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Cold Upstairs room

Hello guys

I have been working on my steam system and made several updates.

I removed all upstairs convectors and replaced them with standing radiators.

Here is my current problem.

Downstairs temp is 73. Upstairs two rooms temp is around 68F but one room is 62F. The room with the 62F temperature has new radiator pitched properly. I have varivalve vent on it fully open. Also, this radiator is on the same side of the house where the boiler is (boiler is in the basement and this room is on 2nd floor)

When heat is on, i see the first part of radiator getting hot and the rest stays mostly warm. The entire thing does not get really hot.

Please suggest.

Thank you

Comments

  • FredFred Posts: 7,596Member
    edited December 2018
    Get rid of the Varivalves. They vent too aggressively and most likely, with it fully open, the steam is racing across the top or bottom of those radiators and closing the vent before the radiator can heat up. If you have them on all the radiators in your house, the other radiators, on the first floor may be robbing all the steam. The rule is to vent mains fast and radiators slowly. Use Vent-rite, Hoffman or Maid-O-Mist.
  • kevinjames79kevinjames79 Posts: 67Member
    edited December 2018
    Thanks for the help Fred.

    Replaced varivents with hoffman. I will let you know how it goes.
  • kevinjames79kevinjames79 Posts: 67Member
    Hello

    Changing the vent did not help. Please help.

    Problem is only in one room.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 4,969Member
    also check the pitch of all the piping associated with this radiator. You could have a low spot collecting water. Do you here any banging?? Is the radiators valve completely open??
  • kevinjames79kevinjames79 Posts: 67Member
    Attached is the image of the radiator
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 3,996Member
    What is the main venting like?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • What sort of main vents are on the returns? You need large main vents, and slower vents, like the Hoffmans on the rads.--NBC
  • FredFred Posts: 7,596Member
    Do you have Varivalves on all the other radiators in the house? Do you have all the other radiator vents fully open? Steam is going to take the path of least resistance which will be the shortest path with the largest vents on them.
    What kind of vents do you have on the Mains? Is each main vented? The mains need very good venting first and then you can balance the radiators.
  • Gary SmithGary Smith Posts: 264Member
    What size and length are your steam mains and what are your main vents?
    Once the steam main vents are large enough (mains get hot all the way to the ends reasonably quickly) then work on adjusting the various radiator vents. You may have to slow down the rad vents in rooms that get hot and in this space where the thermostat is, and slightly speed up the cold room vent until the house temperature is balanced. I like vent-rite #1A rad vents for their ease of adjustment.

    I had similar problems with 6-8 degrees temp differences from first to second floor, but tweaking the speed of the rad vents corrected it to within one degree difference.

    Also check the pigtail under the pressuretrol is not clogged and the pressuretrol is set to a low pressure.

    If you provide details os mains, main vents, and pressuretrol settings, plenty of people here will help.


  • kevinjames79kevinjames79 Posts: 67Member
    2 main lines have big mouth at the end of each line.

    I do not have varivalve on any radiator now. All ground floor radiators have gorton #4. Upstairs have hoffman 1A
  • FredFred Posts: 7,596Member

    2 main lines have big mouth at the end of each line.



    I do not have varivalve on any radiator now. All ground floor radiators have gorton #4. Upstairs have hoffman 1A

    Then you either have a radiator run-out that is pitched wrong or the horizontal under the floor is pitched incorrectly. Check the radiator run out in the basement for that radiator and make sure it is pitched back towards the main. Raise that radiator up another 1/2" or so, on the supply side, if you can and then repitch the vent side so that it is pitched back towards the supply side.

    How long does your boiler run each cycle? What type thermostat do you have? If it is programmable, do you have it set for steam? They come with a factory default of 5 cycles per hour. You want to program it for 1 or 2 cycles per hour. The boiler may not be running long enough to get steam to the further radiators.
  • kevinjames79kevinjames79 Posts: 67Member
    Thank you Fred

    I will try to raise the radiator a little bit on Saturday.

    One point to note here is that the radiator does get hot a little bit (stays mostly warm) but i can see that it gets the heat at the end of the heating cycle. By the time it starts getting the heat, the cycle stops.

    I have set the cycle to 1 CPH. I think it runs for about 20 minutes each time with breaks every 5 minutes. I think the breaks are the LWCO. The kind of LWCO is where it has to stop and check.

    My pressuretrol setting is between 0.5 and 1 with 1 differential.

