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Hot basement rads - trouble balancing house

Hi, I rent the main floor of a house, and having trouble with landlord solving the hot water rads issue. They have been bled. The set up is:
I believe we have circulator pumps from the boiler.
Basement rads are old, have no valves. They heat way too much.
Main floor bedroom is an addition to the house with a new rad. It is connected on the same pipe as the basement rads. Has 1 intake valve at bottom and it works.
Main floor has the house thermostat and 4 rads that work. They all also have just 1 old valve at bottom (no 2nd valve)
2nd floor has 3 rads that heat up if I crank up the thermostat.
3rd floor has 1 or 2 rads that are cold or tepid.
No thermostatic valves anywhere.

I am on main floor, so I typically open my rads just a quarter turn and I turn up the thermostat to at least 23 - 25 degrees celsius. This can heat the 2nd floor rads but the third floor rad which is wide open remains cold. Why? Am I doing the wrong thing?

The landlord decided to install a 2nd thermostat in the basement to control their apartment temp, however, it of course rendered the main floor add-on bedroom rad tepid because the thermostat is just measuring the warmth of the basement closest to the boiler and those rads have no water flow valves on them. They say they can't fixthis. Should they instead have installed thermostatic valves on the old basement rads to control the water (is that even possible on old rads and.pr that close to the boiler?)?



  • ShelleyH
    ShelleyH Member Posts: 3
    Also, by installing a 2nd basement thermostat for that area, did it impact the volume of hot water flowing to the rest of the house on the main thermostat?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,112
    Really need more information, but... for starters...

    What pressure is the system running at? When the third floor radiators were bled, did water come out with some vigour? (It should have). Is there just the one pump for the whole house? And, what size and material are the pipes?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ShelleyH
    ShelleyH Member Posts: 3
    Thank you for reading all that and replying.
    I do not know the pipes material. It is an old house probably built in 1920s Edwardian foursquare and the bedroom is a newer addition from the 80s so they would have installed pipes to there.

    I'm checking on the pressure and if the rad on 3rd floor is full.
    I believe when they bleed it, the water does have pressure but is not hot. Doublechecking.

    Re main floor bedroom - the newer rad is definitely pressurized with water, but the water is tepid to cool since the 2nd basement thermostat was added. I suspect that they should have instead installed thermostatic valves on the basement rads instead of a thermostat, if that is possible to do, or replaced them.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,112
    The reason I ask the size and material of the pipes -- and the 1920s date adds to that -- is that the problems with the main part of the house sound to me a lot like someone took an old gravity hot water system and put a nice new boiler and pump on it somewhere along the line. Which almost invariably results in pretty much exactly what you are describing, unless that somebody took the trouble to rebalance the flow to the three floors with balancing valves.

    If this is the case, most of the pipes will be fairly large, and iron.

    Adding the thermostat in the basement didn't help at all, of course, and no one should have expected it to.

    If it is what I am expecting, the best and simplest solution is to reduce the flow to the basement radiators. If they have usable valves on them, just turn them down.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England