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Anyone know why hot-water radiators need bleeding every couple of days, temp 60-64?
The thermometer in my home | January 26, 2014 | Me, Myself, and I

Posted on 01/26/2014 9:47:40 AM PST by EinNYC

Any FReepers have any idea why the radiators in my home are just sort of warm to the touch but not toasty? Or, even stone cold? Enough to cause 60-66 degree temps in the house, which is decidedly NOT comfortable? Is it bad valves? Bad boiler (but there's plenty of hot water from the sinks)? A bad pump? When the maintenance guys bleed the non-functioning radiators, hot water pours out, but the radiator was not radiating heat. Just as cold as stone.

The maintenance guys told me that a "second pump has just been installed", but I am still forced to wear double everything INSIDE my home. Everyone sits down to dinner wearing their winter hat, double everything and heavy socks, right?

Thanks for any information about what you think is ailing this non-functioning heating system.


TOPICS: Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: centralheating; heating; hotwaterradiators; radiators
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Brrrrr!
1 posted on 01/26/2014 9:47:40 AM PST by EinNYC
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To: EinNYC

my guess is calcium build-up on the inside of the radiator,acts like insulating it from the inside.New radiator is likely required.


2 posted on 01/26/2014 9:52:27 AM PST by pricilla (one should always try to be smarter than the equipment one is operating - Amajato)
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To: EinNYC
Get rid of trapped air in the system:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCkQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.familyhandyman.com%2Fheating-cooling%2Ffurnace-repair%2Fhow-to-bleed-a-hot-water-radiator-and-clear-a-steam-radiator-vent%2Fview-all&ei=-krlUt_sM6bksASAzYDQAQ&usg=AFQjCNFdfG4clTCMqaXxAunf0brHNRTBRA&sig2=sVVfX3vJQSj0OvBnG55f9w&bvm=bv.59930103,d.cWc

If the kitchen taps are really hot, then air is probably the problem.

3 posted on 01/26/2014 9:52:38 AM PST by sr4402
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To: EinNYC

Jack Daniels will fix the problem.


4 posted on 01/26/2014 9:52:40 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: EinNYC

http://homerepair.about.com/od/heatingcoolingrepair/ss/trblsht_boiler_4.htm


5 posted on 01/26/2014 9:52:45 AM PST by Raycpa
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To: EinNYC

It might be sediment/scale buildup — you could try asking the maintaince guy to put some CLR through it... or hit it a couple times with a hammer.


6 posted on 01/26/2014 9:53:08 AM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: EinNYC
EPA has decreed you don't need all that heat.

7 posted on 01/26/2014 9:53:50 AM PST by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: EinNYC

My guess air lock?


8 posted on 01/26/2014 9:53:52 AM PST by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: EinNYC

It sounds as though air is getting into the lines. I would look for leaks or malfunctioning pressure relief valves. Take some soapy water around the house brushing it onto all the joints and valves you see.


9 posted on 01/26/2014 9:55:15 AM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: EinNYC

Air in the system?


10 posted on 01/26/2014 9:56:09 AM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: EinNYC

It seems like a continuing problem, I would call a heating specialist, and get his opinion. Maintenance men know a little of everything, but they are not specialists.


11 posted on 01/26/2014 9:56:36 AM PST by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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To: EinNYC

Also do searches on heat, radiator problems and so on:

Here is one:

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/01/25/nyregion/home-clinic-how-radiators-work-and-why-they-sometimes-don-t.html


12 posted on 01/26/2014 9:58:11 AM PST by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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To: EinNYC
Are you renting/leasing?

Energy for boilers has become very expensive. I wouldn't be surprised if someone has made "adjustments" somewhere to save money.

13 posted on 01/26/2014 9:59:51 AM PST by freerepublicchat
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To: OneWingedShark

That’s the ticket!

Hit CAST IRON with a hammer!

Brilliant!

