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Radiator is cold, bleeding doesn't help.

Evan0307 Member Posts: 9

I am a homeowner, not a professional but I have read several of Dan's books so I know that if I am bleeding my fin tube type radiator and it is not improving, it's not an air problem!! My question for the group is do these old fin (baseboard type) radiators get sludge in them that would cause them to go cold? This is a hot water two pipe system with circulator in basement. The right side of the radiator gets slightly warm but in the middle it stops and the left side is cold. That indicates to me there is something blocking the hot water halfway through. This is the only fin type radiator in the house, all of the rest are American Radiator Co. Peerless style and they all get extremely hot. I suspect this fin type radiator was a "newer" replacement at some point. 3 images are the problem fin type radiator then I threw a picture of the peerless that we have in the rest of the house.


  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,399
    Have you always had this problem or did it recently develop?

    Water takes the path of least resistance and it’s easier for it to go through the 2” nipples that connect the sections of the cast iron rads than to go through the 3/8” tubes of the convector.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Evan0307
    Evan0307 Member Posts: 9
    @Ironman I have been in the house for 5 years and it never really has gotten warm. Our guess is we originally had a Peerless style radiator here and at some point someone replaced it and didn't know what they were doing. I would love to get rid of the thing and find an old peerless to put there.
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,114
    Can you trace out the direction your system flow is to ensure that the original installer installed the the air vent on the correct side . If installed on the supply side you may not be able to bleed the air out . To just confirm you are talking about the fin tube emitters not the cast iron radiator . Aside from them being cold and possibly vented on the wrong side ,do u think all the original heat emitters where cast iron radiators If so they may not emmitt as much heat as the cast rads and may have been replaced to save space . If the vent is on the wrong side you can either spin the convector around or try to re locate the vent on the correct side . I have ran into this issue and did the later ,de pressurized and partially drained the system and un did the union and spun around to the correct orientation and after bleeding the convector heated as the home owner stated first time since owning the home comes down to guys just either being clueless and lazy as to not fixing the radiator. The laziness continued w a terrible piped hot water boiler so why would they fix the convector there’s more money in the boiler replacement so that’s what they did but they never addressed the real issuers the boiler replacement was suppose to fix it all not did not ,they did get paid .
    Amazing at the stupidity but they where great business men sold a boiler and never returned . On another note there boiler job was missing the most basic of requirement no air elimination no isolation valves total garbage . Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating