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let it bleed

Posted by Paul on January 22nd, 2003 11:25 AM
In reply to Steam Radiator by Sarah on January 22nd, 2003 07:39 AM [Go to top of thread]

dear Sarah it sounds like there is a blockage indeed. Of air more likely than anything else.What you should try first is to "bleed" the radiator. If your radiators really are on a steam systemthey will have a bullet shaped vent at one end on the top of the radiator. If your radiator system is hot water( most likely) the blleder valve will be in the same placebut look a bit different.The bleeder valve sticks out about an inch and may looklike a nut or a tube. If you look in the end you will see either a screwhead or a square nut. the square nut requires a key, available at most any hardware store for under a buck. It looks alot like an oldfashioned rollerskate key. If your radiators are the modern baseboard type then remove the end cover of the radiator and the bleeder valve should be on top of the bend in the pipe. When you bleed let the boiler cycle completely then wait a few minuets before you start, the water and steam that will come out when you open the valve will be scalding hot if you dont wait! Use an old can or something you dont care to keep to catch the water as it comes out, it most likely will be black and smelly. Slowly open the valve and when you hear air sputter out open a little more and stop. Do not take the screw out completely! Water should start to sputter out and eventially become a steady stream. Let out about a pint or so and the shut the valve tightly. If this doesnt soldve the problem consult your landlord. Keep warm, Paul

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