Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Temperature on Second floor unit won't increase any further than 70 when it's under 17 F out.

Options
We set the temperature to 73 and it was never able to get there. Our boiler was running the whole night for 8+ hours. It just short cycles when the pressure goes above 3. Unfortunately, that's the lowest pressure our pressurestrol reads. We put our thermostat sensor in the coldest room(2F) which is the unit in question here and also the unit furthest away from the boiler.

In that 8 hours while the boiler was running, the two units on the first floor was able to slowly heat up to 80 F degrees. The second floor Rear maintained at 74 F degrees. Second floor Front can barely stay at 70 F degrees.

It's a long house, the main line is probably 50-60 feet. A small portion couldn't be reached other than that, it's mostly insulated.
At the end of the main line, we have two Gorton 1s which seems to vent air.
We use Maid O Mist size 6 on 2F radiators. 2R size 5. 1F size 6. 1R size 4.

When the temperature was warmer lets say above 20 F degrees, units have no issue warming up(even though uneven. Usually 5-10 degrees difference btw coldest and hottest units). 2nd floor Front still coldest and hardest to heat but it could go past 70F degrees.

Any idea why? Should I increase biggest radiator vent on the cold unit?

Comments

  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,478
    Options
    Is the main insulated in the basement? Gorton #1's are not big enough for 60 ft of pipe, is it a continous run or is there one going to the front and the other going to that back - if so about how long is each?

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,506
    Options
    What zip code are you located. If it's maintaining 70° at design temp, it may be perfectly sized.
    steve
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,311
    Options
    You may also simply not have enough radiation in that space. You can use the Slant/Fin calculator to figure the heat loss for that space and compare it to the installed radiation.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
    Options
    @datawaym8

    If your having problems when the temp is mild that is the time to work on the system and get things working properly.

    It's not going to suddenly "heal" itself when the temps get worse. You can't wave a magic wand over it to make it work. You have to fix the venting, check the combustion and gas input (or oil) fix any piping issues and clean and adjust the pressure control and pigtail check radiator pitch..........for starters
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 1,007
    Options
    Can you reduce the 1Fs from a #6 to a 4 or 5? If you have front and rear mains and the boiler is more toward the rear of the house, the R vents don't need to be as large as the F ones. From the info that's what it seems to be. We could use more info.

    The F vents are the same size, but the 1F gets steam first and you should be able to reduce it/them a bit.

    You said, "We use Maid O Mist size 6 on 2F radiators. 2R size 5. 1F size 6. 1R size 4." The plural implies more than one. How many and where are they?

    I assume, the first floor has a "warm" basement below and a heated space above, while the second floor has a heated space below and an unheated attic above.

    The devil is in the details.

  • datawaym8
    datawaym8 Member Posts: 33
    Options
    The boiler is directly below the back of the house.
    Front and Rear runs on separate main line. Rear is much shorter consider it's directly below the rear units, maybe less than 10 feet. I couldn't tell because they are concealed inside the ceiling/wall.
    The long main to the front is 80% visible and is around 50-60 feet.

    @SteamingatMohawk Yes, it's a 2 floor house with boiler in the rear basement.
    1F 3 rads, 1R 4 rads, 2F 4 rads, and 2R 4 rads. First floor hallway has another rad so total 16.
    Boiler BTU is 240k.
    Any reason why I should reduce the vent size in 1F instead of increasing the ones in 2F?

    @bobc the end of the main line toward the front has no space for gorton 2. So I installed 2 gorton 1s which is far better than what the previous owner had, a single gorton D. Front mainline is mostly insulated. Portion of it where it exits the boiler room is conceals so I couldn't insulate. I was told there was no space inside for those pipes so I wouldn't be able to insulate them anyway.
  • datawaym8
    datawaym8 Member Posts: 33
    Options

    @datawaym8

    If your having problems when the temp is mild that is the time to work on the system and get things working properly.

