Radiator valves? ? ?


Our building plumber told me that the on-off valves on steam radiators should be either turned on or off. He said they are not like a water-faucet which can regulate the stream, but are like light switches which are either on or off.
Is this accurate?
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hot water and steam systems and their controls vary widely. some are partial shutoffs on a loop, some are full shutoffs, see GRAINGER. also great info and routine maintenance at: http://home.howstuffworks.com/how-to-troubleshoot-a-hot-water-and-steam-distribution-system.htm/printable see more about one-pipe steam and 2-pipe steam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydronics
Ray wrote:

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Thanks Buffalo -- Will do.

http://home.howstuffworks.com/how-to-troubleshoot-a-hot-water-and-steam-distribution-system.htm/printable
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Pretty much. While you can regulate steam flow with a valve, it is not easily done for your use and can also cause pre-mature failure of the valve seats.
Depending on your system, you are running from a half pound to maybe 5 pounds of steam pressure. to regulate the flow to lower the temperature of a given radiator takes a rather small orifice. Once it passes though the orifice, it will expand to fill the entire space to give off the heat energy it carries.
Steam, since it contains water vapor, is very erosive and will cut grooves into metal, glass, whatever it is passing through.
One reason steam is used to heat large buildings is the ability to pack a lot of energy in a small space compared to water. It can be moved efficiently long distances from the boiler to the point of use. This is especially true of high pressure steam.
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Danfoss makes inexpensive mechanical thermostats for steam radiators.
Nick
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