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Poor control of Baseboard heat temperature.

My condo has a boiler w/hot water baseboard heaters. All works great if I set at 71 or above but unable to adjust down to lower temps. Even with an enclosed porch door open (55 degrees) and my thermostat set at 55 the temp will not lower. Also does not adjust down if I turn the heat off for several hours. Management checked and said the valves were working. 1100 square feet with 4 rooms on outside walls and heat units below every window. I’m on the middle of three floors - could this all be pass thru from other units? This is way too warm for my liking , any suggestions would be most welcome!


  • DZoroDZoro Posts: 768Member
    After you shut the thermostat off for a few hours, do the radiators stay hot? warm? or cool?
  • the_donutthe_donut Posts: 374Member
    Neighbors on all sides? If so, their heat may be warming your room. Could also be ghost flow from return side. Pictures and descriptions of condo would be helpful.
  • himadirylie1himadirylie1 Posts: 5Member

    *One of laser temp indicators show that the heat is generally 74-75 at the valve end and drops to 69 opposite end.
    * yes, neighbors on all sides and above n below.
    * Should have added the 71temp is during the night. Daytime it is 73-75 depending on whether there’s an enclosed porch outside the room. This faces west.
  • DZoroDZoro Posts: 768Member
    You mentioned a "valve end", could you post a picture of your radiators?
  • ZmanZman Posts: 4,979Member
    Your IR heat detector will not work on pipes unless you wrap them with something non reflective like electrical tape.

    I would be a good idea to take notice of when the pipes are hot to the touch. Do they get hot when you turn on the t-stat? Do they cool when you turn it way down.

    If you have control valves on your heaters, please post a picture.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • himadirylie1himadirylie1 Posts: 5Member
    Marilyn here Mercy it is beyond me to know how to transfer my photo to this site. The long baseboard radiator has a sheet of metal about 6” tall the length of it and the adjustable vent mechanism runs the length above that. One cannot see the heat valve at the left end as it’s behind a removable metal strip. I can try to find someone to show me how a copied photo could be attached to this blog.
    Well yes the pipe is hot only when the thermostat is turned up/on. When it’s off or turned down (for many hours) the temps are as I mentioned about 76 at the valve end and 69 the opposite end.
  • HomerJSmithHomerJSmith Posts: 524Member
    edited March 2018
    Sounds like you have ghost flow. Ghost flow is an unwanted flow, where hotter water rises up the pipe and the cooler water flows down the other pipe. It is a reverse flow. This is normally stopped by putting a check valve in the circuit to prevent the movement of water.

    You say, "One of laser temp indicators show that the heat is generally 74-75 at the valve end and drops to 69 opposite end." Normally the valve is at the outlet of the baseboard. It isn't at the supply end where the hot water goes into the baseboard. Your statement tells me that you have ghost flow because the higher temperature is at the valve end and a lower temperature at what should be the supply end and this indicates to me the flow is in reverse.

    Also, sometimes, a faulty zone valve in the boiler room isn't closing off completely and warm water is passing thru the circuit to warm the baseboard, but you say the management say the valves are ok.

    You need someone who is knowledgeable to analyze the situation and make the corrections.
  • himadirylie1himadirylie1 Posts: 5Member
    Owner here. Thank you, yes your summation seems right on.
    Management uses their own heating co and possibly their evaluation was wrong. As they pick up the tab they won’t pay for an outside analysis. However I’m to the point I’ll foot that bill and then have management repair. Thank you so much. Just a little old lady here in Minneapolis.
  • DZoroDZoro Posts: 768Member
    Did you close the adjustable vent on your registers? If not I would try that for now.
  • HomerJSmithHomerJSmith Posts: 524Member
    edited March 2018
    Give these posts to the management co and ask for a reconsideration as something is surely wrong and insist they correct it. Did you buy your condo new? If it is new the management co has a legal obligation to make it right.

    With a condo, depending upon the state you are in, everything from the drywall in, is your responsibility and everything on the exterior is the responsibility of the homeowner's ass. If the boiler is in a mechanical room separate from the units it serves it belongs to the homeowner's ass. A letter to the homeowner's ass. thru the management co from a lawyer most often gets the ball rolling.

    If the boiler belongs to the homeowner's ass., you may not be able to have someone to work on it without permission of the homeowner's committee or president. Any permission from the homeowner's ass. get in writing as to what you can change and who you can hire and keep it forever.
  • himadirylie1himadirylie1 Posts: 5Member
    Building was built in 87. I’ve owned my unit for 17 years. The problem started spring of ”2017” In the dead of the winter it wasn’t an issue as the outside walls aren’t well insulated.
    Boiler does serve the whole building. Thanks for the heads up on following chain of command.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 5,729Member
    You have a supply and a return pipe feeding your heaters.
    One side may be controlled by the zone valve that your T-stat operates. The other side may have a "flow check" valve to prevent the ghost flow causing over heating.
    If it used to work, then the flow check may be stuck open.
    Some have a manual open lever that could have been accidently placed in the "open" mode.
  • HomerJSmithHomerJSmith Posts: 524Member
    edited March 2018
    As JUGHNE says, it could be a failure of a flow check or check valve. Something could be manually opened or stuck open. I would look for a flow check in your offending circuit. Giving it a rap with a hammer might jar it loose. After 17 yrs, things do get corroded up.
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