No heat, little heat, and tons of heat

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Old 01-26-08, 09:29 PM
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No heat, little heat, and tons of heat

Dear Forum,

Hi, I'm writing this post as a person with almost no knowledge in boilers and radiant heaters; however, there is a problem that I'd like to discuss here. I've browsed through the forum and have found similar problems, but I'm unable to decipher the terms and techniques. Let me first outline my situation.

Please bare with me as I explain the situation, and there is no technical information posted as of yet. If you can provide assistance, please specify which information/pictures you need and I will happily post them.

This is a 40 unit motel and has been constructed approximately 50-60 years ago. I've purchased this property and business in June of 2007, and as my first winter here, I'm realizing there is a heating issue.

Setup = 2 commercial boilers in the basement. Building has 2 stories excluding basement. Each room has approximately 3-7 baseboards, which is using hot water system.

Issue 1 = Baseboard does not give off any heat, while the other baseboard in the room do.

Issue 2 = Very few baseboards give off a lot of heat, the other baseboards give off very little.

Most of the rooms cannot hit 30 degrees celcius (approx 100 degrees fareinheit). Each room has a temperature control, and if set to 30 celcius, it will only heat to 17 degrees. Outside is -15 celcius to -10 celsius at the moment.

I have contractors and friends scheduled to come in, but they are free later this week. Any information that can be provided would be greatly appreciated.

PS. Any great beginner websites or books that can teach a homeowner/businessowner how boilers, piping, radiant heating works?
 
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Old 01-27-08, 07:08 AM
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Sounds like you will become a boiler guy soon!


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add this and your a jump ahead
http://www.heatinghelp.com/shopcart/...?category=2-41
 
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Old 01-27-08, 08:17 AM
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You may have any number of problems wrong with the system. I do alot of motels and hotels that also use the boilers for their domestic hot water by way of an indirect water heater. This is a water heater that uses the heat from the heating system (boiler) to heat the domestic (sink, shower, bath, jacuzzi) hot water.

What I normally do AFTER the winter is gone, I LOWER the high limits on all the boilers in these commercial establishments to about 140* F because they will only need that temperature for making the domestic HW and not for heating. Some establishments have a "summer/winter" switch installed so that I don't have to make the adjustment manually.

LOOK for a 'summer/winter' switch somewhere.

LOOK to see what the temperature of the boilers are when they go off (satisfied high limit) when there is no call for heat. This should be at about 190*F. If they go off at about 140* they are running in 'summer' mode.

THIS is the first thing I would do. Determine the system operating temperature first! THEN we can look for problems.
 
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Old 01-27-08, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Villa Motel View Post

Issue 1 = Baseboard does not give off any heat, while the other baseboard in the room do.

Issue 2 = Very few baseboards give off a lot of heat, the other baseboards give off very little.
A lot could be told from a visual inspection...

Inspect the baseboard units, are the full of dust and debris ? Some perhaps more than others ? Are there any VALVES on the piping at either end of the baseboard unit ? Some types of valves are TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED (aka TRV ). A lot can be told by the type of piping scheme employed... there are several methods: MONOFLO, SERIES LOOP, DIRECT RETURN, REVERSE RETURN, etc ...

It's very possible that the problem could be something as simple as 'air locked' piping. If there are bubbles of air trapped in the piping, the water can't pass.

Originally Posted by Villa Motel View Post
Most of the rooms cannot hit 30 degrees celcius (approx 100 degrees fareinheit). Each room has a temperature control, and if set to 30 celcius, it will only heat to 17 degrees. Outside is -15 celcius to -10 celsius at the moment.
wow, 100 ! why would you want to ? Even if the system were operating properly, that might not even be possible, depending on the heat loss, etc. But they should at least be able to get the rooms to 70F . (btw, I'm guessing you are not in the USA ..)

I would start by giving all the baseboard units a good cleaning, and LOOKing for valves, etc ... if you find anything that you don't know what it is, feel free to post a picture.
 
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Old 01-27-08, 11:16 AM
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Thank you everyone for taking the time to write a clear response. I will gather some pictures and information required to get this discussion going and post later on today. Before I do, I just wanted to say a big 'Thank you'.

Kind regards,
Frank
 
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