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Heat never reached my son's room very well...

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So we bought our house, built circa 1925, 6 years ago. We have hot water/steam radiators. Have two sons. The heat never did reach one of my two son's bedrooms very well... I remember changing the valve a year ago, and still no luck. Any thoughts? The knob on the left is all the way on open, too...

Appreciate any information and guidance. 4 pics attached.





Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,742
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    Is that on a first floor and is the ceiling open so you can see the piping to that radiator or is it in a hard ceiling or on a second floor? Can you see where the runnount for that radiator connects to the main?
    nonameface13
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 863
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    Is the thermostat anticipator set up for steam, most thermostats come set up for warm air?
    Are the main vents in good working order and properly sized?
    Has the boiler been properly serviced and is the water level steady in the gauge glass?
    Are the vents too large in the other rooms, especially the room with the thermostat? If this is the case, the thermostat may be satisfied before the steam reaches your son's room.
    Steam systems sometimes require some balancing.
    Are the steam mains insulated and pitched away from the boiler (assuming they are typical parallel low and not counter-flow.)
    nonameface13
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,433
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    That's a steam radiator, not a hot water radiator.

    OK. If a steam radiator doesn't heat, it means that the steam isn't getting in or getting to it. Is this the last radiator on a steam main? Is there a main vent on that main? If not the steam just can't get to the radiator... On the other hand, if the vent (the silver thing) is too small, then the air can't get out of the radiator fast enough -- and the steam, correspondingly, can't get in.

    Of course, one might add that the pipes leading to the radiator have to be pitched enough for the condensate to get out of them...

    Many possibilities here.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    mattmia2nonameface13
  • nonameface13
    nonameface13 Member Posts: 5
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    Hey, it's a second floor bedroom. Hard ceiling. I can't see where it connects unfortunately. I don't have an issue with other rooms (1st or 2nd flr) in the house so I'm assuming thermostat is okay. There are two more bedrooms with no heat issues on 2nd floor and theromstat is on 1st floor. No issue with boiler and water level is fine. I empty the dirty water manually on a weekly basis. Not sure how to answer other Qs to be blunt!
  • nonameface13
    nonameface13 Member Posts: 5
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    Whoops, yes, steam radiator. Hmm... I'm thinking the pitch of the radiator might be something to dig into... ack. I appreciate everyone's feedback.
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 987
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    did you remove the air vent to see if the you get steam without the it
    nonameface13
  • mikespipe
    mikespipe Member Posts: 36
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    Start with putting in a larger air vent . a maid of mist or Gordon c . I like the maid of mist because I can change the orifice to help balance the system. also Are the Basement pipes insulated, if not insulate them . I prefer 1 inch thick fiberglass insulation, especially in the furnace room. it can be trimmed out to go over fittings and holds the heat in the pipes better than 1/2 inch thick. if the basement is laundry and storage cover all the steam pipes . in will not only get the steam further into the house but will save you a lot on your heating bill. steam pipes where meant to be insulated. asbestos litigation. has caused a lot of insulation to be removed, but those selling often don't put anything back.
    nonameface13
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,433
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    Eh? This isn't the only room with no heat issues? You say there are two other rooms on the second floor with no or poor heat?

    What, if anything is common to those rooms? Main in the basement? Runout in the basement? Riser in the wall?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,616
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    As @ScottSecor said it could be the heat anticipator or cph setting in the stat not allowing the boiler to fire long enough. May need to increase that setting and fool with the vents. The main venting inthe basement is crucial.
    mattmia2nonameface13
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,863
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    Eh? This isn't the only room with no heat issues? You say there are two other rooms on the second floor with no or poor heat? What, if anything is common to those rooms? Main in the basement? Runout in the basement? Riser in the wall?
    I think the OP meant there are no issues with the other second floor bedrooms and they're heating fine, but yes, it's worded weird.
    nonameface13
  • nonameface13
    nonameface13 Member Posts: 5
    edited November 2023
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    Correct, heat works fine in the other two bedrooms. Awesome, I will look into this: maid of mist- thank you! Pipes are insulated in the basement (sidebar note: do I need to worry about asbestos with the fiberglass wrap??) Also, come to think of it... when the heat DOES run longer, that is when the radiator in that room gets warm... so let's say this is the source of the issue: what exactly am I doing with regard to the heat anticipator or cph setting? I'm not familiar with either. Thank you so much everyone! Thermostat is a basic Honeywell.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,433
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    Unhappiy "basic Honeywell" isn't quite diagnostic enough. The t87 (the round one) does have a heat anticipator inside. There should be instructions on how to set it. The digital readout ones often have a cycles per hour settling, which is reached from the setup menu (you should have a pamphlet on it, but we may be able to find one) and that should be set to 1 cycle per hour (cph). The out of the box factory setting is 6, which is fine for hot aiir but all wrong for steam.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    nonameface13
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 863
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    I think you are catching on....
    If boiler runs longer heat reaches hard to heat radiator.   If the vents allow the heat to reach the "easy to heat radiator too fast, it will never (rarely) reach this cold radiator.   Consider smaller vents in these areas.

    With regard to the thermostat,  they come set for warm air systems.   Warm air systems often cycle much more frequently than steam systems.   The thermostat determines cph (cycles per hour).  Too short of a cycle, boiler only fires for a few minutes, steam never reaches farthest radiator.   Long cycle,  heat reaches all radiators. 

    Goal is to make EVERY radiator equally warm at the same time.  I'm guessing with smaller vents in hot rooms and longer boiler cycles, your problems will be solves.

    Finally,  your son with the purple lips and chattering teeth may not fear the icebox... I mean bedroom anymore.
    nonameface13
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,742
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    Insufficient or bad main venting or a pocket of water trapped somewhere will also delay a radiator from heating.
    nonameface13
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,891
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    The vent on that radiator looks like a Dole #1933, which is a very slow vent- for perspective, slower than the Hoffman #40. Assuming the main vents are OK, try changing the Dole to a Vent-Rite #1 which is adjustable. This will let you fine-tune that radiator.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    bburdHVACNUTnonameface13
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,159
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    This radiator has wooden shims under the legs on the vent side. As Steamhead has said try a different vent on it
    nonameface13
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,616
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    Take a couple of pictures of the thermostat so we can see what you have . look for the model # with the cover off
    nonameface13
  • nonameface13
    nonameface13 Member Posts: 5
    edited November 2023
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    You all are fantastic- thanks so much!!! If it helps, the radiator itself isn't getting hot. Wasn't sure if there is a diff. between the steam valve not shooting steam and the radiator itself not getting hot. But probably to do with the issue of the boiler not working long enough as it DOES 'get there' eventually in the heart of the cold Winters... here's the thermostat:




  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,707
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    swap vents, this cold one, with the warmest room in the house,
    post pictures of each
    known to beat dead horses
    reggi
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,616
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    I would try and solve the problem by venting. If that does not work the thermostat could be the issue. Is the thermostat located in a room that is warmer than some other rooms? or near a lamp that is on?

    If so you might vent the radiators near the thermostat a little slower and see how the system responds.

    Make small adjustments a little at a time don't change the vents drastically a few small changes will do it.
    nonameface13