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Thread: steam radiator valve hole sizes?

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    DIY Senior Member bbillcee's Avatar
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    Default steam radiator valve hole sizes?

    my 2nd floor tenant was having some heat issues and i checked and a couple radiators and they were getting 50% hot and slowly heating

    i worked at a boiler guys place and he gave me some gorton size "d" valves and said to put them on....does this seem correct?

    Also, i have a radiator in a first floor vestibule that is burning with heat and it appears to have a size "d" on it....if i put a smaller hole valve on there will it get less hot? its also pretty close to the boiler

    its a vestibule it doesn't need that much heat wasted there
    Last edited by bbillcee; 01-05-2010 at 09:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbillcee View Post
    my 2nd floor tenant was having some heat issues and i checked and a couple radiators and they were getting 50% hot and slowly heating

    i worked at a boiler guys place and he gave me some gorton size "d" valves and said to put them on....does this seem correct?
    What size are the vents that you're replacing?

    Also, i have a radiator in a first floor vestibule that is burning with heat and it appears to have a size "d" on it....if i put a smaller hole valve on there will it get less hot? its also pretty close to the boiler

    its a vestibule it doesn't need that much heat wasted there
    If you want less heat output, replace that radiator with a smaller radiator.

    If you reduced the size of the vent enough to interfere with that rad heating - not that I'm sure that's entirely possible, but speaking theoretically - it'd also interfere with the heat traveling further, to the next rads on that line.




    Peter - if you're reading this - might be amused to hear that last night, the vent by my desk was audible, for a minute or two.
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    DIY Senior Member bbillcee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchie View Post
    What size are the vents that you're replacing?



    If you want less heat output, replace that radiator with a smaller radiator.

    If you reduced the size of the vent enough to interfere with that rad heating - not that I'm sure that's entirely possible, but speaking theoretically - it'd also interfere with the heat traveling further, to the next rads on that line.




    Peter - if you're reading this - might be amused to hear that last night, the vent by my desk was audible, for a minute or two.
    i cant tell what size they are...they look like some sorta adj from like 1940...they say detroit lubricating company



    the one i the vestibule is the last one on that line... i put a 4 on there...it still works good

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    DIY Junior Member dsorkin's Avatar
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    If it is a two pipe heating system there could be a trap that needs to be replaced or incorrect pitch somewhere. I do not think the size of the vent would prevent the radiator from reaching the proper temp, a smaller vent hole would just take longer but would still fill with steam. Rather than replace with a smaller radiator a cheaper way to reduce the heat output is to partially insulate the radiator using fiberglass and a radiator cover.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Wally Hays's Avatar
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    Steam systems need to be balanced. Obviously the radiators that are furthes from the main, heat up slower than those that are closer. However, by sizing the radiator vents properly, quite a bit of that can be alleviated. Those radiators closest to the main should have smaller opening vents installed, or adjustable vents. If you want no heat at all then either shut off the valve ( if equipped ) or take the vent out and plug the hole with a 1/2" plug. If the radiator can't vent, it gets no steam. If the system is two pipe, then there is always a good chance that either the radiator trap is bad ( very common ) or the condensate return pipe is plugged or partially plugged. (also common)
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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Adjustable vents control how FAST the radiator heats up, not how hot it gets. A larger opening will vent the air faster so the radiator would get hot quickly, while a smaller one slows it down. The intention was that when properly adjusted all the radiators would get hot at about the same time.

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