I have hot-water heat with an old (probably 80 year old) system. The
radiators are the big old fashioned kind. I am trying to restore the
valves on the radiators so that they operate and individual radiators
can be turned on and off. I removed the handle (round, kind of
donut-shaped thing) on one, loosened the packing the nut, if that's the
right term, and applied some penetrating oil. I was able to get the
stem to turn and I think it's operating now, but it only turns about
180 degrees. There seems to be a hard stop that prevents it turning
more than that. Is that all it's supposed to turn? Is it a ball
valve? I haven't yet turned on the heat to test whether it actually
turns the radiator on and off. Just curious if someone with experience
on this type of system can verify that is how the valves are supposed
to work. Thanks, -- H
That may be all it should turn.
Probably not a true ball valve as we know them;
my guess would be a sleeve valve with a cutout opening
on one side.
These valves may not provide full shutoff (deliberate)
in order to keep a very small flow thru all the radiators.
Thanks, that seems to be it. All 4 of the ones I loosened up did the
same thing: turn about 180 degrees with a hard stop at either end.
Cranked up the boiler and found that the radiators turned "off" heated
up more slowly and never got quite as hot, but they still got fairly
hot. I think I will try turning all the upstairs radiators "off" to
see if that will correct the tendency for the upstairs to be warmer
I may try replacing some of the valves but that makes it a much bigger
project -- more old fittings to turn (always a risk of breaking
something or winding up with a leak), have to partially drain the
system, etc. I am thinking I would likely have to move a radiator in
order to remove it's valve, since the valves are the 90-degree bend
type and would have to be rotated on a vertical axis to be removed.
Thanks, Jim, for yet another informative post.
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