    Checking Radiator runout in the basement is very hard as the pipes are hidden behind walls.
  • If the breaks are from the LWCO, then replace it with its stable mate, which has no periodic shutdowns.--NBC
  • kevinjames79kevinjames79 Posts: 67Member
    > @nicholas bonham-carter said:
    > If the breaks are from the LWCO, then replace it with its stable mate, which has no periodic shutdowns.--NBC

    Which one is that ?
  • FredFred Posts: 7,596Member

    > @nicholas bonham-carter said:

    > If the breaks are from the LWCO, then replace it with its stable mate, which has no periodic shutdowns.--NBC



    Which one is that ?

    It is the Safegard. It uses the same probe as the Cyclegard (the one you have) so you won't have to drain the boiler to change it out.
    Cyclegards are a PITA and most people won't use them for the very reason you see.
  • kevinjames79kevinjames79 Posts: 67Member
    Is changing to safgard easy? Or do i need professional help?

  • FredFred Posts: 7,596Member
    It is an easy change-out But it does need to be wired correctly. If you are not comfortable with following the diagram to wire it into the safety circuit and into the Auto fill (if you have one) have a Pro do it for you. Also, make sure you order the 120V or 24V that matched the power requirement of the Cyclegard you are removing.
  • kevinjames79kevinjames79 Posts: 67Member
    Current cyclegard is 120V so i will order Safgard with 120V
  • kevinjames79kevinjames79 Posts: 67Member
    Going back to my original problem, other than the uplifting of my room radiator, is there any thing else i can do?

    Is it possible that the piping is clogged for that radiator? If it is possible, any way to open it?
  • FredFred Posts: 7,596Member
    Very unlikely that the pipe is clogged. It is, however very possible that that Cyclegard shutting the burner off every 5 minutes or so is a big part of the problem. When it shuts the burner down, the steam in the system collapses and the boiler has to make more steam to fill the mains each time the burner fires again. One of the biggest reasons no one likes the Cyclegard. Steam may never have a chance to get to that radiator, especially if the rad is near or at the end of a main.
    Also, make sure your thermostat isn't getting satisfied too soon because it is located near a radiator that heats fast. If it is near a radiator, try to slow that radiator down as much as possible so the rest of the house has a chance to come up to temp.
    If you don't hear any banging or gurgling at the radiator that doesn't heat up, I think I would hold off on trying to raise it until I changed out the Cyclegard and, of course made vent adjustments for a radiator too near the thermostat.
  • kevinjames79kevinjames79 Posts: 67Member
    Ordered safgard. I will let you know how it goes once i install it.

    Funny thing. The radiator where the thermostat is, i put a tape on the vent hole. Now it takes some time to get the steam in but somehow steam still comes in. How?
  • FredFred Posts: 7,596Member

    Ordered safgard. I will let you know how it goes once i install it.



    Funny thing. The radiator where the thermostat is, i put a tape on the vent hole. Now it takes some time to get the steam in but somehow steam still comes in. How?

    There is probably enough air leaking out around the tape to allow steam in. Also, the air in that radiator can be compressed, by the incoming steam, to some degree, to still allow a few sections to heat.
  • kevinjames79kevinjames79 Posts: 67Member
    Hello guys

    Replaced cyclegard with Safgard. Now the boiler runs continusly.

    But i have not seen noticeable improvement in the upstairs room radiator heat. Only the first 2-3 sections heat up nice. Rest of the sections are merely warm.

    Please help.
  • I apologize for jumping in the middle, but I have a similar problem in a 2 family converted to 4 units. I got all rooms balanced, except the coldest room in the house. I had Varivalves and took them out and replaced with either MoMs with different orifices or Vent rite #1s (which can be adjusted to vent to about a #6 and be completely closed if you need less than a #4). The Varivalves can vent between a #1 and #2 and can't vent less than about a #5, according to the report available by searching on "Balancing Steam Systems" by Gerry Gill and Steve Pajak. This report is an eye opener.

    According to the report, the Hoffman 1A is adjustable between less than a #4 and a #6. Try opening the one in the cold room and maybe reducing the ones in the other room one setting number at a time. Depending on the effects throughout the system this may or may not help.


    Keep good records of what settings are on which vents, it's too easy to forget.

    If you are interested, look at my other discussions.

