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HELP. One house split into multi-homes

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Placer
Placer Member Posts: 5
We moved into a house that is split into 4 different apartments. The thermostat is located in the front apartment first floor. We live in the first floor's rear apartment. Supposedly its set to 70, but our radiator is never on. If it does turn on, only two radiators give off decent heat. Our TV gets warmer than the other radiators. When turned up to 80, the radiators start to warm up better, but the two that worked well at 70 are warmer than before. It seems the rest of the radiators never produce the same as the other two.

I also notice the bottom of the radiator is much cooler than the top. I read it can be sludge build up, but the guy sent to diagnose our problem said hot water heaters don't get those problems. We suspect he just wants to sell us stuff because all he did was bleed the radiator, which we've done already. He never even bothered to touch the other radiators to see the big difference in temperature. Where do I begin?

Comments

  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,443
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    I am willing to bet that somewhere along the line someone did some re-piping and it messed up the proper flow of water in the system.

    Did you look to the "find a contractor" bar to find a reputable service provider?
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    Is this your property or a land lords?
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • Placer
    Placer Member Posts: 5
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    This belongs to a landlord.

    I checked the link, but I would like to know a bit before we decide what's next. Not to go into things clueless. So can it be a block? Sludge?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,446
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    Placer said:

    This belongs to a landlord.



    I checked the link, but I would like to know a bit before we decide what's next. Not to go into things clueless. So can it be a block? Sludge?

    Well, if it belongs to a landlord, it's really his or her problem to fix... which may or may not happen. However, to answer your question, likely not either a block (since you get some heat) or sludge, unless it's really bad -- but I'll bet when the building was subdivided someone did something creative to the piping, and depending on the type of hot water system that can be really problematic.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    1MatthiasSolid_Fuel_Man
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited December 2018
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    Not impossible that Landlord had had no heating knowledge , did it himself, guessing at what to do, then sat back and waited to see if it worked
  • Placer
    Placer Member Posts: 5
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    He's actually not the one who did the work. I believe he purchased this place as is. As far has "some heat" it's actually more like .. Barely. Literally so so low I can't describe it without sounding like I'm exaggerating. There's only two radiators that produce decent heat, and that "decent" is not much to be happy over. When turned to 80, the other radiators seem to warm up while two are much better and acceptable.

    I only repeat that because maybe that can help to describe and pin point for someone w knowledge of these things. So at 70, my bathroom radiator seems to give heat and one in the livingroom. There's another larger one in the livingroom which doesn't respond like the other one. Doesn't even produce until it's set to 80. My bedroom and kitchen don't produce unless it's set to 80 as well.

    Also, I tried to close the valve in the bathroom to see if it'll help the othrs warm up, but what I discovered was even closed, that radiator stayed the same in terms of heat. Not sure if that's important to share or not.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply guys.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
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    Is this hot water heat?
    Are any of the other 3 units having the same problems with heat deficiency? A properly installed system would have even heat throughout.
    If so, and you all make a request to the landlord, maybe he will get someone knowledgeable in to correct the situation.
    If not, then there are usually laws regulating the minimum heat required in rental dwellings, which could be enforced by a building inspector. Tell the landlord that you don’t want to take that track, unless nothing is done.
    Does he bill you for a portion of the heat, or is it included in the rent?—NBC
  • Placer
    Placer Member Posts: 5
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    Hot water heat and yes it's included in rent. He's actually trying to find someone to fix it, but we just feel like that person is dishonest. I wouldn't know how the other apartments are doing, but the only thing I'd trust is if I walked around and touched their radiators and see for myself.

    Just trying to see what are some possibilities. The guy he hired just wants to install a new thermostat and rewire it, he said things are fine when set to 80 so he assumes the thermostat, when set to 70, is signaling to cut off before my apartment is warm/turned on, because the neighbors house is warmed already. I can believe that, but it still doesn't explain why even at 80, all my radiators aren't producing the same heat. He never even bothered to touch them to feel the difference.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
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    All the radiators should be warm to the same temperature, if the system is installed correctly, and working properly.
    Changing the thermostat will do nothing, unless the present thermostat is unsuitable for hot water heat.
    Let him tell the inspector about the problems he has in getting it fixed, and it will fall on deaf ears.—NBC
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    I'm guessing that the radiators are piped in series (which is problematic!) And you happen to have most of the rads on the end. Can you access any of the piping and post some pictures, or make a rough sketch of where the pipes go?
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • Placer
    Placer Member Posts: 5
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    I don't have access to the basment so unfortunately I can not provide that info. I will try to see what information I can provide as soon as I get anything. Quite the charm, not being warm in your own home during winter.
  • Brewbeer
    Brewbeer Member Posts: 616
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    Are you sure it’s not a steam system? Can you post photos of your non functioning radiators including connected piping?
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg