Did I mess up my steam one-pipe system by fiddling with a radiator vent?

HI board. I love my old house but am learning about it as I go - including my one-pipe steam heating system. The boiler is new and works great (dont know specs) and until a recent outage here in CT it was all working well. Then, after a 24 hour outage, my radiators in the office room started clanging away. Being 'clever' I decided to turn the radiator vent up -- which did indeed stop the clanging. Stopping the heat in that room was no problem -- but what I didnt realize is that it would stop heat in other rooms upstairs. Now, I put the vent back and none of the upstairs radiators seem to be working properly. They are all barely warm, but its definitely colder upstairs now. And oil is expensive!
What did I do wrong? Did I likely dislodge some 90 year old grime that is now blocking the steam?
I don't have any experience with this stuff, and am happy to hire my plumber back, but I'd like to learn if its a simple fix.
thanks
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Check the water level in the glass fill gauge, is it above normal? The only thing I can think to cause clanging is water is trapped somewhere and to much water could do it, or pipes that dont drain back, usualy building settling does this but with a new instal maybe the installer made a mistake. What do you mean you turned a vent up, the air hole always should be up. Did you turn off any radiator valves, dont that can trap water, were any radiators taken out and reset, were any carpets or floors redone. Radiators must not be level they need to drain back to the boiler and this can trap water. Were vents all replaced with the new unit, vents go bad, mine has many also on the main supply in the basement. You didnt mess anything up you just need to learn about the system. www.heatinghelp.com is a site you can post at that is only boiler pros. They also offer good books to read. Is it under warranty. Check the water level first at the boiler.
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As Ransley said, the heatinghelp.com site is about the best there is for steam heating questions and information. You didn't do any damage to your system by fiddling with a vent - though it is unclear what you did exactly. The vents just let air out ahead of the steam as air and steam don't play well together. If the air is not let out, the steam cannot come in to heat up the radiator. You said you turned the vent up - does that mean you physically rotated the whole vent? If so, it's odd terminology as the vent is normally pointing up and what is sometimes done to "turn off" a radiator is to turn the vent so it is pointing down. Please clarify what you did.
Blocking one radiator, or even removing it, will not shut down the rest of the heating system. It will affect the heat output, but I can't see how that would almost turn off the upstairs heating. You should start with the simple things first. Vents don't last forever, and they can get blocked if your heating plant is putting out dirty steam. They're cheap enough and easy enough to install, so that would probably be a good place to start. The vents you get from the Borg are pretty much crap. Go to a real plumbing supply house and get some Gorton vents. The Gorton web site has info on what vent to use in what area of your house.
The other flag was your mention of a new boiler. A new boiler installation can frequently stir up a lot of crap and produce dirty steam. It is very likely that the new boiler wasn't skimmed after installation. That takes a lot of time, but is simple enough to do. The heatinghelp web site will have more information on that, as will the boiler manufacturer's site.
R
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Clanging is water in pipes not sloped towards the boiler in order to drain. You may have to shim up the radiators to raise the pipe attached to them. Vents work to let air from the system and steam in. The vent farthest from the boiler should be open the most if you want heat there and as you get closer to the boiler thay can be closed a little more. Check the boiler sight glass every few days weekly as a minimum and blow off the low water cutout to remove gunk. Keep the water 1/2 to 2/3 high in the sight glass. I do not recall the brand but the best vents are a smooth cylinder about the size of a 1" high stack of quarters with a small slide near the top for adjustment.
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A Vari Vent is that small vent, for a home it would work but for an apartment building you dont want to give tenants a way to increase heat. in apartments I use Gorton 4 through D.
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