• In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating contractor Richard Trethewey explains how to maintain a steam radiator.


    1 Close the valve at base of radiator.
    2 Turn off the room's thermostat.
    3 Carefully unscrew the old air vent from side of radiator; if valve is hot, use thick cloth to protect your hand.
    4 Wrap Teflon tape around the threads of the new steam valve.
    5 Thread new steam valve into side of radiator; be sure valve points straight up.
    6 Remove handle from valve at base of radiator.
    7 Use adjustable wrench to unscrew packing nut from valve stem.
    8 Wrap graphite packing gasket around threaded valve stem.
    9 Replace nut and tighten with adjustable wrench.
    10 Open valve at base of radiator.
    11 Turn on the room's thermostat.
    • Difficulty: Easy
      No plumbing experience required.

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      Tools List

      • Phillips screwdriver
        used to remove handle from valve
      • Phillips screwdriver
        Adjustable wrench,
        used to remove packing nut from valve

      Shopping List

      1. New steam valve

      2. Teflon tape

      3. Graphite packing gasket