A local Woodmere, NY homeowner with a steam heating system was frustrated with several radiators failing to heat up. He called several plumbing contractors, even an expensive “franchised” plumbing outfit to diagnose the issue. Sadly all failed to properly diagnose failed steam traps on a “two pipe” steam system. One “technician” even removed the plugs where the steam radiator air valves would be located for a “one pipe” system and installed Vari-valves!
Guess what? It worked, for about a day, until loud hammering sounds started to drive the whole family crazy thinking the house was possessed by demons! (No, I’m not making this up) Here’s a timeline of the repair: 2/1/17 @ 3:30pm : Diagnosed issue. Multiple steam traps need replacement. Confirmed pricing and availability at our local distributor 2/1/17 @ 3:55pm : Client approval. Scheduled repairs. 2/2/17 @ 7:45am : Arrived at location with material. 2/2/17 @ 1:30pm : Completed repairs. Replaced (3) 1/2″ Watts steam traps, (1) 3/4″ Watts steam trap, installed (6) new Danfoss thermostatic angle valves for heat output control, flushed boiler and treated with Surgemaster. 2/2/17 @ 2:30pm : Client calls office thanking us for a prompt and professional job reporting that system is quiet and all radiators are heating up evenly.
How Do Radiator Heaters Work?
Radiators work by drawing heat from water or steam and use that heat to warm up surrounding air. By doing this, they can effectively be used to heat up a room. Heat radiators are made from metal because it is an excellent conductor of heat. Hot water or steam travels through the radiator and the exterior fins naturally heat up over time. As those fins heat up, the surrounding air heats up as well.
Radiators are one of the oldest and most effective ways of heating a home. They are still used in buildings all over the world today and there are only a few heating options more effective being relied on. They are still desirable because of their simplicity and their ability to heat a space evenly and comfortably. In order to get the most out of your radiator heating system, or decide if radiators are the right option for you, it is important to understand how they work.