I have an old steam radiator in my back apartment bedroom (American
Radiator, model unknown but at least 50 years old). The pipe that feeds
it gets plenty hot and runs from floor to ceiling in our bedroom. It
gets hot enough to heat the room by itself. The problem I have is I
want to turn the radiator that this pipe feeds into, off. I've tried
turning a wrench at the inlet, where I think the turn-off valve is, but
nothing moves. Might be the paint, might just be stuck. I'm just
wondering what I have to do to turn the radiator off, what kind of
wrench I need, etc.
New York City
it should be just a conventional steam radiator shut off valve. It
should have a round black handle on it, but perhaps it broke off and
all thats there now is a stem. A lot of times the valve fails over the
years and will let steam in even when the valve is closed, so make sure
the valve is not already closed. Try to open it.
If it still gets hot, change the air valve to an adjustable one so you
can limit how hot the radiator gets. You mention this is your
apartment. Have you asked your landlord for help?
On 17 Dec 2005 12:01:22 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
You're not sure? I guess the handle is gone, but the stem should
still be sticking up. I wou;ldn't do any of this stuff until I was
sure I was working on the turn-off valve. Have you looked at other
radiators in your apartment or your neighbors'.
Can you buy a new handle and screw and attach them. Oh, Mikepier says
the same thing.
I lived in Brooklyn with steam heat, and unless it is off all the way
it doesn't do anygood. Steam goes through little passages.
In fact I just stayed in Queens last month for a night, and I really
had to twist hard to get the heat off.
I didn't like going through the landlord (either?), but mine thought
he was a plumber, but really didn't know much. (an interesting
story.) I see a problem here that you are likely to round off the
stem with just about any wrench you use, and if you do this to the
square part that is supposed to have the handle, the knob, then no
handle will work again.
If you go lower on the stem, because the valve might leak no matter
how tightly it is turned, , there is a real chance of super-torquiing
the stem and twisting the top half of it off. Then it will be
unadjustable until replaced.
You could try round vise-grips (as opposed to straight), but buy
Vise-Grip brand because the steel is hard**nd make them as tight on
the stem as you can before you start turning. When I was in Queens,
even with the 50-year old or more valve, I was able to turn off the
heat just with one hand and the 3 inch wide knob. You will have much
more leveralge with a wrench, so don't use it all. It *is* the
landlord's property. maybe try opening the valve (counter clockwise)
to see if it does rotate.
**The others seem ok on light work, but this is not going to be so
easy. Otoh, maybe you should buy the cheap ones since you shouldn't
be twisting that hard anyhow.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
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