    It's not going to suddenly "heal" itself when the temps get worse. You can't wave a magic wand over it to make it work. You have to fix the venting, check the combustion and gas input (or oil) fix any piping issues and clean and adjust the pressure control and pigtail check radiator pitch..........for starters

    We did all that. Even took apart the radiators upstair and hose it down.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,478
    Options
    Even 2 Gorton #1's is not enough for that much pipe, see if you can mount a couple more. Next I would stretch a string alongside that long main to see if there are any pips in that run. A dip will collect water and kill steam crossing over it. Also use a level to make sure that pipe has slope for water to find it's way back to the boiler.

    Use a level on the problem radiators to be sure they have pitch so condensed water can get out of them and find it's way back to the boiler. Second floor radiators often have a short pipe hidden in the first floor ceiling and sometime settling over the years causes those to go out of pitch. Using a block of wood and a 2x4 you can try and lever the whole radiator up and shim up the legs (be sure to keep the pitch right. Do this gently, you don't want to break a pipe, I had to do this with one of my radiators.

    If it's an oil fired boiler they may be able to put a slightly bigger nozzle on it to boost the steam output, this has to be done by someone with the instruments to check the combustion afterwards.

    Is this a gas boiler? clock the gas meter to make sure it's burning as much gas as it should -

    Correct clocking of a 2PSIG Meter
    When ever you have a high pressure meter set, you must compensate for the increased volume of gas at low pressure.  So multiply your calculated consumption by 1.13
    So say you take 34 secconds on a 1 cu foot dial:

    3600 [secs /hr] X 1 [cu ft dial size] X 1020 [local btu value of gas]
    ________________________________________________
                                   34 [secconds]

    =108 000 X 1.13 [2 PSIG conv]= 122 040 BTUs / hr actual consumption rate.

    Note due to the limit of how accurate you are eyeballing the time, your calculation will only have accuracy of about +/- 3%

    The gas utility calculates the difference between differing service pressures in the billing process.


    has someone recently cleaned the boiler and checked the combustion numbers with a combustion analyzer? It's possible the incoming gas pressure is low, this happened to me a few years ago. By 80 year old incoming gas line had to be replaced - luckily the gas company did that so it didn't cost me.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,311
    Options
    I never got an answer to the question of installed radiation vs. the heat loss in that space...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • datawaym8
    datawaym8 Member Posts: 33
    Options

    I never got an answer to the question of installed radiation vs. the heat loss in that space...

    Sorry Jamie. Didn't meant to ignore you. I have the app but have no idea how it works. I will ask my contractor.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,738
    Options
    For a 50-60' main you need 2-3 Gorton #2 vents, or 3x that many (6-9) Gorton #1 vents. The mains are under vented.

    The problem that you describe isn't that it won't get above 70, it's that the other areas are getting to 80. You need to get the heat down the main, the entire main, before any radiators start heating. Only then will you be able to balance the system.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    dabrakeman
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 1,007
    Options
    Sorry for not replying sooner. You said 1F gets to 80+ and 2F barely gets to 70. Now that I know about the boiler location, it helps my understanding of the total situation.

    The Front units are competing with each other for heat, and you shouldn't need the same size vents in both the upper and lower units, especially since the lower unit is getting hotter than the upper. (Aside, venting the main is also important, but others have addressed that.)

    As far as the rear is concerned, with the steam having to deal with the much longer front main, you can probably increase the 2R units.

    I have a 2 family that was converted to 4 1 bedroom units, but my boiler is slightly back from the center of the house.

    I don't believe it is necessary to have the same size vents in each room in a unit. The behavior of the room can be enough different to justify different sizes.



  • datawaym8
    datawaym8 Member Posts: 33
    Options
    @kc_jones Due to space restriction, Gorton 2 simply won't fit. I can only fit 2 Gorton 1 in there. I will look into how to expand that space and install more vents.

