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Radiators may not be giving off enough heat

chap007
chap007 Member Posts: 17
I have a 2 story house w/ baseboard heat, the 1st floor does not seem to get warm enough to satisfy thermostat and
sometimes I hear a gurgling noise in pipes on the second floor. I turned up the thermostat a little due to the colder temps. Do you think purging the system would help since the noise is probably air in the pipes?

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,132
    Hot water, I presume? How's the pressure in the system? And what temperature is the supply side running at?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • chap007
    chap007 Member Posts: 17
    yes, hot water,the system pressure is normal and the temperature if im looking at the right gauge is about 150.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,132
    How is the supply water temperature controlled? 150 may not be hot enough, especially in this colder weather.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • chap007
    chap007 Member Posts: 17
    I have a aquastat and the settings are 170 and 190. The 150 is an approx. i read from a gauge in h2o, the burner shuts off when the water temp reaches around 180.
  • chap007
    chap007 Member Posts: 17
    ok , ill purge the system, about a year ago we replaced the air vent because air in the pipes was a common occurrence. Since then I have had no problems .I might just be over concerned because of the recent cold temperatures.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    chap007 said:

    yes, hot water,the system pressure is normal and the temperature if im looking at the right gauge is about 150.

    What is "Normal" system pressure? That's as important as any number you show. Especially if you are hearing "gurgling" upstairs.

  • chap007
    chap007 Member Posts: 17
    I purged the system, it had a little air in it and the pipes feel hotter and radiators feel like more heat is coming out. The 150 is the feet H20 reading and the temp gauge is reading between 180 and 190 F. All is well, Thank You Jamie and Hatterasguy.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    chap007 said:

    ok , ill purge the system, about a year ago we replaced the air vent because air in the pipes was a common occurrence. Since then I have had no problems .I might just be over concerned because of the recent cold temperatures.

    If you had "air in the pipes" as a common occurrence, the pressure was too low in the system. I owned and built three 2 story Cape type houses with baseboard heat. Not ONCE did I ever have a zone stop because of air in over 40 years. I always kept the systems at or above 18#, checked with a gauge and the PRV set for that.

    If you have a cold start boiler, and a #30 or equivalent Extrol/bladder tank, the tank is undersized and needs to be increased to a #60, or another #30 added. Any automatic air vents above the boiler/first floor need to be removed. Float vents need to have their caps tightened so they can't suck air when the system cools down.

    I must be the only one, but I noticed that often, when I just raised the pressure in the system, that I didn't need any purging and the system worked fine.

    If the Pressure Reducing Valve doesn't have a fast fill by-pass, it needs to be replaced with one that has. If you try to raise the pressure in an old PRV, they often continue to leak by and overfill the system.

    If you hear what sounds like water running through the pipes on the top floor, the pressure isn't high enough and the water is boiling in the top pipes. Just raising the pressure will stop the boiling. The top floor may be in a vacuum which lowers the boiling point.

    It isn't a vacuum/vapor steam system. Raising the temperature will make it worse. You have to increase the pressure properly first. Don't believe what the Tridicator gauge says. It probably isn't working properly.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited January 2015
    chap007 said:

    I purged the system, it had a little air in it and the pipes feel hotter and radiators feel like more heat is coming out. The 150 is the feet H20 reading and the temp gauge is reading between 180 and 190 F. All is well, Thank You Jamie and Hatterasguy.

    So, where did the air come from? You need to resolve that. Is the expansion device too small? Just because the system is hot, and the pressure is up, only means that the liquid in the system has expanded. If you shut off the system and let it get cold, does the pressure drop appreciably? Do you have any automatic air eliminator devices on the top floor radiation that will suck air in then the pressure goes negative?

    Like I just said earlier, I lived in 2 story Cape style houses for over 40 years and never once had an air bound system.

    I found many other systems, maintained by others that had them. Especially convector cabinets. They all had automatic coin vents. They all had air. When I raised the system pressure, they stopped sucking air.

    If and however you "purge", if the returning purge water isn't strong enough to wash the soap off your car when you wash it, you don't have enough pressure to properly purge it. But if you raise the pressure, it will usually resolve itself on its own.

  • chap007
    chap007 Member Posts: 17
    22 psi.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    chap007 said:

    22 psi.

    Read what I just posted.

    Is the "22 PSI" a hot, warm or cold pressure. It makes a huge difference due to the expansion of heated fluids in a closed system. What the pressure in the system when it is cold is the measure.

  • Robert O'Connor_12
    Robert O'Connor_12 Member Posts: 728
    If it's colder than what the outdoor design temperature is, it's not going to keep up. How cold is it where you are & where might that be?
    Got a bunch of calls like that yesterday when temperature dropped 10 degrees below normal low temperature for my region.
    icesailor