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Can I just add two radiators to my system

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Hello everyone, I have a boiler that came with my house that was built in 1959. It's a homart system and works fairly well. All my heat is baseboard radiant heat, it's the copper fin type.

Well I have three radiators that are not producing any heat at all, two in my basement and one in my half bathroom. The rest all function very well and get very hot. I assume they are either capped off to save energy or something isnt right.

Regardless, the house still stays decently warm on a cold day.

My question is since I have three radiators already "capped off" can I just add two to my breezeway?

My breezeway is basically a new add on to the original design of the house it's quite big as well. But it has no way of heating, it has A/C though.

So my thought process is to insulate as good as I can and then add a radiator or two.

Let me know if you guys think this is a bad idea, also should I get my three radiators that are always cold checked out?

The two in the basement do not bother me because the basement stays warm due to all the piping in the ceiling. But I would like to figure out my half bath radiator, just not sure how to go about it.

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,324
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    You almost certainly can add them, particularly if additional insulation or storm windows have been added. Not common to find a "just right" boiler in an older house -- more likely oversized.

    However, some thought should be paid to how they are to be piped to get decent balance and control, and while you are doing that you or whomever you might hire can figure out why you have three radiators which aren't working. Usually something simple, bot often not obvious

    Main thing, though, is to hire someone who actually knows what he or she is doing. Not all plumbers are that clever about heating. Where are you? We may know someone.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • jesmed1
    jesmed1 Member Posts: 560
    edited February 22
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    The two in the basement do not bother me because the basement stays warm due to all the piping in the ceiling. But I would like to figure out my half bath radiator, just not sure how to go about it.

    The cold radiators probably have air in them. Open the covers at the ends and find the bleed screws to bleed the air out. Once you get the air out, the radiators should heat up again.
    delcrossv
  • Aviationguy
    Aviationguy Member Posts: 26
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    You almost certainly can add them, particularly if additional insulation or storm windows have been added. Not common to find a "just right" boiler in an older house -- more likely oversized. However, some thought should be paid to how they are to be piped to get decent balance and control, and while you are doing that you or whomever you might hire can figure out why you have three radiators which aren't working. Usually something simple, bot often not obvious Main thing, though, is to hire someone who actually knows what he or she is doing. Not all plumbers are that clever about heating. Where are you? We may know someone.

    I am in Springfield Ohio, I have a guy who does a lot of plumbing and he said it's not his area of expertise but he was going to do some digging. He's really good with running gas lines and water lines really any type of plumbing. But again it's not the same as trying to get the balance just right. Do you have any recommendations for a decent type of radiator? I was looking at some that were kind of fancy and cast iron.

    The one I saw online that the wife likes is the "Charlotte ornate" from the Hudson Reed website. It's 900$ but it sure is good looking.

    Thanks for any help, and yes I am also in the process of doing my own blown insulation to the breezeway way and air sealing it to help keep it warmer.
  • Aviationguy
    Aviationguy Member Posts: 26
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    jesmed1 said:
    The two in the basement do not bother me because the basement stays warm due to all the piping in the ceiling. But I would like to figure out my half bath radiator, just not sure how to go about it.
    The cold radiators probably have air in them. Open the covers at the ends and find the bleed screws to bleed the air out. Once you get the air out, the radiators should heat up again.

    Okay I'll see what I can do, thanks for the piece of advice.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,158
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    So you have a mix of fin tube and cast iron radiators? Those heat up much differently and don't always get along well on the same zone.

    If it is one series loop now, the more heat emitters you add, the lower the water temperature as it reaches the end units, that could be an issue also, heat output will drop off.

    Copper fin tube warms in seconds, cast rads can take 15- 30 minutes to get some noticeable heat.

    Ideally they would be on separate zones.

    Bleeding air from radiators below the boiler level takes some pretty good flow, if that is what you have?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    john123
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
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    If you have fin tube, I'd stick with fin tube for any additions. Someone recently posted here with problems with Hudson Reed rads. I'd approach those with caution.

    As for your cold bathroom rad, it's probably full of air.

    G.W Gill is your guy. He's in Oakwood. (Half hour away)
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • Aviationguy
    Aviationguy Member Posts: 26
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    hot_rod said:
    So you have a mix of fin tube and cast iron radiators? Those heat up much differently and don't always get along well on the same zone. If it is one series loop now, the more heat emitters you add, the lower the water temperature as it reaches the end units, that could be an issue also, heat output will drop off. Copper fin tube warms in seconds, cast rads can take 15- 30 minutes to get some noticeable heat. Ideally they would be on separate zones. Bleeding air from radiators below the boiler level takes some pretty good flow, if that is what you have?
    Right now my entire house is baseboard heat and they are the copper fins. My idea was to add a cast iron radiator in my breezeway, but if you are saying the fins and cast iron radiators don't get along well then I'll have to reevaluate my idea.

    I am also not sure how to bleed the air from these radiators. I don't see anything that looks like it would be for bleeding. Not sure how to go about it.

    Sorry I'm new to all this first home and it's the first time I've ever dealt with a boiler and radiant heat.

  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    edited February 22
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    Seriously, Call George. He'll fix you up. Some smaller systems bleed from the basement.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    Aviationguy
  • Aviationguy
    Aviationguy Member Posts: 26
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    delcrossv said:
    If you have fin tube, I'd stick with fin tube for any additions. Someone recently posted here with problems with Hudson Reed rads. I'd approach those with caution. As for your cold bathroom rad, it's probably full of air. G.W Gill is your guy. He's in Oakwood. (Half hour away)

    AWESOME!!!  I will give them a call. Also thanks for the heads up on the Hudson Reed.
    delcrossv
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,843
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    delcrossv said:

    Seriously, Call George. He'll fix you up. Some smaller systems bleed from the basement.

    Actually his name is Gerry. And I'll second the recommendation.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    reggiAviationguydelcrossv
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
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    Steamhead said:

    delcrossv said:

    Seriously, Call George. He'll fix you up. Some smaller systems bleed from the basement.

    Actually his name is Gerry. And I'll second the recommendation.
    Duh. Senior Moment. :/
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.