Different temps in each bedroom


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Old 12-19-20, 10:24 PM
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Different temps in each bedroom

Second floor of the house has 4 bedrooms that all see different temperatures. I will list the specs of the bedrooms below. 1st bedroom is currently empty but will likely be a babies room. 2nd and 3rd bedrooms have a 11 and 15 year old and the 4th bedroom is the master. A Nest thermostat for heat only is located in the master. We have a Burnham v84 oil boiler for baseboard heating and hot water that is set to 195. There are 3 zones (basement, 1st floor, 2nd floor) each with a new Taco 007 pump and Taco 3 zone relay. Each floor has nest thermostat. Hardwood floors throughout the whole house and no carpet.

The kids have been saying that their rooms have been cold so I placed a temperature sensor in each of the 3 bedrooms. After checking each sensor and the master bedroom thermostat numerous times throughout the day for the past 2 weeks, I discovered that the 1st bedroom is always 4 colder then the master. The 2nd and 3rd bedrooms are always 3 colder then the master. This may not seem like a big difference BUT, we leave the thermostat set to 66-67 which is comfortable for all of us during the day and night. 63 to sleep is too cold for the kids.

I pulled the covers off every baseboard. I confirmed the fins are all oriented correctly, straightened any bent fins, vacuumed all the dust/debris, and sprayed the fins with vinegar/water mix to clean them. There are no obstructions or any items blocking the bottoms of the baseboards and all baseboards are fully open. I also confirmed that every baseboard is full of fins from end to end with no bare pipe.

We moved into this house about 3 years ago. Last spring I changed all 3 circulator pumps and installed the 3 zone relay to convert the line voltage system to 24v for the new Nest thermostats. At that time, the basement and 1st floor had old Taco 007 pumps and the 2nd floor (where the bedrooms are located) had a Armstong Astro 230ci 3 speed pump set to speed 2. Now every zone has new Taco 007.

I believe the loop runs like this. Master bedroom to 1st bedroom to 2nd bedroom to 3rd bedroom to hallway bathroom to master bathroom to master closet back to boiler. I took some temp readings with the infrared gun directly between the fins. I was reading roughly 155-160 in the master bedroom and between 140-150 in the other bedrooms.

I have read about covering a section of fins with aluminum foil which sounds like an easy fix for the master bedroom. But, if the baseboards are undersized for the other bedrooms then I would like to have that fixed. Especially the 1st bedroom if we plan to have another baby.

Is it possible that the Taco pump is not powerful enough for the 2nd floor? I could swap the Armstrong pump back in and turn the speed up if that would fix the problem.

Any ideas?

1st Bedroom - 111 ft2 / 892 ft3 - 4' of baseboard
2nd Bedroom - 148 ft2 / 1184 ft3 - 8' of baseboard
3rd Bedroom - 156 ft2 / 1251 ft3 - 8' of baseboard
(Master) 4th Bedroom - 275 ft2 / 2200 ft3 - 14' of baseboard
 
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Old 12-19-20, 11:43 PM
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Typically rooms have the baseboard along the outside wall only.
Sounds like the master bedroom has it along two walls.

There are or should be louvers on your baseboard heaters. To reduce the heat in a room you can adjust them more towards closed or close portions off. This will allow the other rooms get more of the heat and equalize.
 
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Old 12-20-20, 05:51 AM
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Note: Steam or forced hot water radiators are not a fire hazard if covered with blankets or otherwise blocked.

But in the cooler rooms I would suggest almost a foot of empty space in front of the radiators (baseboards) for easy air circulation and warming.

Fasten cardboard in strategic locations so freshly heated air rising from the radiators does not touch window glass first thing.

Right now I am suggesting not putting back the stronger Armstrong (no pun intended) pump. I am guessing that that will speed up the heating but keep the same temperature imbalance regardless of how soon the thermostat stops calling for heat..
 
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-20-20 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 12-20-20, 10:39 AM
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PJmax All bedrooms do in fact have the baseboards against the outside walls. The master has 2 sections of 7' baseboard along the same wall. These simple calculators online suggest that the other 3 bedrooms may have been shorted 1 or 2 feet of baseboard. If that is the case then simply reducing the heat in the master is probably the best choice.

AllanJ All bedrooms do in fact have plenty of clearance and free space in front of the baseboards. In fact, the smallest bedroom is completely empty with no furniture.
 
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Old 12-20-20, 02:12 PM
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bentz69 might consider while solving these issues also find ways to improve system and lower costs.

Especially on multi zone systems new technology ECM motor circulator/pumps like Grundfos Alpha2 are major improvement. Have LCD display of actual GPM rate and watts. 5% less electricity, same as size as Taco 007 and B&G Series 100. just plug and pay.

