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No heat to 3rd floor

seasubjectseasubject Member Posts: 6
edited November 20 in THE MAIN WALL
Hey guys, I am new to the forum. I was at a job today and I've been there before. Its a 3 story house with a single zone hot water heating system for the whole house. The first and second floor gets plenty of heat, but the third floor does not. They have those copper convectors, one in each room. They recently renovated the house and the contractor had taken one of them out and capped the pipes. So I thought maybe that was causing a circulation issue and put in a new convector. It fixed the problem where one of the second floor rooms was not getting any heat. There is no purge station on this boiler, and it has those vents on top of the convectors. I did bleed all the air out of each convector and still no heat. Do you guys think that it could be those valves on the convector themselves or is there some other issue? I am thinking its air trapped somewhere, so I was thinking of putting in a purge station and giving the system a good purge, maybe there sludge or something in the system somewhere. Its a very old boiler. Any comments will be appreciated.


  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,453
    What is the boiler water pressure...cold.
    Do you have enough pressure in the system to get the water up to the 3rd floor?
    You need at least 15 PSI at the boiler to get the water up to 30 or so feet. So the total elevation must be considered.
  • seasubjectseasubject Member Posts: 6
    It fills to about 20 psi cold. I had to put in a new feeder a couple of years ago and it was set at 20 from the factory. Its one of those combination feeders and relief valves from bell and gossett.
  • MaxMercyMaxMercy Member Posts: 78
    You're in good hands here. But I'd like to throw out something that is common to all trades: sometimes it's best to eliminate a previous event which may turn out to be a red herring. I certainly don't know in your case, but perhaps the work the contractor did had nothing to do with what's going on now. Could be a simple coincidence.

    While it does sound like trapped ear to this layperson, I also wonder if you don't have a slipping or rusted out impeller on the circulator.

  • seasubjectseasubject Member Posts: 6
    edited November 20
    The circulator is 1 year old. The old one was leaking so we had changed out the circulator earlier this year. We replaced it with a taco 0010 circulator. 
  • leonzleonz Member Posts: 352
    edited November 20
    Have any of these convectors been flushed out to rid them of any dirt/sludge??

    It does sound as if you need to install a boiler drain on the return line to the boiler sump so you can simply run cold water through the entire system to get the air out of it.

    Do you know if the three floors are tied in one after the other or share a common stand pipe for pressure and a second stand pipe for the cooler water???

    Can you shut off a single zone or two zones and let hot water rise to the other to push the bubbles out??
  • seasubjectseasubject Member Posts: 6
    edited November 20
    Unfortunately I am not sure about how the system is plumbed, but it is just one zone. I think they are tied one after the other. The convector in the 3rd floor living room gets warm and not hot, but then the bedroom ones are cold to the touch. As far as I know there is no way to shut the zone off which is why I was thinking of putting in a purge station. Even when we drain it out completely, not too much water comes out of it which I thought was odd. Who ever installed put the water feeder onto the same pipe as the boiler drain so there is no way for me to run water through the system because it just runs out of the boiler drain. 
  • leonzleonz Member Posts: 352
    I wonder if they installed restrictor plates in the convectors and when the remodelers went crazy and did their own plumbing a restrictor was damaged and is blocking flow??

    The only other thing to do is trace ALL the piping and know where everything is and fix it from the basement upward the way is should be fixed.

    Cry once and spend money to fix it right and avoid getting a no heat call in the middle of the night so you can sleep.

    To start I would at least flush the convectors out to make sure there is no sludge in them.
  • seasubjectseasubject Member Posts: 6
    I will give it a try tomorrow. I am going to put in a purge station and give it a good purge tomorrow. Its an old guy and he doesn't want to spend the money. He has tenants who have no heat on the third floor, so I will have to think of something.
  • leonzleonz Member Posts: 352
    Coming to this late but can you remove a TRV on the top floor and install a boiler drain and garden hose fittings to get more air out of the system??
  • MaxMercyMaxMercy Member Posts: 78

    He has tenants who have no heat on the third floor, so I will have to think of something.

    This is not for you certainly but it always amazes me how landlords don't want to spend money for things that are not luxuries, like heat or hot water. There was an article in last week's NY Post about a 6 story apartment building in Harlem that hasn't had heat since October.

    I imagine this is an old steam heating system and must be huge. Love to see pictures of it.
  • seasubjectseasubject Member Posts: 6
    First I would like to say thanks to you guys for helping me out here. I was able to put in a purge station and flush out all the sludge and air from the system. They had not had heat on the third floor there for years. I had to take off two of the convectors and take out the shut off valves as they were just spinning in place and not letting water through. The system is running really well, but I think it will take a few more flushes to get all the dirt and sludge out of the system. Its a really old gibraltar boiler. I have attached some pictures. Thanks for the help.

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