radiators stone cold on 2nd and third floor


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Old 10-21-06, 03:00 PM
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Question radiators stone cold on 2nd and third floor

I just moved into an 80 year old house, and the heat is now needed. I have a SlantFin Galaxy GG boiler(5 years old), with radiant floor heating in 2 parts of the house, and radiators in the rest.

One Radiator on the 2nd floor is stone cold, as are the 2 on the 3rd floor. The other 3 on the 2nd floor are fine. I have bled all the radiators, starting in the 3rd floor, working down.

The pressure stays around 12 psi on the boiler.

There is one pipe in the basement that runs through a valve of some kind, and is warm on one side of the valve cold on the other. The valve is open.

Any suggestions.
 
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Old 10-21-06, 04:26 PM
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pressure

What was the pressure before you bleed air from the system? 12 PSI seems a bit low for a three story house.
 
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Old 10-21-06, 04:36 PM
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not sure what it was I'm afraid....I only just figured out today how to check the pressure! (i'm completely new to a non-forced air system)

- also, after doing some more reading about 'flow balancing' I shut off 2 radiators on the 2nd floor, and now I have heat in the 2nd floor radiator. Also cranked the thermostat up so the system was running for a while. It just turned off and the pressure is ~ 19psi.

3rd floor is still stone cold.
 
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Old 10-21-06, 05:00 PM
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Wink

Do you have any bleeder valves on the 3rd floor there.

One Radiator on the 2nd floor is stone cold, as are the 2 on the 3rd floor. The other 3 on the 2nd floor are fine. I have bled all the radiators, starting in the 3rd floor, working down.
Lets start over and start at the bottom. Get water out of each one then move up to #2 floor water out of all then. Then up to #3rd floor. Do you get air out or water out on the 3rd floor R/D bleeders

There is one pipe in the basement that runs through a valve of some kind, and is warm on one side of the valve cold on the other. The valve is open.

This can be the feed pressure and pop off valve. There for the boiler the Psi should have been set for what you need there in the home That 19 to 20 could be what you need for the 3rd floor

ED
 
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Old 10-21-06, 05:15 PM
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errr....

not sure - are those different from the small valve at the top I turned when I bled them? (sorry- but i'm a complete neophyte!)
 
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Old 10-21-06, 05:19 PM
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Wink

Sorry R/D is just short for radiators, . What do you get out of the bleeder's on the 3rd floor. Anything????

ED
 
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Old 10-21-06, 05:53 PM
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i get water out of the third floor
 
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Old 10-21-06, 06:25 PM
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No heat

I suggest you increase the pressure to 18-20# & try bleeding again. Don't know if you bled with the system on or off. Sometimes it works better with the system on sometimes with it off.

Regarding the valve in the basement which is hot on one side & cold on the other. Does it look anything like this:
http://taco-hvac.com/en/products/Flo-Chek/products.html?current_category=183

or any of these:
http://www.bellgossett.com/productPages/Parts-Flo-Control-Valves.asp
 
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Old 10-21-06, 07:17 PM
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the valve looks a little like the taco flo-chek- and I just noticed that someone took the time to paint the underside of it green.
Here is a picture - it is some distance from the boiler. It is warm to the right of the valve with the dial on it.
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/baldrick99/DSCF0112.jpg

there is another pipe nearby, which looks generally the same.

and....I'm afraid I do not know how to increase the pressure.

one other fact - I have one thermostat on the first floor, another on the second. The person I purchased from told me the one on the second floor only controls the central air (ductless system) so I just turned it off after the summer....is it possible it controls the heat to the third floor as well?
 
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Old 10-21-06, 08:25 PM
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Valve/Thermostat

The valve in the picture is a common gate valve not a flo-check. Make sure it & the other one like it are fully open.

The boiler should have a device on it which looks something like this:
http://taco-hvac.com/en/products/Boiler+Feed+Valves/products.html?current_category=115

This:
http://www.bellgossett.com/homeowners/HT-Pressure-Reducing-Valves.asp

or This: http://amtrol.com/pdf/filltrolIO.pdf

If one of the first two, tighten screw one turn at a time until the gauge reads 18-20#. Allow about 5 minutes between turns on the screw.
 
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Old 10-22-06, 07:35 AM
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valves

There is a valve leading into the boiler:

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/baldrick99/DSCF0113.jpg

It is labelled Watts REgulator 1156F, with 2 notations : "Set 12-15" Range 12-25"
When I lift the bronze knob on the top, there is the sound of running water. I am assuming I should let water in until the pressure increases?

There is also (at the back of the boiler) a tank that looks like the last item you had a link to: it appears to have a label on it describing it as the expansion tank.
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/baldrick99/DSCF0114.jpg
 
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Old 10-22-06, 08:03 AM
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Valve/tank

The valve in the first photo is the reducing valve. Lifting the handle by-passes the regulating function. There is also a lock nut on top of the valve. Loosen the lock nut & turn the stem/lever clockwise, as if to turn the stem down into the valve, to increase the pressure.

