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Thread: Steam radiator...could this happen?

  1. #1

    Default Steam radiator...could this happen?

    Hi, I'm writing a book and wanted to know if this could happen. With an old fashioned steam radiator, is there a part that could shoot off, propelled by steam, and hit the ceiling? Then, could steam be spurting out of the radiator, potentially burning someone? I know it sounds like a weird question, but I'd appreciate knowing if that could actually occur! Thanks.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default steam

    The typical steam system runs about 2 psi. There is nothing that could hit the ceiling, but the air vent on the side of the radiator can have stripped threads and it could then fly sideways and hit a wall. Steam at 2 psi would then flow from the 3/8" diameter hole and scald someone standing near it. But the steam would not come out in "jet" like it would on a high pressure system. Steam temperature is a function of its pressure so at 2 psi it would be about 218 degrees. At 5 psi it would be 227 degrees and at the maximum 15psi for a low pressure steam system it would be 250 degrees. Above that pressure it becomes a high pressure system and they do not have air vents that can blow off or any other item that could.

  3. #3

    Default Thank you!

    I appreciate your time. One last question, now that I need to change my manuscript! Could a radiator like this be mounted on the wall? Also, would the valve (is that what it's called?) whistle prior to shooting off, since it'd be loose? Would there be any indication that it was loose? Thanks again!

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Default Mooseport the movie

    I don't know much about steam, but I do get a lot of laughs watching plumbers on TV or in the movies.
    Anybody here see Ray Romano in "Mooseport"?

    In the trailer he's laying on his back on the wrong side of the toilet with a huge pipe wrench in his hands.
    Would anyone else lay on the floor under a toilet? Not me!
    And whats with the pipe wrench?

    It was a fun movie to watch though.
    Last edited by Terry; 11-08-2004 at 12:37 PM.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default radiator

    The radiator could be sitting on the floor, (the most common location), hanging on the wall, or it could be hung on the ceiling, usually in a basement installation, .(in either of these two installations it would be a special slim version),

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