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Heat worked for 3 days, has stopped working again....

SandiT
SandiT Member Posts: 87
I've written a couple times on this board and you guys have been so helpful. I wanted to see what you guys thought about some recent developments. So, on the 22nd my next door neighbor called me complaining about lack of heat and told me about how she used to put on her oven at an old apartment she lived in. On the 23rd I got a notice that went around titled: Heating Complaints. They said that if anyone has problems with their heat to call them and not turn on their ovens to heat their apartments which I though was a strange coincidence since my neighbor was just talking about it the night before. I mention it to the neighbor and she starts lecturing ME about turning on the stove for heat. ANYWAY so after I get this memo suddenly the heat goes back to normal. I haven't had normal heat since November of last year. It lasted until this morning. It's 25 degrees I have my heaters running and it's still not comfortable. I text my neighbor to ask if her heat is working and she starts lecturing me about using the oven again. I ignore her because I don't know why she continues to do this. ANYWAY am I wrong to think the problem is NOT with my radiators? The heat was fine for 3 days. Again, I can't mention temperature numbers because the thermometer has to say 82 for it to FEEL 72 in here, and they will only be given a violation if heat reads under 68 on the thermometer. But I'm not the only one feeling the awful chill. Apparently my neighbor's heat isn't bad today. Oddly she warned me last night to get ready to turn on my portable heaters again when I was thinking maybe it was repaired. This place is so creepy! What do you think?
(Merry Christmas Happy Holidays)

recent thread: https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/182152/would-changing-radiator-remedy-lack-of-heat#latest

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,350
    very difficult if not impossible to figure out what is wrong without a lot more information and pictures.

    Running an oven (if it is a gas oven) is not a good idea at all it can cause carbon monoxide. Ovens are not made to run all the time
    SandiT
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,475
    You could buy a thermometer to document the housing code violation. Electric ovens and the circuits feeding them are not intended to be on continuously and could fail in a way that causes a fire.
    SandiT
  • This is the time to make a list of time and temperature so you can make a proper complaint.
    The people in charge must have turned up the heat for those days of comfort, and then down.
    Setting back the temperature settings always yields discomfort, and no economy.—NBC 
    SandiT
  • deyrup
    deyrup Member Posts: 62
    edited December 2020
    Can you try a different thermometer? Try to get one with a humidity sensor and put it in different locations in your apartment. Humidity and convection (drafts) can both make the temperature feel colder than it actually is. If there are cold spots/drafts in your apartment you might be able to seal them with some caulk.

    Out of curiosity do you feel cold in other places where the thermometer reads 72 F; like in a different apartment or building?
    SandiT
  • SandiT
    SandiT Member Posts: 87
    Hi @EBEBRATT-Ed there are pictures on page two in the link I provided. Maybe that will help? And yes, I agree, I can't believe it's so bad in this building that people are resorting to using their ovens for heat.
  • SandiT
    SandiT Member Posts: 87
    Yes @mattmia2 the heat on the thermometers I use always read above 68, but it always feels 10-12 degrees colder at all times. I don't understand how this happens.
  • SandiT
    SandiT Member Posts: 87
    I can't believe they set it back and don't even benefit @nicholasbonham-carter this complex is like a house of mirrors. The problem is the thermometer reads over 68 degrees so they can't get a violation. It may read 72, but it feels like 62. I put plastic over the windows still very uncomfortable.
  • SandiT
    SandiT Member Posts: 87
    Interesting @deyrup so I do have RH% on the thermometer and it reads 25. the Temperature says 78, but it feels like 68. There are drafts coming from the windows even though I put plastic, but it's uncomfortable all over the apartment.
  • deyrup
    deyrup Member Posts: 62
    25% relative humidity is very dry so high humidity is not the problem if your thermostat is working. It sounds like you are having a problem with drafts, what floor of the building are you on?
    SandiT
  • This is the time to make a list of time and temperature so you can make a proper complaint.
    The people in charge must have turned up the heat for those days of comfort, and then down.
    setting back the temperature settings always yields discomfort, and no economy.—NBC 
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,671
    or,
    it was warm outside, before it got cold again,
    the boiler didn't have to run as long to satisfy the controller,
    and didn't build such high pressure,
    which is shutting down some rad vents,
    and making people cold, now that it's cold again, outside.
    known to beat dead horses
    SandiT
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,552
    The phenomenon your are feeling is "Cold 70". It is usually caused by being surrounded by cold surfaces, think freezer isle in a supermarket. It can also be caused by the space pressure in the room being lower than the outside pressure, causing drafts.
    Some folks hardly notice it, others, like you, are very sensitive to it.
    Tell us more about the age and type of building.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    SandiT
  • SandiT
    SandiT Member Posts: 87
    I'm on the 4th floor @deyrup but the first winter I lived here was very comfortable. The 2 consecutive winters following have been a dreadful nightmare. Yes there are drafts coming from the windows, I put plastic over them which helps but only a bit. The problem is the heat is coming out as strong as it used to. I can feel the difference in the amount of heat that comes out now compared to the first winter I lived here.
  • SandiT
    SandiT Member Posts: 87
    Also the same amount of heat isn't coming out @neilc the reason it was warm was because there was more heat. I could hear it all day. Even when it was cold at night after being warm for 2 days, it was 25 degrees but still very comfortable, then early that morning I could hear the difference in the amount of heat coming out. I've had portable heaters running 24/7.
  • SandiT
    SandiT Member Posts: 87
    Interesting @Zman
    I believe the building was built in 1970, the super has slipped and mentioned these type of buildings weren't built well. "Space Pressure" is a new term for me, I will look into it asap.
    I will say though that the amount of heat coming from the radiators is just less. It's still obviously capable of putting out the nice warm heat I had the first winter I lived here, but it seems as though I'm just not being given the heat. I know they changed to a "digital switchboard" and they said they used to be able to manually turn my heat higher but with the digital switchboard they no longer can do so. Does that sound right to you?
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,552
    Is it a residential building. How tall?
    The the common hallways have air registers in the ceiling?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    SandiT
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,475
    so it is a hot water radiator?
    SandiT
  • What was the reading on the thermometer when you were warm?—NBC
    SandiT
  • SandiT
    SandiT Member Posts: 87
    Yes @Zman it is a 7 story residential building in a 3 bldng complex. I do not know about air registers in the hallway ceiling I haven't seen anything obvious. I don't know where I would look for them. There aren't any windows in the hallways or the stairwells
  • SandiT
    SandiT Member Posts: 87
    I do not know if it is a hot water radiator, @mattmia2 I can ask one of them. I do know that the water that was shooting out of the vents a few weeks ago was not hot. Does that answer your question?
  • SandiT
    SandiT Member Posts: 87
    great question @nicholasbonham-carter in this crazy apartment it feels comfortable when the thermometer reads 82 because it FEELS like 72. anything under 82 I start feeling the drafts and different rooms are colder than others. prior to the malfunctioning it always read 82 and never changed. now the temperature changes constantly. every half hour it's a different temperature from 70 to 78 usually which always FEELS like 60 to 68. the building ppl know that is their loophole.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,475
    I wouldn't expect a new building in 1970 to have steam radiators. Or standing cast iron radiators for that matter.
    SandiT
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,021
    From the two previous posts it is indicated, with pictures, that she has one pipe steam, feeding cabinet convectors with air vents opposite of inlet valve end.
    mattmia2SuperTechSandiT
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,475
    then i'll assume someone told them that either the condensate isn't draining properly because of incorrect slope, a failed steam trap somewhere, a clogged pipe somewhere or the boiler is throwing more water in to the system than the piping can handle or both and that water is blocking the steam from getting to the radiator.

