Post details: Single Pipe Steam Heating

Single Pipe Steam Heating

posted by anwar on 06.08.02 at 23:06, Do It Yourself, null, null, 3 comments Permalink

So I am an idiot -- turns out the radiators in my condo are the "single-pipe-steam" variety (linked) not the forced-hot-water variety.

This means that the temperature adjustment has a very important difference (from my old, hot-water radiators).

Attached to the pipe leading to the radiator is a valve. This is a shut-off valve. It shuts off the radiator; that is all it does. This is definitely a nugget of information worth remembering.

The first mistake people make is to assume that they can control how hot the radiator is by turning the knob on the shut-off valve. Unfortunately, this is the worst thing you could do. Since the condensed water runs back down the same pipe that the hot steam comes up, you will force the steam and the water together, making bubbles. When bubbles burst inside a metal pipe or radiator, they make horribly loud banging noises. Keep the shut-off valve fully open or fully closed, and concentrate on the vent.

That's right -- all those *horribly loud banging noises* [water-hammering] last winter -- completely my own damn fault for not paying closer attention to the radiator.

Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck...but nope - its a chicken!

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