    @SteamingatMohawk Just to clarify, I should increase both 2R and 2F vent sizes?
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,061
    Options
    Can you show us where the Gorton 2's need to be placed?
    A couple different angles would be good.
  • datawaym8
    datawaym8 Member Posts: 33
    Options

  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 1,007
    Options
    I mistyped the 2R.

    Summary from your earlier posts:

    2F, #6, 70 degrees, 4 rads (tstat in this unit, coldest apartment) 2R, #5, 74 degrees, 4 rads

    1F, #6, 80 degrees, 3 rads 1R, #4, 80 degrees, 4 rads

    Boiler near the back of the house, 50-60 foot main to the front in the basement, rear main much shorter.

    My suggestions:

    First reduce heat to 1F, even though its on the longer main.

    Second, 1R is getting a lot of heat because it is closest to the boiler. Try reducing that, but MOM doesn't go below a #4, so you need an adjustable vent like a Vent Rite #1 (which can be shut off completely)

    Third, 2R can be reduced, but wait to see what happens with the previous suggestions.

    Fourth, 2F may need something larger than a #6 to get the heat to the furthest radiators.

    Fifth, if bedrooms are getting too warm, they can have smaller vents than the living room, et.

    At this point, I can't comment on main venting.
    datawaym8
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,738
    Options
    datawaym8 said:


    As far as I can tell, you have mountains of room for vents.

    You should come to my house if you think that's tight.

    If it was me, I'd be piping in a union right off the main. On the vent side of the union I'd put a 90° elbow and then line the vents up from there. Using the 90 to kick it forward gives you plenty of room to swing fittings and vents away from the main, then just connect with the union after assembly.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • datawaym8
    datawaym8 Member Posts: 33
    Options

    I mistyped the 2R.

    Summary from your earlier posts:

    2F, #6, 70 degrees, 4 rads (tstat in this unit, coldest apartment) 2R, #5, 74 degrees, 4 rads

    1F, #6, 80 degrees, 3 rads 1R, #4, 80 degrees, 4 rads

    Boiler near the back of the house, 50-60 foot main to the front in the basement, rear main much shorter.

    My suggestions:

    First reduce heat to 1F, even though its on the longer main.

    Second, 1R is getting a lot of heat because it is closest to the boiler. Try reducing that, but MOM doesn't go below a #4, so you need an adjustable vent like a Vent Rite #1 (which can be shut off completely)

    Third, 2R can be reduced, but wait to see what happens with the previous suggestions.

    Fourth, 2F may need something larger than a #6 to get the heat to the furthest radiators.

    Fifth, if bedrooms are getting too warm, they can have smaller vents than the living room, et.

    At this point, I can't comment on main venting.

    That's very insightful. I think that's what I will try next.

    @KC_Jones our plumber told me he couldn't install the gorton 2 as it was hitting against the wall. I will try your method.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,738
    Options
    datawaym8 said:

    I mistyped the 2R.

    Summary from your earlier posts:

    2F, #6, 70 degrees, 4 rads (tstat in this unit, coldest apartment) 2R, #5, 74 degrees, 4 rads

    1F, #6, 80 degrees, 3 rads 1R, #4, 80 degrees, 4 rads

    Boiler near the back of the house, 50-60 foot main to the front in the basement, rear main much shorter.

    My suggestions:

    First reduce heat to 1F, even though its on the longer main.

    Second, 1R is getting a lot of heat because it is closest to the boiler. Try reducing that, but MOM doesn't go below a #4, so you need an adjustable vent like a Vent Rite #1 (which can be shut off completely)

    Third, 2R can be reduced, but wait to see what happens with the previous suggestions.

    Fourth, 2F may need something larger than a #6 to get the heat to the furthest radiators.

    Fifth, if bedrooms are getting too warm, they can have smaller vents than the living room, et.

    At this point, I can't comment on main venting.

    That's very insightful. I think that's what I will try next.

    @KC_Jones our plumber told me he couldn't install the gorton 2 as it was hitting against the wall. I will try your method.
    He's not very creative, the area you have to work with is quite generous compared to what a lot of us have to deal with.

    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15