    Good luck.
  • Did either of you ever tell us about your main vents downstairs?
    The radiator vents cannot do the job of letting out the air from the system effectively, without adequate main vents, sized for the system. No amount of control strategies will work to make the system right, until you have fast main venting, and slower radiator vents. The aim is to have steam arriving at each radiator simultaneously, on a call for heat.—NBC
  • Mark NMark N Posts: 1,066Member
    Kevin,

    You mentioned that this is a new radiator that you installed to replace a convector. What was the EDR of the old convector? What is the EDR of the new radiator? What is the size of the hand valve? What is the size of the run out and riser to this radiator? Does this radiator have its own run out and riser or does it share a riser with another radiator? If the riser,run out, and hand valve are undersized for the EDR of the new radiator it may not heat properly. What is the EDR of the boiler? What is the EDR of the attached radiation? Are the mains and the run outs and risers insulated? As has been mentioned adequate main venting is essential to achieve balance.
  • kevinjames79kevinjames79 Posts: 67Member
    I have two mains each having a big mouth at the end.

    Is there any way to slow down a gorton #4 vent? Or a slower than #4 vent?
  • kevinjames79kevinjames79 Posts: 67Member
    > @Mark N said:
    > Kevin,
    >
    > You mentioned that this is a new radiator that you installed to replace a convector. What was the EDR of the old convector? What is the EDR of the new radiator? What is the size of the hand valve? What is the size of the run out and riser to this radiator? Does this radiator have its own run out and riser or does it share a riser with another radiator? If the riser,run out, and hand valve are undersized for the EDR of the new radiator it may not heat properly. What is the EDR of the boiler? What is the EDR of the attached radiation? Are the mains and the run outs and risers insulated? As has been mentioned adequate main venting is essential to achieve balance.

    About the lines from boiler to upstairs radiator...except the boiler, all pipes are hidden behind the walls. I will ha e to open up a lot of walls :neutral:
  • Mark NMark N Posts: 1,066Member
    edited December 2018
    Kevin,

    It's too bad you aren't able to see the piping in the basement. Hopefully it is insulated. From the picture you posted of the rad it looks like the valve is a 1" valve and it looks like the pipe might be 1" copper. According to LAOSH a 1" supply valve is good for a rad of 20sqft EDR and a 1" riser can handle 45 sqft EDR. Have you tried turning up the thermostat a few degrees to get the boiler to run longer and see how this rad heats? When the rad venting is balanced and the rads will heat at an equal rate. They'll all be heated say 1/2 of the rad at the same time. Don't expect this rad to heat all the way across except on an extremely long run in very cold weather. Also, in the Heating Museum under Old Steam there is an article titled "It's All in the Venting" this article is a must read for anyone with 1-pipe steam system.
  • FredFred Posts: 7,596Member
    If, in fact the run-out to that radiator is 1", and this is a one pipe system where both steam and condensate have to share the same pipe, you can only expect about 20 to 25 EDR out of it. You don't need to open walls to show us the pipe that feeds that radiator. Show us the run-out to that radiator in the basement.
  • gfrbrooklinegfrbrookline Posts: 321Member
    You didn't mention how long your mains are but I am going to assume one big mouth is enough to vent them.

    Option 1, turn the 1A's down one notch, one at a time, and see if things balance out.

    Option 2, put a Gorton C or D on that radiator to nudge the steam towards it faster. I am guessing the Tstat is satisfied before the boiler can make enough steam to reach the cold radiator at the existing venting rate since it is heating slightly.

    Option 3, move the Tstat into a cooler room to make the boiler run longer but this could over heat the first floor.

    Balancing and venting is trial and error. It took me a few years and many vent combinations to balance out my 7 unit condo building. We started with one unit that was averaging 64 and another 78 we are now withing 1 degree with the Tstat set at 70.
  • kevinjames79kevinjames79 Posts: 67Member
    Hello guys

    Working on my issue, i have a question.

    I have two 30-35 feet mains going from boiler to the other side of the house.

    What should be the inclination angle of these mains?

    They should be inclined towards the boiler or the opposite side of the boiler?





    Kevin
  • BobCBobC Posts: 4,909Member
    It depends.

    If the main starts high and works it's way down as it goes along it is a parallel flow system. At the end of the main the piping will drop near the floor and work it's way back to the boiler return port. There should be an air vent near where the piping starts to drop to the floor. That main should have a slope of 1/2" per 10 feet of main.

    If the main starts low and works it's way up as it goes along you have a counterflow main and no drop to the floor at the end of the main. There should be an air vent at that end of the main. There should be a drip near the boiler that connects the bottom of the main to the boiler return. The counterflow main should have a pitch of 1" per 10 feet and be one size larger than a parallel flow main would be.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Mark NMark N Posts: 1,066Member
    Kevin do you have return pipes? In a parallel flow system the pipes pitch away from the boiler 1 inch for every 20 feet. In a counter flow system the pipes pitch toward the boiler 1 inch for every 10 feet.
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