I live in a brownstone built in 1900 converted to separate apartments in early 1970’s (I think). We have a single pipe steam heat system and recently replaced the boiler.

My unit is one that’s ridiculously hot and I’ve been trying to figure out how I can adapt my radiator setup to be able to adjust that.

However I don’t know what sort of radiator this is and unlike standard ones I’m familiar with where the air valve can be replaced with a TRV (plus an air valve) I’m not sure the same thing can be done with this one.

The dimensions of its metal outer container are 56”x22”x8” and here is what the inside looks like:

Right side of radiator Right half

incoming pipe and on off valve Incoming pipe and on/off valve

Left side of radiator with air valve Left half and air valve. This side is elevated relative to right side (to allow condensation to drain?).

Given the size of this, if it’s ancient maybe I’d consider something smaller that will bake my space less and be adjustable, but if I can install an adjustable valve on this thing as is even that would be an improvement but my understanding is that sensor isn’t supposed to be inside the covered unit to properly read temperature.

Any advance or words of wisdom about what I’ve got here would be appreciated.

2 Answers 2


You would remove the existing vent and add 1/8" pipe up and elbow horizontal. Install the valve as you would a normal cast iron radiator and use a remote mount thermostat device. The heating device you are showing is a convector. You can go to "supplyhouse.com or call 1-888-757-4774" or just "GOOGLE" Dan Foss 1 pipe steam thermostatic radiator valves. Danfoss valve SKU 013G0140, Danfoss thermostat SKU 013G8562 or similar

  • 1
    I take it there is no reason to consider replacing this convector as long as it's working (other than that it is quite huge and I would love to reclaim some of the space it takes up). Feb 20, 2018 at 22:37
  • 1
    With a steam system you are limited to cast iron radiators, convectors like yours, or baseboard units.There isn't much else that works well.
    – d.george
    Feb 21, 2018 at 1:09
  • 2
    One thing you could try would be to cover part of the convector's fins with sheet metal, wood, aluminum foil , or even cardboard. The fins only get about 200+ degrees so no possibility of a fire. Start by covering 1/4 and cover more if you have to .This will reduce the heat output and is very cost friendly.
    – d.george
    Feb 21, 2018 at 10:43
  • What's the point of adding 1/8" pipe? Couldn't a trv with air vent be installed in place of the existing one? Feb 21, 2018 at 15:14
  • 3
    A TRV will be installed in place of the air vent however the vent on the new TRV has to be upright so that is why you will need the 1/8" pipe and elbow. If you mount the new valve in the existing vent tap the vent will be horizontal and will not work.
    – d.george
    Feb 22, 2018 at 23:26

The TRV you install must have a remote sensor. Otherwise, the heat in the radiator cabinet will always turn the vent off and it will never sense the air temperature. You are looking at spending about $150.

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