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  #1  
Old 10-29-2011, 02:34 AM
Love Rhombus Love Rhombus is offline
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How do I turn off my radiator?

I asked my landlord to turn on the heat, given the sudden downturn in temperature here. Now I'm roasting and can't sleep, but I can't turn off the radiators: the knobs on top are almost too hot to turn and don't seem like they actually do anything. Suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2011, 07:21 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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That sounds like the water from your hot water tank is getting into the central heating.
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2011, 07:22 AM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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crack open a window about an inch?

I have a lovely wood stove, but a tiny house. If I want a woodstove that takes more than one tiny log, the house roasts so I temper the warm with some fresh cold air.
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:28 AM
Erdosain Erdosain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Rhombus View Post
I asked my landlord to turn on the heat, given the sudden downturn in temperature here. Now I'm roasting and can't sleep, but I can't turn off the radiators: the knobs on top are almost too hot to turn and don't seem like they actually do anything. Suggestions?
There is almost certainly a way to turn off the radiator with the knobs. Did you try turning them all the way to the right? You'll obviously have to wait a while before the radiator shows signs of cooling.
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  #5  
Old 10-29-2011, 08:16 AM
raindog raindog is offline
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Uh, don't do that.

Do you have steam heat or hot water? Turning the knobs may simply turn off the heat to anyone above you. Those knobs are not designed to be thermostats------which is what you need.

Many radiators can be fitted with a thermostat. If you have this type of radiator, installing a thermostat-------which is fast and easy-------is the only correct fix.

Here is a helpful video on installing one. (not sure if you have this type of radiator).
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:40 AM
Erdosain Erdosain is offline
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Originally Posted by raindog View Post
Uh, don't do that.

Do you have steam heat or hot water? Turning the knobs may simply turn off the heat to anyone above you. Those knobs are not designed to be thermostats------which is what you need.

Many radiators can be fitted with a thermostat. If you have this type of radiator, installing a thermostat-------which is fast and easy-------is the only correct fix.

Here is a helpful video on installing one. (not sure if you have this type of radiator).
Wait, are you saying the thermostat can turn off the heat in a way that the OP can't do manually? That doesn't make sense to me.
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  #7  
Old 10-29-2011, 08:46 AM
raindog raindog is offline
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Originally Posted by Erdosain View Post
Wait, are you saying the thermostat can turn off the heat in a way that the OP can't do manually? That doesn't make sense to me.
Sure can. If he/she has steam heat. I live in an old building with radiators and steam heat. When I first moved in it was unbearably hot. I asked one of the other owners and he said, "I leave my outside french doors open all year."

I installed thermostats on my radiators and my unit may be the only one thats comfortable in the building. Take a look at the video. Its only a couple minutes long.
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:52 AM
hibernicus hibernicus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raindog View Post
Uh, don't do that.

Do you have steam heat or hot water? Turning the knobs may simply turn off the heat to anyone above you. Those knobs are not designed to be thermostats------which is what you need.
A manual valve or a thermostatic valve will have the same effect - when they are closed they will stop the hot water or steam flowing through the radiator.

If there is another radiator connected in series on the same hot water or steam circuit, you are correct to say that the other radiator will also be turned off. However, it is unlikely that the radiators in separate apartments are set up in this way, for exactly this reason.

Cracking a window open, while effective, should be a last resort because it's wasteful.

Turn one of the valves all the way to the right, as suggested, and unless the valve is passing (faulty) the radiator will cool down. It should be possible to regulate the temperature by partially opening the valve.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:19 AM
Love Rhombus Love Rhombus is offline
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Originally Posted by hibernicus View Post
A manual valve or a thermostatic valve will have the same effect - when they are closed they will stop the hot water or steam flowing through the radiator.

If there is another radiator connected in series on the same hot water or steam circuit, you are correct to say that the other radiator will also be turned off. However, it is unlikely that the radiators in separate apartments are set up in this way, for exactly this reason.

Cracking a window open, while effective, should be a last resort because it's wasteful.

Turn one of the valves all the way to the right, as suggested, and unless the valve is passing (faulty) the radiator will cool down. It should be possible to regulate the temperature by partially opening the valve.
Well, it (they) go "Ping!", so I'm assuming it's hot water. The valves just turn and turn very loosely, and are very hot to touch. I've had windows open, as suggested, but yes I agree that's wasteful. Heh, I asked for the heat to be turned on, because my apartment was too cold, and I got what I wanted!
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2011, 09:59 AM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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You could put a blanket over the radiator, and that would greatly reduce the heat transfer. I wouldn't expect hot water or steam heat to get so hot that this were dangerous. Obviously, don't due this for an electrical heater.
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  #11  
Old 10-29-2011, 11:14 AM
Erdosain Erdosain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Rhombus View Post
Well, it (they) go "Ping!", so I'm assuming it's hot water. The valves just turn and turn very loosely, and are very hot to touch. I've had windows open, as suggested, but yes I agree that's wasteful. Heh, I asked for the heat to be turned on, because my apartment was too cold, and I got what I wanted!
I have to believe that if you keep turning the valves to the right that they'll eventually close. Use an oven mitt.

If you are concerned about the effects of this on neighboring apartments, you can always ask the landlord if it's okay.

Anecdote time: I was in a college classroom one warm fall day and the radiators were putting out an ungodly amount of heat. Everyone in the class was complaining and shedding layers of clothes. I tried to turn the valves but they were extremely hot. Finally, I pulled sleeve over my hand and slowly turned the knobs. I had to let my hand cool down after every turn. Finally, the knob stopped turning and 20 minutes later the classroom returned to a reasonable temperature.
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  #12  
Old 10-29-2011, 12:20 PM
thelabdude thelabdude is offline
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Originally Posted by ZenBeam View Post
You could put a blanket over the radiator, and that would greatly reduce the heat transfer. I wouldn't expect hot water or steam heat to get so hot that this were dangerous. Obviously, don't due this for an electrical heater.
Perhaps the best idea so far.

It sounds to me like you have a crappy old globe valve that doesn't work. Does a pipe go in at the bottom and then the side of the valve connect to the radiator with the handle on top? The solution is a new valve. Maybe the old one could be taken apart and repaired. The landlord may be happy to replace it if he is paying for the heat. Whoever is paying for the heat would be much better off with a new valve than an open window. I favor ball valves.

In college I had a friend whose room was too hot all winter. The next fall when he returned, he removed the radiator and capped the pipes off.
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  #13  
Old 10-29-2011, 02:50 PM
hibernicus hibernicus is offline
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Originally Posted by Erdosain View Post
I have to believe that if you keep turning the valves to the right that they'll eventually close. Use an oven mitt.
Not necessarily. The valve grips or wheels may be spinning freely without engaging with the valve stem. In that case turning them will have no effect.

I've no idea what the valves look like on Love Rhombus's radiator, but if it was my radiator I would look for a way to grip the valve stem using an adjustable wrench (which may involve removing the cap or grip to get access).
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  #14  
Old 10-29-2011, 03:59 PM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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If the knobs are on top, that is the valves then it is not a one pipe system.
The valve stem will have to be turned several turns clock wise to close the valve. Can you give us a picture of the valve and radiator.
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