Especially on multi zone systems, new technology ECM motor circulator/pumps are major improvement.

Do not need zone valve end switches to activate! Can be left powered on, automatically adjust to changing multi zones needs.

bentz69 might valve throttling a zone to adjust heat. Alpha2 will automatically adapt.

One Grundfos Alpha2 GPM has capacity can replace several Taco 007s
https://www.supplyhouse.com/Grundfos...mp-w-Line-Cord

DH start with 13 element 1 zone B&G circulator. Now have 8 zones, 6 thermostat , 2 circulators, 250' pipe system.
 

Last edited by doughess; 12-20-20 at 02:49 PM.
  #6  
Old 12-21-20, 01:56 PM
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B,
You have 1 14ft, 2 8ft, and 1 4 ft. of baseboard with your stat in the room with the most baseboard which means when that room is satisfied it shuts the stat down and the other rooms also stop heating. Going by the temps you posted your room where the stat is locatedd is the room where the circuit starts and ends in the last room on the circuit.

When heatloss is figured for each room the baseboard that is installed is figured at roughly 600 btu's a foot @ 180 deg water supplied to it. If the water is less the heat value is less. They may have figured your baseboard to match your heatloss @ the 180 deg temp but with lower temps you're not getting the proper heat for the space.

For example your room has 14 ft which at 180 deg is valued @ 8400 btu's but at 160 it's roughly 450-480 per ft. depending at 1gpm or 4gpm delivered by the pump so instead of 8400 btu's you are getting 6720 @ 480 per ft @ 160 deg. and so forth down the line.

You may be under ratiated because of the water temp being delived and compound that by the stat being in the room with the most radiation and highest water temp besides that. As the water goes through the elements it loses its heat value so the last room on the circuit gets the least.

Even if you went with another pump you will still have the same situation. The first room will heat the fastest and still shut the stat off. I think you were right on point when you mentioned cutting back on radiation in the stat room to give the other rooms a chance to heat up or your only other option is to add more baseboard to the other rooms. Even if you cover up or close the damper down the water will still heat the element and lose water temp on the way through to the end.

The other way but it is more permanent is to remove some fins from the master bedroom. That would let the stat run longer and the water would not lose as much temp. Your room would still heat up because it would heat until the stat is satisfied. Those elements can be easily cut with tin snips.

Slant Fin baseboard specs (pdf)

Just a thought, hope this helps a little.
 
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Last edited by PJmax; 12-21-20 at 05:06 PM. Reason: fixed link
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Old 12-21-20, 07:01 PM
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I would not snip out existing fins in the baseboard radiator. I think that is not necessary.

With the louvers closed enough or crumpled cloth or paper stuffed inside, enough heat would be bottled up close to the finned element that additional water passing through won't lose as much temperature, then carrying more heat through to the next room. Also with more heat bottled up within the baseboard, it will take longer for enough heat to get out and satisfy the thermostat. This gives more time to heat up the other rooms before the first room gets too warm..
 
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Old 12-22-20, 10:32 AM
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Playing with baseboards and heat calculations are not a solutions.

Allanj might first try to get maximum heat out of existing system.

Install higher capacity, auto sensing pump and auto vents. Then deal with differences in temperature of rooms.

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Grundfos-99163932-ALPHA2-15-55FR-Cast-Iron-Circulator-Pump-115V-1-16-HP-GF-15-26-Rotated-Flange

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Watts-05...Vent-3679000-p

Taco 007 for $100 are the smallest circulators in wide use. The widely used $300 big red Bell & Gossett Series 100 have far more capacity. Greedy, profit driven installers went cheap. Home owners suffer.

Boiler wall scaling which reduces boiler life, increases above 180Fs. That is reason 180F is normally max temperate setting.

Installers use higher temp is quick fix for inadequate heat and owner pays for subsequent boiler replacement.
 

Last edited by doughess; 12-22-20 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 12-22-20, 10:34 AM
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Allen,
As I said snipping is permanent and a last resort but by covering the louvers or the other things mentioned it would only stop the heat from entering the room. The water loses it temp through the elements no mater if they are open to the air or covered. As long as the water goes through the element it will lose water temp.

A high capacity pump is of no use if your system is loaded with air or you do no not have enough heat installed. No matter what capacity pump you have if you pump water through bare pipe you will still get no heat. The size of your pump depends on what you need it to do.
 
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Old 12-22-20, 08:35 PM
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Bare pipe probably means air, not water in it. So again venting/auto vents are first thing to check before tinkering with baseboards.

