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steam radiator (1-pipe system) suddenly stops heating if you leave the steam valve on?

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Posted by ken on December 28, 2003 at 15:43:26:

Yes, I've tried replacing the steam valve already. It was a Maid-O-Mist #4 and I replaced it w/ a different brand valve that was set to full open. The system had worked great for a few years until about a week ago.

The radiator refuses to heat up. To make things worse, this is the radiator next to the thermostat, so the rest of the house gets pretty hot before the heat shuts down now :-( When I leave the steam valve off, it heats up too quickly, so the rest of the house isn't warm enough.

Any suggestions on possible culprits?

I did get a plumbing company over and they came, turned the shutoff valve on/off while leaving the steam valve off and the radiator heated up nicely. They thought it was just water settling into the valve. Of course, after they left, I found that if you put a steam valve on, it wouldn't heat up at all, even after hours :-(

Any recommendations on steam heat specialists in the Boston area? Was not impressed w/ Robert Pann at all; they whacked me w/ a $40 visit fee, and $150 diagnostic fee just for turning the shutoff valve and never mentioned the diagnostic fee when I asked them what their rates were when I called them.

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