Single steam radiator won't heat

Old 01-15-24, 06:56 PM
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Single steam radiator won't heat

I have a steam boiler system in an 1885 Victorian 5000 square foot home. There are 20 radiators of various sizes on 2 floors. I have one first floor radiator that will not heat. The valve and feed line are unobstructed and the 2 other radiators on the spur both heat fine. When I disconnect the feed valve from the radiator, I hear gurgling but no steam or heat comes out. This radiator is one of the closest to the boiler so condensation should not be an issue. I'm at a loss. Any idea why this one radiator would not get steam?


Last edited by PJmax; 01-16-24 at 11:46 AM. Reason: resized picture
Old 01-16-24, 11:22 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

You are hearing gurgling water because the water/condensate is trapped and can't drain back to the boiler. With a steam system everything must pitch towards the boiler so that all the condensate returns to the boiler.

You have a two pipe steam system. The device near the floor is a steam trap. It allows condensate to drain thru back to the boiler but stops the flow of steam. The one there may be bad. You could have several bad.

A fantastic and helpful video.... Two pipe steam radiator - video

Last edited by PJmax; 01-16-24 at 11:37 AM.
Old 01-16-24, 05:51 PM
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Sounds like your supply pipe under the floor may be sloped the wrong way. That would be my first guess since when disconnected it did not get steam. The radiator could be pitched the wrong way. Radiator high point in your case should be the opposite side then the piping since both pipes are on the same side.
Having both pipes on the same side is unusual, has it always worked until now?

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