ROTFLMAO


14 posted on 01/26/2014 10:00:11 AM PST by Howie66 (Molon Labe, Traitors!)
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To: EinNYC
Jimmuh said thermostats in winter should be set at 68F so, you aren't far from the target. I saw where High Priest Al Gore issued a prophesy from his yacht in the Caribbean that 60F will soon be a thing of the past south of the Mason-Dixon line.

So, maybe you should just bundle up this winter and spend your money on upgrading your homes cooling system.

Joking aside, if your pumps are in good order, it sounds as if you have a flow restriction, or thermostat problem of some sort.

15 posted on 01/26/2014 10:00:44 AM PST by fso301
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To: EinNYC

“When the maintenance guys bleed the non-functioning radiators, hot water pours out, but the radiator was not radiating heat. Just as cold as stone. “

Impossible. You can’t get hot water from a cold radiator.

The radiators are full of air which needs to be remived.
If there is a valva at the TOP of the radiator then open it, let out the air and close it.
If there is no valve then the system must be purged.


16 posted on 01/26/2014 10:02:15 AM PST by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat Party!)
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To: Howie66

> Hit CAST IRON with a hammer!
> Brilliant!

You don’t want to do it while it’s on, or *REALLY HARD* but enough to smack the sediment off the walls... and it’s not as good a solution as running CLR or some-such solvent through it.


17 posted on 01/26/2014 10:05:41 AM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: EinNYC

How cold is it outside? Maybe your heating system isn’t adequate for -40 degrees.


18 posted on 01/26/2014 10:06:23 AM PST by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: EinNYC
do you have an inline air-scoop??? if not you need one
19 posted on 01/26/2014 10:07:06 AM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: mrsmith

Or a restiction/blockage downstream of the radiator.


20 posted on 01/26/2014 10:11:15 AM PST by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat Party!)
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To: EinNYC

Expansion tank may be waterlogged. Drain it down, purge the air, go from there.

CLR in the system won’t hurt either. You can add it via the expansion tank.


21 posted on 01/26/2014 10:14:02 AM PST by ConradofMontferrat ( According to mudslimz, my handle is a HATE CRIME. And I HOPE they don't like it.)
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To: EinNYC

Three right on the money suggestions. A plumber could work through the problem pretty quickly. An apartment or condo maintenance guy, who knows.

To check for air and bleed the system, you need to find a bleed tap that is higher in elevation than the radiators. Open it up all the way to see if there is full water flow or air burping out. Do this with the thermostat set to max. This will also flag if the radiator tubes are plugged based on if a lot of water is flowing out or a trickle. Also, determine if the water is hot or not. The outlet side water needs to be greater than about 90F with full flow. I started to say the hotter the better for the radiator outlet water but the water will have temperature versus pressure ratings and I have no Idea what these are.

You probably don’t want to do this yourself because of liability if something fouls up. It’s not complicated troubleshooting but a misstep can cause some damage.


22 posted on 01/26/2014 10:16:34 AM PST by Hootowl99
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To: Chode

I don’t know what that is. I’m sure I do not have one.


23 posted on 01/26/2014 10:16:49 AM PST by EinNYC
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To: pricilla

I suggested this might be the problem. When the maintenance guy bleeds the radiator, steaming hot water spills into his bucket.


24 posted on 01/26/2014 10:17:36 AM PST by EinNYC
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25 posted on 01/26/2014 10:17:41 AM PST by RedMDer (Happy with this, America? Make your voices heard. 2014 is just around the corner. ~ Sarah Palin)
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To: sr4402

The radiators have been bled like 3 times in the last 2 weeks. They work well for a day or two after the bleeding, then go cold.


