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Hot water baseboards not holding heat!

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Big Ed
Big Ed Member Posts: 1,117
The boiler temperature setting could be too low ...check it.

Could be a flow problem also. Are zone valves being used on your system ? Bad end switch... Air in system....

Needs to be checked out to gather more info..

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  • Frank_40
    Frank_40 Member Posts: 4
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    Hot water base boards not holding heat!

    I have several baseboard heaters in my home fed by a gas furnace. When it gets fairly cold out, certain ones either get cold or throw off very little heat. Is there an easier way to test, improve or adjust these, without just turning the thermostat up? Why would these be working so poorly?
  • Frank_40
    Frank_40 Member Posts: 4
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    I'll check the boiler temp setting. Is that located right on the boiler?

    There are no zone valves that I know of, as it is a 1-zone system.

    I'm used to radiators. How do I get the air out of the system on baseboards?

    Some furniture may be too close to the baseboards as well.
    Thanks for past and future answers.
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928
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    Not chiding you, but furnaces heat air; boilers heat water or produce steam.

    Particularly if these are fin tub baseboards (a copper tube surrounded by thin aluminum fins) they do not "hold" heat. They're made to liberate heat nearly as fast as it can be supplied. Once the flow of heat stops, their heat output stops almost immediately.

    Baseboards are frequently installed in series and are typically designed to operate with 190° supply water at the first in the series. As the water passes through each baseboard, it's cooled as heat is removed. Subsequent baseboards must now provide sufficient heat with a lowered supply temp. For that reason, they [should] get proportionately (to the room's heat loss) larger as the loop progresses.

    If the boiler temp has been set too low, it's possible that you're "running out of heat" for baseboards far down the loop. This will be most apparent in cold weather.

    If you're using deep daily setbacks and a relatively low general thermostat setting (they're usually designed for 70°-72° room temp) and if the thermostat is located in a space at the beginning of the loop, it's possible that all of this is combining to throw the original sizing completely out of whack with the system NEVER able to operate at full operating temperature throughout the loop as a whole. Again, the condition would be aggravated in cold weather and it would be especially acute if combined with a too low boiler temp.

    If you're using deep daily setback, try using significantly less and see if the condition improves.

    Unless you're already familiar with how to adjust the boiler supply temp, I'd HIGHLY suggest that you call in a knowledgeable pro to give a good "checkup".
  • Frank_40
    Frank_40 Member Posts: 4
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    Thanks.
    I realize my terminology is quite wrong, it is actually a boiler.

    I'm not sure how the loop is setup but the coldest areas are the ones closest to the thermostat.

    Thanks for the temp mention. We had the thermostat up into the high 70's and beyond.

    I certainly will look to a pro to adjust the supply temp. Clearly that is out of my realm of knowledge.
  • Joe Mattiello
    Joe Mattiello Member Posts: 707
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    Not enough flow?

    Apparently you have a flow problem. Have the system dynamics changed recently, or is this a new installation? If you like you can give me a call, and I will help you diagnose the problem.

    Joe Mattiello
    Taco, Inc.
    1160 Cranston St
    Cranston RI, 02920
    401-942-8000 X 484
    Joe Mattiello
    N. E. Regional Manger, Commercial Products
    Taco Comfort Solutions
  • Frank_40
    Frank_40 Member Posts: 4
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    Thanks. This is very old system, no changes. I will try some basic things such as cleaning the baseboards, and moving furniture that is pressed up against them. That should be obvious to me.
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
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    Frank

    Here's another good one ... Have you had new rugs put in recently ? Many carpet installers jam the rug up under the baseboard and cut off the air flow to the element.

    I think your on the right track, check for furniture thats in he way, make SURE the dampers are open and check to see if animal hair is clogging the element. All of these things are culprits to lowering the output of the Baseboard heat.

    Next would be infiltration. Bad windows and insulation.

    Good Luck

    Scott

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
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    Frank

    double
  • J.C.A._3
    J.C.A._3 Member Posts: 2,981
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    Ya beat me!

    I was just about to suggest the same things.

    Baseboard fins full of dust and pet fur are a definate hinderance to output.(I always have fun taking the covers off for this, kind of like a treasure hunt sometimes) Chris
This discussion has been closed.