Baseboard heaters not getting hot

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Old 01-03-13, 06:14 PM
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Baseboard heaters not getting hot

I have a system in my apartment that consists of baseboard heaters in all of the rooms except for the bathroom, which has a radiator. This is a first floor apartment. All of the baseboards and the radiator are heating up except for three baseboards that are connected in line with each other. It looks like there is one main loop of piping that runs the heated water from the furnace and then returns it back to be heated. Certain radiators and baseboard sections are then separately connected with this main loop. The section of copper tubing that runs to these baseboards seems to be cold right where it connects to the main heated loop. I have bled the valves on the baseboards in this section, and it does not seem as if air is coming out anymore. The baseboards that are not getting hot are the farthest heating elements from the furnace. Does anyone have any ideas where to go from here? Any help is greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 01-03-13, 06:36 PM
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I assume by "apartment," you are a renter? If so, call your landlord. There is nothing to be gained by trying to fix it yourself.
 
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Old 01-03-13, 09:21 PM
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Does anyone have any ideas where to go from here?
Yes. What Gil said. Call the landlord. If you do ANYthing to the system, and something else happens, the landlord will blame you and you will be 'on the hook'.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 04:41 PM
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Sorry, I guess I should have been a little bit clearer than just writing apartment. It is a three family house that I bought and this is the first winter that I am going through in it. I am currently living in this apartment with the heating issue. I guess if I screw something up I could hold myself liable . It is the last apartment in the house to not be redone, and I am assuming that it is basically the styling of the 50s to 60s.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 05:12 PM
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How many stories do you have and what is your system pressure, both cold and hot?
 
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Old 01-04-13, 05:38 PM
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Ram, read this about pressure gauges:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...ure-gauge.html

And although at the moment you may not need to know this, store it in the bed of your pickup for later use, you WILL need to know this at some point:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...sion-tank.html

If I understand your description correctly, you have a SUPPLY and a RETURN to and from the boiler, and there are TWO parallel 'circuits' of baseboard/radiator that are piped off these main runs?

One of the circuits has flow and the other does not?

Are there any valves to temporarily shut off the flow to the one that is working? If so, close that valve. This will force the flow through the one that is NOT working and may move the air blockage that is preventing flow.

Is the boiler for your apartment also heating the other apartments? Are they all OK?
 
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Old 01-05-13, 08:51 AM
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This apartment is only on the first floor. The boiler is in the basement, and each apartment has its own seperate boiler. When I first started looking into this problem the boiler was only at 8psi. I added water to the system so now it is at 12psi cold and 20psi when hot.
 
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Old 01-05-13, 08:58 AM
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NJ trooper, thank you for the information on pressure gauges and expansion tanks. From the way it looks there seems to be one main loop running from the boiler to the part of the house where this apartment is and back again. Then there are parallel circuits running off of it to certain baseboards and radiators. The section that is not working is running three baseboards in two rooms. The piping that connects into the main loop is cold from almost right at the connection to the heated main loop. The rest of the circuits are working and heating everything. I have not seen a shut off valve, but I have mainly been looking at the circuit that has not been working, so I will need to look deeper to see whether or not there are any. All of the apartments have their own seperate boilers so everything else is ok.
 
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Old 01-05-13, 04:12 PM
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If you get a chance and have some time, take some pics of the piping around the boiler, and also where the two loops tie into the main lines.
 
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Old 01-06-13, 05:49 PM
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I got around to taking some pictures of the boiler and the lines that run through the basement. There are more than two loops that tie into the mainline, some of the baseboards and the radiator seem as through they are fed and return right back to the main line. The system basically looks like an octopus. There does not seem to be any shutoffs that could be used to block off certain parts of the system. I also started taking pockets of insulation out and it seems as if there are two more baseboards connected into this one circuit, making it a total of five baseboards that are in one loop off of the main line. Two of these baseboards are working and the other three are not. The connection from the 2nd baseboard in the loop to the third one is warm, but then the last three baseboards and the return line back to the main are cold. I'm going to try to see if I can get the baseboards to bleed anymore air out. Being that I now see that the line feeding them is warm.

Here is the link to the photos: Boiler Photos by trigger81sx | Photobucket
 
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Old 01-06-13, 06:09 PM
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Most of your photos are too out-of-focus to make much out of. And, they are close-ups, which is OK, but we also need wide-angle views, well lighted and in focus, that show how the whole system goes together. Please take some more photos (not with a cell phone, it that's what you used).
 
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