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Problem radiator

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Posted by Ralph Blaine on January 11, 2004 at 12:30:44:

I have a one line steam system in a three story house (120 years old - boiler replaced about 15 years ago). The thermostat is on the third floor because I occupy the second and third floor and have a tenant on the first floor. The rads on the second and third floor work fine. Most of the rads on the first floor work fine but there are two on the first floor (facing each other across the width of the house - one in the tenants apt and one in my entry way ) that are sometimes hot but mostly cold. I've had this problem for many years. I thought it was a valve problem so I put a brand new Hoffman 1A valve in my tenants problem rad. It worked fine for a short while but then the same problem re-curred. (Same thing happens in the sister rad in my entry way). I discovered that the 1A valve was filling with condensate. If I screw off the fitting for the main valve on the floor that controls steam entry into the rad, the steam comes up pretty quickly - once this occurs I can screw the fitting back on, empty the 1A valve on the side of the rad and it will work for another cycle. There is one other detail. These two problem rads are both on the north side of the house and I think they are fed by the same line that comes up to two rads on the second floor (which work great). The feed line that comes up to these second floor rads passes through a area between the main door to the house and the two doors to the separate apartments. This area is cold.
Any ideas about what to do about this would be greatly appreciated by my patient but sometimes exasperated tenants.

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