The tank is indeed an expansion tank. It's purpose is to give heated water some place to go without increasing pressure on the boiler.
 
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Old 10-22-06, 11:15 AM
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pressure update

With a temp of 190F, the pressure is ~21psi.
I have re-bled the rads and the 3rd floor continues to be cold - not only the radiators themselves, but also the pipes coming in. 2nd floor is now fine.

With regard to the flow control valves, the pipes are still hot on one side and cold on the other. I have opened them all the way and (just in case I dont know open from closed!) I turned them all the other way as well to see if it made a difference, and it did not.
 
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Old 10-22-06, 11:26 AM
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Question

past post by you.
baldrick99 i get water out of the third floor .

Do you get water out of the third floor bleeders????? At the old PSI.

ED
 
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Old 10-22-06, 11:33 AM
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3rd floor

i got water at the old psi - not a stream like out of the others, more of a dribble. same at new psi
 
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Old 10-22-06, 04:57 PM
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Dribble

I can't help but believe there is a blockage somewhere, of some type. Does each radiator have a valve where the pipe comes into the rad? If so, have you tried turning them?
 
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Old 10-22-06, 05:07 PM
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the valves into the rads are open - more telling is that ALL the pipes on the third floor are cold - including leading into the valves.

How can I track down a blockage?
 
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Old 10-22-06, 06:06 PM
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Blockage

Blockages are usually manual valves closed, flow control valves sticking, or zone valves failing to open. In neither of you photos do I see any flow control valves or zone valves. Maybe a couple of more pics at wider angle would help me find them.
 
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Old 10-22-06, 06:31 PM
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more pics

here are a few different shots - the first are the valves that are cold on one side:
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/baldrick99/DSCF0123.jpg

The boiler from a few angles:
1.http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/baldrick99/DSCF0125.jpg

2.http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/baldrick99/DSCF0126.jpg

3. http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/baldrick99/DSCF0127.jpg

Thanks so much for taking the time to look at this!
 
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Old 10-22-06, 06:50 PM
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Photos

The green valves appear to be ordinary gate valves. Where they go, what they are for?????

In photo DSCF0126, there is a valve with a yellow hand wheel. Below & right of it is a zone valve. Judging by the wires, I suspect there to be another 1 or more. Turn all of your thermostats all the way up & check the zone valve(s) to be sure they are open. With this type of valve, there should be a small lever at the bottom of the valve. If that lever moves very easily all or nearly all the way to the right, the valve is open.

If all zone valves are opening & the circulator is running, I'm lost. If there is the name of an installing company on the boiler or any literature you have, I would suggest calling them.
 
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Old 10-22-06, 07:05 PM
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the box to the right of the yellow valve is marked "invensys" and looks like this in a close up:
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/baldrick99/DSCF0128.jpg

there is a slide on the bottom, with an arrow indicating "open" is on the left.
it moves easily.

as for the gate valves, where they go is into the basement wall, and what are they for....no idea!
I have turned up the thermostats, moved the slide to 'open' anmd will wait to see what happens.
 
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Old 10-22-06, 07:11 PM
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Zone valve

In the original pic it looked like a Honeywell which opens to the right. This must be a different brand. As long as the lever moves easily during a call for heat, I have to presume it is opening.
 
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Old 10-22-06, 07:53 PM
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still no heat on the 3rd floor....i am becoming convinced it is something to do with those valves - the pipes disappear into the wall, but go in the direction of where the pipes on the 3rd floor come up out of the floor. the valves dont move very far, and remain cold no matter which direction i turn them.

there is a bit of corrosion/discharge around the valve - perhaps it needs replacing?
 
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Old 10-22-06, 08:19 PM
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Gate valves

These valve handles don't move very far? Not good. Gate valves usually take forever to open or close. You might want to try the old "good firm tap" with a hammer on the body of the valves. If you look at them closely you will see a narrow band running verticle in the center of the valve body. That is where the "gate" rides & a good place to "tap".
 
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Old 10-29-06, 02:04 PM
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success!

I seem to have solved my problem - I went and re-bled all the rads with the system running - and discovered one of the rads had a bleed valve hidden under a wooden cover that I had previously missed - and it took a long time to get all the air out!

With that done, there is now heat on the third floor.

Still not sure why there is that pipe with a valve that doesnt seem to open....but since the system is working now, i think I will leave well enough alone!

Thanks for your help....greatly appreciated!
 
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Old 10-29-06, 03:45 PM
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Thumbs up Heat

Good job. Glad you got it going & we were able to help in some small way.
I tend to agree on not rocking the boat on the valve thing.
 
 

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