Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.

If you've found help here, check back in to let us know how everything worked out.
It's a great way to thank those who helped you.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

No heat to one room, single zone

John_141John_141 Member Posts: 52
I have searched here and elsewhere on this and have tried everything...
One room the radiator will not heat, the only way it heats is if I run the system for an hour and every room is cooking. And even then I have to remove the vent entirely.
I have done the following:
The radiator is pitched as best as can be, one side is up on shims.
Changed out to a new vent, biggest / fastest
This weekend I opened the top of the shutoff valve to see if the valve was broken and the seal was closed; the valve is not broken And there is no visible sludge in the valve or the riser that I can see.
All the other rads on that side of the house heat fine.
I did not yet hookup a bike pump, but I can blow through the radiator.
The only thing that I can think is that when we did a renovation 13 years ago, the riser was moved into an exterior wall, and I don’t think they insulated properly, they may have used rubber not fiberglass.
Is there any kind of powered vent that sucks the steam up to the radiator? I think the steam condenses in the wall, and the rad only gets hot when it runs long enough to heat the exterior pipe.

Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 11,432
    Well, an uninsulated riser in an outside wall surely isn't helping any, but I would be surprised if it were the only culprit.

    Has this radiator ever worked properly after the renovation?

    Is there any horizontal, or near horizontal, run of pipe from the main to that riser, or from that riser to the radiator, which could be sloped the wrong way?

    And no, in general there is no powered vent arrangement. Some systems do use vacuum assist -- several Wallies have experimented with it, and there were systems in the early part of the 1900s which did, but in general, no.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • John_141John_141 Member Posts: 52
    Yes, I believe it worked after the Reno, but I’m not sure. /since the Reno ive gotten the system working well, but this one room remains a challenge. The room is unique in that it has three outside walls, all the other bedrooms have just two. It’s always cold...we supplement with space heater but I’d love to solve this.
    There are two runs of horizontal pipes before the exterior wall riser, exposed. What’s the correct slope, how can I check?
    Should I break a union and see if there’s water pooled?
    Getting anyone to come here when it’s this cold is tough...I need someone to clean out my boiler and no one wants it...either they don’t do steam or the don’t do gas conversion only oil..🤦‍♂️

    I have two mains, rear of the house and front, both have the huge vents on them, one has two vents one has one.
    There’s no hammering anywhere
    The water in the glass is clear and at the right level
    Just had the gas gun replaced.
    The radiator in the room next door on the same main gets hot..even the room at the end of the front. Main gets hot
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,618
    Which main is the problematic radiator on? How long are the mains? How long is the pipe from the main to the problematic radiator, and what is the pipe size?
    Where are you located?
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • John_141John_141 Member Posts: 52
    Problem radiator is in the rear main.
    From the main there’s (estimate) 5’ run then a 90 degree left turn and maybe an 8’ run to the wall, from there it’s two stores up, and about 8 feet or so to the radiator
    These are estimates
    Pipe size I want to say is 2”
    Located in New York, Long Island Nassau county
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,618
    That's a lot of pipe. You've got 13' from the main to the wall, then somewhere between eight and ten feet vertical? All the air in that pipe has to be pushed out through the vent before steam can enter the radiator.
    Usually the pipes to second floor radiators are smaller in diameter than those to the first floor because it reduces the amout of air that needs to be displaced. All of my upstairs raidiators are piped with 1" pipe. The first floor radiators have 1¼". If your problem radiator was really piped with 2" pipe (and I doubt this) that would be a big problem. Even if it's piped with 1¼", it's not going to be easy to get steam into that radiator before all the other radiators are full. You're going to have to put the biggest vent you can find on that problem radiator, and the slowest you can find on all the others.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • John_141John_141 Member Posts: 52
    I will go down later and check the pipe Measurement
    would it help if I shut any of the rads on that main? A few on the lower level Aren’t needed.

    Would additional venting on the main help?

    I will order good vents, home depot just carries crappy imports nowadays

    Thank you for the advice
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,618
    edited December 3
    Yes. That main should be vented to the max, and shutting off the unused radiators should help once you get the main vented adequately. Otherwise you may end up venting most of the main's air through that radiator.

    Home Depot carries some good vents and some bad ones. The Maid-o-Mist vents are good for the money, and the interchangeable vent ports make balancing a lot easier. You can also order them from Amazon, and they have the one that comes with all five sizes of vent ports. For your main vents, I think the Gorton #2 and the Barnes & Jones Big Mouth vents are your best bet.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • John_141John_141 Member Posts: 52
    Pipe is 1.75” and is longer, 18 feet Total from main to outer wall, then up two stories then over 10 feet, so maybe 48-50 feet of pipe, ~20’ of which poorly insulated in exterior wall with no other insulation.