ECM circulators with auto sensing adapt GPM to changing load conditions. Unlike old fixed curve pumps. Apparently many are not familiar with the new types.
 
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Old 12-23-20, 04:40 AM
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< < < The water loses it temp through the elements no mater if they are open to the air or covered. As long as the water goes through the element it will lose water temp. >>>

It is physically impossible for boiler water to lose as much temp with the element covered up compared with open to the air. The heat has to go somewhere. And, if boiler water comes into the master bedroom baseboard at 160 degrees then nothing will ever exceed 160 degrees. So the "excess" heat has to be carried out by the boiler water continuing to the next room. Still less heat will be dropped off in the master bedroom if you cover the unfinned portions of the pipe in the baseboard with ordinary pipe insulating sleeves.

I do suggest covering the back side of the finned elements, not just the front and top of the enclosure. Corrugated cardboard is a good material to use.

< < < Bare pipe probably means air, not water, in it >>>

Only if the pipe in the baseboard is tilted so that the unfinned part is slightly higher, or the system is underfilled with water. Because baseboards do not have air vents on risers resembling water hammer arrestors, bleeding them is more complex than bleeding upright cast iron radiators. Sometimes you have to use brute force, namely pump large amounts of new water through and observing the open drain valve until bubbling of trapped air stops. A treatise on boiler bleeding is off topic here.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 12-23-20 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 12-23-20, 02:19 PM
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Aj's suggestion of putting cardboard behind elements rang some old bells.

Many years go, DH covered area behind heating elements and casing back (outside wall), with 12 inch aluminum kitchen foil, on 1/2" Styrofoam, using spray glue.

Also used small pieces of Styrofoam to keep hot element headers away from cold metal casings.

Win-win deal, reflects element heat to room and reduces outside heat loss. A cheap, long term pay back.
 

Last edited by doughess; 12-23-20 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 12-23-20, 07:37 PM
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I'm not sure why pumps are being discussed here. We have a hot room and two cold rooms. Pumps and water speed cannot fix the problem. Radiation needs to be reduced in the hot room or increased in the cold rooms.

Since the thermostat is in the hot room.... the easiest solution is to reduce radiation in that room.

FOCUS
 
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Old 12-23-20, 08:15 PM
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Great info everyone. TY.

I covered about 3.5' of fins in the master with foil which is roughly 25% of the total fin area. I had heat off all day to clean all the baseboards and all the bedrooms dropped to 61. When I turned the heat back on, the master bedroom quickly rose to 66 while the other 3 rooms were creeping up to 63. I closed one of two baseboards in the master (7' of the total 14') and the rising temp slowed while the other rooms caught up. As the master touched 68, all other rooms were still around 65-66. I had to partially close the second baseboard to allow the other bedrooms to catch up. Eventually 3 of the 4 rooms were the same temp while the smallest bedroom was 1 cooler.

Ive noticed over the past 2 days that the temp in each bedroom is much closer to the master since I closed the baseboards in the master. I have also noticed that all 3 bedrooms drop temperature much quicker then the master. If I set the thermostat to 67, I can achieve 66-67 in each bedroom before the thermostat shuts off the heat. However, each bedroom besides that master will drop temps much quicker.

For example, thermostat is set to 67 while we sleep and each room is roughly 66-67 throughout the nite which is good. During the day I will turn the temp down to 63 because nobody is in the bedrooms. The master will stay between 64-65 but all the other bedrooms will drop to 60-61. I turn the heat back on in the evening and each room is heating up quicker then the master because the baseboards are closed in the master.
 
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Old 12-23-20, 09:19 PM
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The basics of hydronic heat transfer, without getting into formulas, is GPM pump flow and difference in water temperature in and out of element/zone.

A pound of water transfers far more heat that pound of air. Think of size of baseboard pipe versus room hot air heating system duct for same size room. Also, air in hydronic lines reduces heat transfer.

To just focus on air flow over elements is ignoring basics.

Beside checking rooms air temperature, bentz69 might check heating elements with IR thermometer:

https://www.homedepot.com/b/Electric...1z1180y?NCNI-5
 

Last edited by doughess; 12-23-20 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 12-23-20, 09:26 PM
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It's thermal mass. The master bedroom baseboards have more physical mass than the other rooms. Once they heat up they will hold the heat longer than the other bedrooms. There isn't much you can do with that without increasing the emitters in the other bedrooms.
 
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Old 12-24-20, 07:45 AM
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This tread is about differences in room temperatures.

Measuring temperatures of a room's heating elements with circulator running would provide key basic info.

If room element temperatures are similar, then heat transfer to room air or a high room heat loss may be issue.

