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Old 10-08-2012, 07:47 PM   #1
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What is this thing?


We just moved into a new place in Boston, and each one of our rooms has one of these in it:

http://tinypic.com/r/2ef5bno/6

Of course, it looks like a heater. However, I don't know what this thing is called exactly, what the model is, or how to use it. There is a dial on one side and a smaller dial thingy on the other. Turning the main dial doesn't seem to do anything (there's no hissing sound or anything as if gas or hot water would be flowing through it).

Anyway, anyone know that this is? I can't even find pictures of these things on the internet, probably because I'm searching for the complete wrong thing.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 10-08-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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What is this thing?


thats your heating radiator...from your hot water boiler..ben sr

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Old 10-08-2012, 07:52 PM   #3
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What is this thing?


Assuming I'm looking at the right pic, it's a radiator. I can only see the one pipe connected to it, in which case I believe it would be a single pipe steam system (around here we only have hot water heating systems, steam is rare -- I don't have any experience with them, except that I think the radiators look about the same). If there's another pipe on the other side it would probably be a hot water system. The radiator gets warm/hot when the boiler is running, thus providing you with heat. I have seen people change heating systems and leave the old rads for decoration, though. Here's a pic of one of mine for comparison:
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:57 PM   #4
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What is this thing?


Thank you both for the comments. It's amazing that endless google searches of "floor heater", "metal pipes heater floor", etc. don't turn up anything useful, but then I use the word 'radiator', and wala!

I turned the knob and am wating to see if anything happens (now that I feel fairly confident that it's not going to leak natural gas).

And yes, there is only one pipe attached to one side. The other side has a little bullet-like looking knob.

It doesn't seem like anything is happening, but maybe my apartment manager doesn't turn on the boiler until it gets *really* cold out? Guess we'll find out. Anyway, thanks for the word. Now I at least know what to ask about when I call them.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:03 PM   #5
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What is this thing?


yes this is called a radiator and the small dial is for bleeding the radiator, some times when you first turn on the system (when it starts to get cool outside) you have to get all the air out of the rad. you simply get a bucket and open the small dial side until the hot water comes out. the water will probably be yellow or brown run the water until it gets clear it gets all the guck out of the system.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:30 PM   #6
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What is this thing?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marqed97 View Post
Assuming I'm looking at the right pic, it's a radiator. I can only see the one pipe connected to it, in which case I believe it would be a single pipe steam system. Here's a pic of one of mine for comparison:
Yours doensn't have two pipes going to it?
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missouri Bound

Yours doensn't have two pipes going to it?
Mine does....the OP's doesn't.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Marqed97 View Post
Mine does....the OP's doesn't.
I have never seen a single pipe system....must be very old technology.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missouri Bound

I have never seen a single pipe system....must be very old technology.
Heh...I've only read about them on here, actually. There are a few old threads on them... I think BeenThere was helping a guy out (maybe it was another member). The setup looked really complicated, having the steam go up the pipe to the radiator, condensing, then running back down the same pipe to the boiler. All sorts of elevation and rise/drop requirements. I'll stick with water and a pump, thanks.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:48 PM   #10
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I am unaware of a single pipe... I agree for steam you need a line back to the condensate tank... i struggle to imagine the condensate returning down the same pipe..... I hate boilers .....
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:58 PM   #11
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What is this thing?


With a Single pipe system carmon, you have steam rising up, but the water goes back down through the piping to be reheated back to steam. Really inefficient system, but was done to save money, due to less piping needed for heating.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:04 PM   #12
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What is this thing?


I like single pipe systems. Easy to find the problem.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:12 PM   #13
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What is this thing?


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
With a Single pipe system carmon, you have steam rising up, but the water goes back down through the piping to be reheated back to steam. Really inefficient system, but was done to save money, due to less piping needed for heating.
never heard of it ....thanks for the explanation

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Old 10-08-2012, 09:21 PM   #14
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What is this thing?


if it is steam..where is the vent off rad and steam trap?????ben sr
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:25 PM   #15
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Vent is on opposite side of pipe about 1/3 of the way up. No trap needed. As condensate runs out into pipe, fresh steam enters through pipe. The single pipe is both steam supply, and condensate return.

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