much force on it, but I did put quite a bit.

I didn't check the other one yet, but this one seems to have a little valve type thing on the top of it. Almost looks like a schrader valve from a car tire. This happens to be a small radiator (in the bathroom) didn't know if that makes a difference or not, but all the other radiators have large metal coverings on them which is why I haven't looked at the others yet.

So, how do I get this thing to work? Is it simply turned off, and if so, WHY would they have turned it off? I'm almost afraid that if I do get that knob to turn that its going to start leaking. If that was the case, how do I fix THAT?

Thank you all so much!!
 
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Old 12-14-11, 10:30 AM
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First, does the boiler have a glass tube on the side where you can see the water level? If not, it is NOT a steam system.

Secondly, if at all possible please take several pictures of the boiler, the piping and also the radiators from all different angles and both close ups and from a distance so we can see how it all comes together.

Pictures need to be first uploaded to a photo hosting site such as photobucket.com and then the public URLs posted here.
 
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Old 12-14-11, 10:49 AM
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There's no glass tube... So if it isn't steam, what would it be called? Just curious.

I'll try to upload pictures later. House was built in 1906, if that helps...
 
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Old 12-14-11, 11:00 AM
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No glass tube (gauge glass is the proper term) means that the system is hot water based. If it has the original piping it could have been a "gravity" hot water system but with a newer boiler it probably has a pump making it a "forced" hot water system.

With just two radiators not working it is most likely an air bubble but if these radiators are the highest in the system (top floor) then it could be a problem of low pressure in the boiler.

I'll wait for the pictures.
 
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Old 12-14-11, 11:22 AM
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hmm, interesting. the two that are not working are in fact on the second (top) floor of the house. But there is a third one on the top floor that is working just fine.

pics still to come.
 
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