    Is the radiator valve all the way open?
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 498
    SandiT said:

    great question @nicholasbonham-carter in this crazy apartment it feels comfortable when the thermometer reads 82 because it FEELS like 72.

    Don't take this in the wrong way, but do friends or family agree with your assessment of the comfort of the apartment?

    I've done in home service (unrelated to HVAC) and there were times I felt like I was being broiled alive in some apartments, and that was when we used to keep our thermostats at 72. Sometimes I used to go out to my truck for "parts" just to get a breather, and this is from someone who is perpetually cold (my wife thinks I'm part reptile).

    Nowadays, we keep our house at about 66 and my wife and I are very comfortable, although it's built with 2"X6" R19 insulated walls and double pane windows, so it's probably less drafty than your apartment.
    Zman
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,552
    I suspect your building is a bit older than the 1970's judging by the pictures
    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/182152/would-changing-radiator-remedy-lack-of-heat/p2
    Management likely installed a new control system to control the boiler that is not doing a very good job in some of the units.
    Do you pay for electricity? If not, you could buy a fleet of electric heaters and solve the problem yourself.
    You could also log the temps in your unit and share the data with the manager. https://www.dataq.com/products/lascar/el-usb/el-usb-1-data-logger.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiAoab_BRCxARIsANMx4S58YTmRI0YUNUjRHRokZQegxV7rT3hCS0BnrjjlNm5TLGPyOOeiVe8aAor3EALw_wcB
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    SandiT
  • SandiT
    SandiT Member Posts: 87
    Hi @MaxMercy other's in the building have the same or similar issues. I received a notice some shareholders are using their ovens to heat their apartments. I had a friend come last winter and she is a person who gets hot right away and she said she understand what I was talking about. She lives in a coop apt building not too far from me and has 3 windows open in her apartment in 20 degree weather, same as it is in this building. So the temperature changes all day long. It never stays at one temperature so I constantly go from cold to almost warm. I don't know if it's the radiators bc they have the same capacity to get warm, it's not enough heat coming through anymore.

    I understand what you mean about unbearably hot apartments, they keep it very hot like that to compensate for the drafts. Most ppl in this complex crack their windows.
  • SandiT
    SandiT Member Posts: 87
    Yes @Zman I have to constantly fuss with heaters and I have to pay for electric. It's doubled my bill. The thing is if I log in temps I don't have a leg to stand on bc it will read 72 but feel like 62. Legally they don't have to do anything if they can get that thermometer to read over 68. And yes I was told last year that they installed a new "digital motherboard".
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,552
    The whole "feels like" only goes so far. If you put the logger in the middle of the space where you normally live, there should not be 10 degree difference in perception. Where are you presently reading 72? Is it an accurate t-stat?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    mattmia2Canucker