Troubleshooting Baseboard Radiators Troubleshooting Baseboard Radiators

Baseboard radiators are still used in a lot of homes around the country. While a lot of people are switching to central heating, baseboard radiators are still a great way to keep a house heated, one room at a time. Working on the principle of zones, baseboard radiators heat one room at a time, or a section of an open area. Baseboard heaters can come in many different forms from electric to hydronic to gas radiators - they all work the same. The heat radiates from the coils on the heater, or the steam from the water, to keep a room at a constant temperature. Baseboard radiators are not free from problems. Depending on the type of heater you have, the problems will be different. Here are a few of the different problems that you may have with your baseboard heater.

Hot Smell in Room

This is most associated with electric baseboard heaters. If you walk into a room and notice that something smells hot, or even burning, quickly check the wall outlet. A lot of times people will plug in their electric baseboard heater with an extension cord so they can situate the heater where they want it in the room. If the extension cord is not rated for a 220 volt appliance the cord will get very hot at the outlet. If left this way, it can cause damage to the outlet and even start a fire. Upgrade your extension cord to a higher rating or hardwire the heater directly to a 220 volt circuit.

No Water in Radiator

This is very common if your baseboard radiators are in a camp, or a home where the weather is very cold. If there is no water running through the radiator to give off the heat, then check the pipes to make sure they are not frozen. If they are, simply thaw them with a hair dryer at the point where they are frozen. The water should begin to flow shortly. You can then install some foam pipe insulation to keep it from happening again.

Water Leaking from Pipes

If you begin to see some water coming from your baseboard radiators, or somewhere along the line of the pipes, you will have to look at the water pipes running to them. They could be cracked from a recent freeze, or just from age. Shut off the water to the pipes and cut out the damaged one. Replace it and then turn the water back on to make sure there are no more leaks.

Loud Banging When Radiator Is in Use

There are several different factors that may be causing the pipes to bang when the baseboard radiators are working. One cause could be that the pipes are not supported in certain areas and are moving against walls or other pipes when water is flowing. Another cause might be that the holes that the pipes are traveling through are too tight and the pipes are banging against them. One other cause might be that air is trapped in the line. You will need to bleed out the air in order to get the banging to stop.

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