Frozen Radiator Valves

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  #1  
Old 10-29-03, 03:38 PM
fenn1978
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Frozen Radiator Valves

I am trying to help a friend with an old house where the radiators get too hot and the temp can't be regulated. We do not know whether it is a hydronic or steam system. There are valves on the bottom right of each radiator (it can be adjusted on some). However, on some of the rasiators the knob is missing and I can't turn the valve (afraid to use a vise grip at this point).
Is there an easy way to tell which system he has?
Is it okay to use a vise grip or other wrench to try and force the valve to move (to try and close it some).?
Are we better off biting the bullet and bringing in a radiator service man to service the whole system?
Thank you
 
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  #2  
Old 10-29-03, 06:55 PM
KField's Avatar
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Location: Easton, PA
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If it is a steam system, you will have a glass tube somewhere on the boiler that gets only partially filled with water. You could also check the safety valve and see what the tag says about the relief setting. If it says 15 lbs, it is a steam system and if it says 30 lbs it is hot water. Other ways to tell but these are probably the easiest. On the valves, you could try loosening the packing nut slightly and then trying to turn it. I would suggest being very careful when grabbing onto the stem with anything. Don't chew it up or it will leak when you get it to close. Lube it up with WD40 and let it soak in for a few hours. Then turn it back and forth until it is free. Good luck.
 
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