    Some pics. Main vents are all Gorton 2’s. Should I put more vents on the one with two Gortons? If so do they just keep going in that line
  • John_141John_141 Member Posts: 52
    Would you believe that the mains had radiator vents on them when I moved in? Each had a 3/4” threaded adapter and a radiator vent...
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,618
    Sounds like you need to do the opposite: use a main vent on your radiator!
    If your pipe looks like 1.75", it's probably 1¼". The outside diameter of 1¼" schedule 40 pipe is 1.66". It has a cross-sectional area of 1.496 in², so a length of 48' would have a volume of about 862 in³.
    It would help if you could put a main vent on the radiator pipe before it goes into the radiator, but I don't know if that's feasible.
    Your main venting is probably adequate, as long as the steam reaches the vents on both mains at about the same time.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 11,432
    While you are happily playing with vents, you might check the pitch on that 8 foot run to the wall. If it's too flat, condensate could be laying in there and defeating the steam, even if it doesn't hammer.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • John_141John_141 Member Posts: 52
    So, if it’s possible, install fittings and put a vent on the line going from the main to the radiator.
    Switch the vents on the other rads to small.
    I’m assuming Vari-vents are not ideal?
    I’m going to order a few vents from amazon, my Home Depot only has the crappy parts they don’t seem to have maid o mist any more
    Last night I got heat to the room but the vent was off the radiator..
  • coelcanthcoelcanth Member Posts: 74
    it also might make sense to slow down the vents on every other radiator in the house
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,618
    That's right, @John_141. I'd try putting the largest vent you can get on the problem child and the smallest you can get on the rest of your radiators. That way you'll know if you can fix this without having to add the vent to the supply pipe. If it works you can then go on and fine-tune your venting. So if you get a couple of those vents with all five ports and then enough #4 vents for the remaining radiators, that should give you enough flexibilty.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • John_141John_141 Member Posts: 52
    Thank you all for the help, I found a HD near me that has maid o mist in stock. I really wanted gorton but the price is staggering for what I need, it would run me 300 plus tax for all gorton vents
    Crazy, are they that much better?
  • John_141John_141 Member Posts: 52
    Bait and switch on hone depot?
    Is plumbers edge worth it?
    They advertise maid o mist but only have plumbers edge in stock.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,070
    That doesn’t surprise me, I haven’t seen them in HD. Try supplyhouse.com or other online. MoM are my favorite currently
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 389
    I tried to buy a grinder from home depot once, the delta one i wanted was replaced with like a ryobi on the shelf but they both had the same sku
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,618
    John_141 said:

    Bait and switch on hone depot?
    Is plumbers edge worth it?
    They advertise maid o mist but only have plumbers edge in stock.

    If it's what's pictured, it *might* be the same vent, and it's $2 less than the Amazon price. Save your receipt and take it back if you're not satisfied. ;)
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • John_141John_141 Member Posts: 52
    I got them, making progress, rad got warm on the last cycle since changing vents around
    This afternoon my son said dad, the heat in the bathroom is raging...so I checked and it’s the last one on the rear main after the problem rad, it had a gorton C, so I replaced it with a smaller 5, and the rad before the problem rad had a vari vent almost shut and it was blasting heat. So I put another 5 on that one.
    Fingers crossed, it’s a cold night here
  • retiredguyretiredguy Member Posts: 99
    Would it be possible to add a main line vent or 2 in the piping just before or as close to the non-working radiator inlet?
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,618
    Sounds like you've got it going your way, @John_141. One thing I forgot to mention is that if you need just a little bit more than a D vent, you can take the vent port out. It'll only give you about .005" larger diameter, but it's the most you can get without going to a main vent.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • John_141John_141 Member Posts: 52
    Guys thank you all for the help. I work home again on Friday and will be able to test more, my son said it was better last night. I think I need to ditch the remaining vari vents. I have to slow down my room now, but it’s getting better all over so thanks
  • John_141John_141 Member Posts: 52
    Seems like things are working well, bedrooms are all well balanced now, thanks again for your advice & help.

    If anyone knows of a co in Nassau county NY that will come and clean my boiler please let me know. I’ve called a bunch of places and I get either no callback, they dont do steam, They doNt do gas or they don’t do gas conversions
    The old burner gun was not burning right, there’s a lot of soot built up in the chamber and it needs to get cleaned out. My last resort is to buy a soot vac
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,618
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • JohnNYJohnNY Member Posts: 2,372


    @JohnNY, do you serve Nassau County or know of someone out that way?

    Unfortunately, I only do consulting work out that way. Not repairs or maintenance. What about @Danny Scully ?


    For installations, troubleshooting, and private consulting services, find John "JohnNY" Cataneo here at :
    "72°F Mechanical, LLC"
    Or email John at [email protected]
    John is the Boilers and Hydronic Heating Systems Course Instructor at NYC's Mechanics Institute, a professional Master Plumber, licensed by The Department of Buildings of The City of New York, and works extensively in NYC while consulting for clients in and out of state.
    John also oversees mechanical installations and maintenance for metro-area clients with his family's company, Gateway Plumbing and Heating along with his brother/business partner.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!