Help! Radiator’s Leaking…

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    • #275410

      We live in a 100 yr. old home in Maine. It’s been cold, in the twenties. We went on vacation this past week and turned down the heat to 60 degrees.
      When we got back, many of our hot water radiators were leaking! Some had been shooting steam and ruined wood walls. One leaked about a two foot circle on one end of the house. Another completely soaked our living room carpet (which will probably have to be replaced now). What happened? We bled the system before we left!
      My husband went down to the basement and bled it again when we got home. He said there’s a valve that usually has an alternating water level, but now the level is full constantly. He also wondered if someone’d been in the house, because the bucket below the valve was full, so obviously the tank down stairs was leaking, too.

      We shut off the leaking radiators but MAN do the others BANG.
      What to do???
      It’s New Years…

    • #291975

      Ooops, looks like the fill valve wasn’t closed tightly and the steam system became overfilled while you were gone. That hammering does a lot of damage and as you can now see; it will actually take fittings apart. For now, drain some of the water so the boiler level is 1/3 of the height of the gauge glass on the side of the boiler so the water doesn’t fill the upstairs pipes to continue banging.

    • #291976

      This sounds like a steam system as opposed to a hot water type.

      If I am correct do the following

      1- The radiators that have been shut off should be opened to allow the water trapped inside to drain back to the boiler.

      2- Make sure the automatic feeder is OFF if you have one.

      3- Shut off the boiler emergency switch for now

      4- Open a drain valve in the basement and let the system drain watching the sight glass or Tri cocks.

      AFTER the water is drained to the proper level try the safety valve to make sure it is functioning.

      Now open the valve to the automatic feeder Or had fill to the properly marked on your sight glass.

      Turn on the electric power and watch the automatic feeder to make sure it does not flood the system again.

      When you can get a qualified person to check out the system to make sure you have a pressure switch installed MANUAL reset and a low water cut off and the feeder is working properly.

      The hydraulic shock BANGING can rupture a pipe quite easily and this is the reason you want to allow all the water trapped in the radiators to drain PRIOR to having the steam hit these pockets of water. Good luck


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