Another useful data source is to measure temperature difference / delta-T of a zone lines which is commonly 20F to 30F.

Getting basic data on a system is often best way to solve problems. All those room elements may not be at similar temperatures. from 170F source.
 

Last edited by doughess; 12-24-20 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 12-24-20, 12:24 PM
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B,
As was mentioned before they installed the stat in the room that heats up the quickest so the stat shuts down before the other rooms get sufficient heat. Whoever figured that job did an awful job. If you have to close the vents in the master bedroom to get heat to the others that is a poorly figured job.

The simple truth is you have a couple of options and that is to lessen the amount of fins in the master bedroom or add fins which is the more logical choice in the other rooms.

Another choice you have is to move the stat in one of the colder rooms so it will run longer but that may overheat your room.

You mentioned the temp loss in the rooms when you shut the stat down during the day. Seems like a large difference between the drop in the master and the other rooms. Have you considered having someone come in and check your insulation. You seem to be losing a lot more heat from the smaller rooms than the master.

The pump is doing its job because you have hot water in the pipes all the way through. You can raise your boiler temp as high as you want and that will increase the heat but it will increase the heat to all rooms including the master and it will not help with the heat loss during the day.

In short to me you have 2 problems. Not enough element and something causing excess heat loss in the smaller rooms.

Just my thoughts, hope this helps a little.
 
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Old 12-24-20, 01:08 PM
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doughess I have checked the temps with a thermal gun. I was reading roughly 155-160 in the master bedroom and between 140-150 in the other bedrooms. Supply temps are 160-170 when measured at the beginning of the supply pipe. Return temps are 130-140 when measured right before the pump

spott Insulation is the definitely the next thing to check. A quick peak in the attic shows insulation is laid evenly over the celing of each room. I will have check the walls though
 
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Old 12-24-20, 01:13 PM
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Fin-tube baseboard works by a combination of radiation & convection (primarily convection). If one reduces the convection by covering or removing fins, one reduces the amount of heat emitted by the baseboard. Bare 3/4" copper pipe will only emit about 45 BTU/hr based on 180* water & 70* air.
 
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Old 12-24-20, 01:38 PM
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check the walls
You can use your thermal gun to get a rough idea of where the most insulation might be missing or the cold air infiltrating. The colder outside the more temperature differential will show.
 
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Old 12-24-20, 02:24 PM
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I can only suggest to not spend your $$$ on stuff that was stated about.

Check the gauge on the boiler.. They are always inaccurate. What temp are you really getting out the boiler?

Next would be the t stat. It should never be in a bedroom with other rooms on the zone. Hallway? Move it to the hall way

I think the new t stats can be programmed to use a different temp sensor instead of the t stat itself. Try that. Or use averages.

sealing and insulation. Drafty windows? More insulation ? Attic above etc etc.

When my boiler up north ran it was 180f out and 170f back once it got rolling. 20f delta tee was common. when starting.

This was with 80 feet element per zone on an 85k boiler. 44k btu .
 
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Old 12-24-20, 03:42 PM
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DIYer Spent $5,000 Over Years & Now Saves $2,500 year

bentz69 temperature data helps greatly to understand his situation.

Would verify/measure temperature at boiler and set 180F.

At bedroom 150F & 160F is low. To reduce heat loss insulate all hydronic pipes, in boiler room, garage ceiling or where ever. Insulation is cheap and eternal payback.

Look at heating element metal casings and baseboard back panels outside cold conductor as big heat loss. Use aluminum foil and thin Styrofoam to insulate.

Look for other ways to reduce room heat loss. Replaced windows, etc.. which provides long term cost savings.

In attic DH closes off outside ventilators for winter. Attic door is insulated and weather stripped. When neighbors recarpeted used their old stuff for added insulation on attic floor.

Over the years cut oil consumption from 1800 gallons year to 600 gallons for $2,500 year savings.
 

Last edited by doughess; 12-24-20 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 12-24-20, 04:30 PM
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B,
After rereading your initial post I have a question or concern. You said your boiler is ser at 195 deg. and yet your supply temp at your first piece of baseboard measured with your temp gun is about 165.

How and where are you losing 30 deg from the boiler to the baseboard. As was mentioned your temp gauge may be off on your boiler. You could try turning up your boiler to see what happens or get a second temp gauge that screws onto a valve somewhere to see how close they come. If the second gauge reads the 165 like you are getting at the baseboard turn up your boiler to correspond with the second gauge and see if it makes a difference.

Still after all of this the bedrooms, are still losing heat at a faster rate than the master so there must be an insulation or window problem somewhere I would think.
 
 

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