My house was built in 1870. I have no idea how old the heating system is.
The heating guy estimated the boiler to be 50 years old. This is a big
house, with 13 radiators in all.
I went to turn the radiator on in one room and the valve starting leaking.
There's a screw in the top, and a big nut underneath. I got it to stop
leaking by cranking everything as tightly closed as I could. Screw, valve
handle and nut. Now the thing is off.
I am a home repair idiot, but I'm willing to give this a go. How do I fix
the valve? How do I fix the valve without having water everywhere? If I
shut the whole system down, will the radiators be empty?
I was always under the impression that these were hot-water radiators. Are
there both steam radiators and hot water ones? I've never had any hissing,
knocking, etc from the radiators.
You don't even know if you have steam or hot water? If there is a sight
glass on the boiler, and you can see air above the water, it is most
likely steam. If it is steam, there should not be pressure at the valve
when the boiler is not running.
To fix the valve you can get something that Ace Hardware calls Faucet
Packing Graphite (graphite impregnated rope). Back off the nut where the
stem comes out of the valve body, wrap the rope around the stem under the
nut. Tighten the nut so it is snug, but not too tight, so you can tighten
it more if or when it leaks.
The old cast iron radiators were originally steam. Some people convert
them to hot water, but some radiators work better for that than others.
For more info about steam or hydronics see http://www.heatinghelp.com/ and
The Wall forum. Dan's book The Lost Art of Steam Heating can help you
understand how your system works (if it is steam).
David Efflandt - All spam ignored http://www.de-srv.com /
http://www.autox.chicago.il.us/ http://www.berniesfloral.net /
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