Help me McGuyver a radiator steam vent!
January 6, 2014 5:18 PM Subscribe
It wouldn't be Chiberia without a steam bath! Unfortunately, the steam bath is my bedroom. Help me figure out a temporary fix for a leaking radiator blow-off?
posted by Westringia F. to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
My Chicago flat is heated with an old single-pipe steam radiator system. The vent (not the supply valve) on the bedroom radiator has cracked -- I can actually see the break -- so instead of closing when the radiator heats up, it blows all of the steam into the room. The boiler is keeping up with the leak and all the other radiators are working, but the steam is condensing on everything. The wall is getting wet, the floor is getting wet, and over the course of the day a good 1/2cm of ice has grown on the inside of the window. Not good.
Clearly I need to replace the vent, but that's not gonna happen for a few days at least. Simply turning off the radiator is not an option (first because of the extreme cold, and second because the supply valve is stuck too, which is why the vent replacement can't happen immediately). I've perched a metal bowl over the vent and placed a tray below it in the hope of condensing the steam in a controlled fashion, and I've thrown a towel over the whole thing, but it's barely making a difference. I keep thinking that if I had some copper tubing (I don't) I could fashion it into a condenser... or maybe I could seal the vent with chewing gum.....
There must be a better way! What can I do, using things I might reasonably have in my house, to temporarily mitigate this?