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With steam heating systems, the water in a boiler is heated up by a furnace until steam is formed. The steam then flows through pipes into the radiators that are situated throughout the home. When vapor in a radiator condenses into water, it generally returns to the boiler to be heated. These underlying maintenance problems can be the cause of either a leaking radiator, one who loses heat or operates noisily.
1. No Heat Is Produced From A Single Radiator
It is probably that air is getting trapped in the radiator. Therefore, you can wait until the radiator is cooled off and open the bleed valve situated on top of the heater. Close it immediately when water starts squirting or leaking from the valve. You may be experiencing a clogged or faulty inlet valve at the foot of the radiator. The water pipe, which is leading from the floor to the valve, as well as the radiator, should feel hot to the touch. When the pipe which is running from the valve to the radiator feels cold, the valve itself is either in a closed position, or it could be clogged. A licensed plumber must do the clogged radiator valve repair.
2. No Heat Coming From The Boiler
Check the service panel or fuse box and if necessary, replace the fuse or reset the breaker. Afterward, you can check if the pilot light is maybe out or in case of no pilot, you can check the electronic ignition. After that, make sure that the water level in the boiler is right by checking the water pressure. It must be between twelve- and fifteen-poundspsi (per square inch). In case of the water pressure being too low, the fill valve must be opened until the pressure goes up to twelve psi. Finally, check if your thermostat is set to “heat” and continue with resetting the temperature.
3. Water Puddle On The Floor Near The Radiator
If you notice water lying on the floor close to the heater, it's possible that the cap nuts (used for fastening the inlet valve) may be corroded or have come loose. You can turn the system off and tighten the valve nuts yourself. If this is not working, call a plumber to replace them.
4. Pounding Pipes
Knocking sounds are often a result of the improper pitch of your pipes. All pipes are required to have a downward slope for the water to flow from the radiator to the boiler. If a section of pipe has sagged for some reason, water will start accumulating in the depression and become an obstacle for the oncoming steam traveling down the path. When the trapped water and steam meats, it leads to a pounding sound in the pipes. When it happens close to the radiator, the problem can be eliminated by placing small wooden blocks under the legs of the radiator. This will help with increasing the pitch of the heater and the connecting pipe so that the water can once again flow smoothly back to the boiler. If the hammering is occurring in another part of your system, you’ll have to look for the section of pipe that has sagged, resulting in a hollow where water is collected.