26 posted on 01/26/2014 10:18:22 AM PST by EinNYC
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To: EinNYC

it bleeds air out of the line when bubbles pass by it

this will explain them and what to look for to see if you have one, or as stated above there might be an inline expansion tank that’s full of water

https://www.google.com/search?q=hot+water+heat+air+scoop&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a


27 posted on 01/26/2014 10:20:49 AM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: ConradofMontferrat
For CLR or anything similar in function it may work or may be a disaster. I have seen pipes where the only thing holding them together is the scale. In other words, clean the pipe and it has holes spraying water. Just need to do due diligence first.
28 posted on 01/26/2014 10:24:36 AM PST by Hootowl99
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To: BitWielder1
EPA can take a trip to a location WAY down south and a great deal warmer.


29 posted on 01/26/2014 10:25:20 AM PST by EinNYC
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To: Innovative

I just called a heating/cooling guy. He told me, upon hearing of all the conditions and symptoms, that it sounded like a non-functioning pump. Funny, because they claim they just installed a second pump so that there are supposedly 2 pumps pumping hot water up now. For his time and kindness in answering my query, I volunteered to help his 5th grader with suggestions for a science fair project. That will be a pleasure for me to help out with!


30 posted on 01/26/2014 10:27:46 AM PST by EinNYC
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To: freerepublicchat

It’s a co-op. I’m an owner. But I still wouldn’t put it past them to pull something. I wonder how much money they’ll save when I call the city tomorrow and get an inspector in. It’s a $500-1,000/day fine for each day the temp is not 68 degrees between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., and 55 degrees for the nighttime.


31 posted on 01/26/2014 10:29:26 AM PST by EinNYC
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To: EinNYC
As a former Naval Engineer licensed to test and treat Naval Boilers I have a bit of expertise in this area.

All water contains various dissolved gasses. The amount of dissolved gas varies primarily with temperature. Cold water will hold more dissolved gas than hot water.

When you initially fill the system with cold water and begin to heat it, the dissolved gas leaves suspension and collects in the highest point in the system or sub-system. This is why radiators have vent taps. It allows you to remove air from that part of the heating sub-system (your radiator). Removing the air allows more hot water to come into contact with the sides of your radiator improving heat transfer from the boiler system to your room air.

No boiler is a perfect closed system. Water must be added from time to time introducing more dissolved gasses to the system. (Time to bleed the radiator.) This is why naval boilers have a De-airating Feed Tank. At very high pressure and temperature (1250 psi & 975F) any oxygen will cause the piping to rust, FAST.

The clanging you hear when the system turns on after being off for a while is due to thermal expansion of the piping. Hot pipes are bigger than cold pipes (a little). You might also hear a large pocket of air being displaced.

Hope this answers your question.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

32 posted on 01/26/2014 10:31:07 AM PST by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: Chode
This is the only scoop I have:

It handles cat food very well.

33 posted on 01/26/2014 10:31:49 AM PST by EinNYC
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To: EinNYC

Find the highest drain valve and let the air out of the system.


34 posted on 01/26/2014 10:34:21 AM PST by B4Ranch (Name your illness, do a Google & YouTube search with "hydrogen peroxide". Do it and be surprised.)
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To: LonePalm
Thank you. When the maintenance guy opens the valve to bleed the radiator, the only thing I hear (besides my own gasp at the sight of his ample ugly butt popping out of his pants, euwwww!!!!) is a clunk and then a bit of hissing. Hot steaming water runs into his bucket. He points out the hot steaming water. Looking at rusty dirty water is decidedly better than the view of his ugly derriere, so I look. Then toss the dirty water down the toilet. Bleeding the radiator like this only helps for a day or two, then it's back to stone cold.
35 posted on 01/26/2014 10:37:14 AM PST by EinNYC
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To: EinNYC

Sounds like you have an air leak into the system. If it is sealed, you should not get any air into the system. If air is leaking in without water getting out good luck finding it. You might want to get a expert who have been doing heating for 30 years.


36 posted on 01/26/2014 10:40:13 AM PST by bmwcyle (People who do not study history are destine to believe really ignorant statements.)
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To: EinNYC

All good answers here. If it a closed system there should be no build up in the pipes. Air in the lines or radiators is a very good possibility.


37 posted on 01/26/2014 10:42:44 AM PST by jetson
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To: EinNYC
Have they been balanced properly? http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061026122931AAtsmwG
38 posted on 01/26/2014 10:53:38 AM PST by sr4402
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To: sr4402

I think that balancing is more important for steam radiators than for hot water radiators. I am beginning to believe, from posts here, that there is a leak which is letting air into the lines.


39 posted on 01/26/2014 10:58:30 AM PST by EinNYC
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To: EinNYC; LonePalm

We have a house built in 1907, we had a new boiler installed in 1982, but we don’t have an electrical pump.

In 2009 we started having the same kind of problem you described and it turned out that the automatic refill valve had failed and was not letting water into the system. See comment #32 for a wonderful explanation for why water needs to be added occasionally. We replaced the automatic refill valve and had no more problems with cold radiators. Our neighbors, who had a different radiator system put in at the same time we did, had the exact same problem and solution, the same year we did.

We had a problem with the blow-off valve continually dripping water, sometimes 2 gallons a day. We received lots of guesses until we happened upon a plumber who had done his journeymen training working with old residential boilers in the city. Even though the system was supposedly drained, the vapor lock was in the expansion tank and he removed the plug to better drain the expansion tank and then replaced the blow-off valve, problem solved.


40 posted on 01/26/2014 11:14:44 AM PST by LSAggie
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To: EinNYC
You might consider buying your own radiator key at the local hardware store. It should be less than a buck.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

41 posted on 01/26/2014 11:18:43 AM PST by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: bmwcyle
Air can not leak into a pressurized system.

The only way to introduce air into a pressurized system is through dissolved gasses in the boiler feed water.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

42 posted on 01/26/2014 11:28:44 AM PST by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: EinNYC

Buy one new radiator and install it. That will serve as an inexpensive first test to see if the radiator is built up with deposits or if you have another problem.

Even when working properly, I found my circulating hot water system could not keep the house much warmer than 60 degrees when the temps outside went sub-zero.

We had a wood stove in the basement as a supplement.


43 posted on 01/26/2014 11:32:25 AM PST by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: AZLiberty
How cold is it outside? Maybe your heating system isn’t adequate for -40 degrees.

That's my guess.

44 posted on 01/26/2014 11:34:20 AM PST by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: EinNYC
Hey, I solved your problem. It one of the parts in this diagram.


45 posted on 01/26/2014 11:40:06 AM PST by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: EinNYC
Do you have some kind of newfangled, EPA approved Obamaheaters?

I live in an old house with the original radiators. I've been here 30 years and never had to do a thing. The system has been drained from time to time when we've had major plumbing done, but we've never touched the radiators. Of course, they're 100 years old, so they were made back before things got "improved."

46 posted on 01/26/2014 11:43:33 AM PST by sphinx
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To: EinNYC
If you're really desperate for comfort, try a little space heater with radiate heat until they get things fixed. Not one of those units that just heat the air and blow it out. They're a waste of money. The hot air just rises and only keeps the ceiling warm. I mean something that glows red hot. The rest of the house will stay cold, but anything in front of a radiant heater will be nice and toasty.

I've been without other sources of heat in the bitter cold. A radiant heater is the only thing that made it tolerable.

47 posted on 01/26/2014 11:46:43 AM PST by freerepublicchat
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To: fso301
I saw where High Priest Al Gore issued a prophesy from his yacht in the Caribbean that 60F will soon be a thing of the past south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Saw a weather report last week while in the BVI that showed Key West with a low of 52.

48 posted on 01/26/2014 11:56:04 AM PST by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: EinNYC
This is the only scoop I have:

It handles cat food very well.

:Must be some heckuva cat!

49 posted on 01/26/2014 12:01:22 PM PST by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: JimRed
6.8 lbs. vs. 12 lbs. Guess who beats up who?


50 posted on 01/26/2014 12:18:13 PM PST by EinNYC
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