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Rads never fully heat

Steve L.
Steve L. Member Posts: 35
Are the rooms in the house comfortably warm ? You may not need the radiators to get warm all the way across to heat the room/rooms comfortably.

Comments

  • Dave_23
    Dave_23 Member Posts: 190
    Rads never fully heat

    Folks,
    I have a properly working, well balanced Trane two-pipe vapor system. It's installed in a two story Michigan home vintage 1926. Over the years the home's envelope has been tightened up considerably: New windows, better doors, higher efficiency boiler (WM), better main vents (gorton #2), etc. As a result, the rads never fully heat even on the coldest days, before the system shuts off on t'stat/temp. Note, the rads are generally very large physically. They may have heated fully in the 20's and 30's when the original coal boiler steamed all day, but not now. My question is, given this situation, are the thermostatic traps necessary anymore? They never see any hot steam, just condensed water. Thoughts?
  • Dave_23
    Dave_23 Member Posts: 190


    Yes, all rads heat evenly (at the top), but not all the way. All rooms are comfortably warm. System satisfies on temp way before rads get completely hot.
  • meaning

    Meaning you did a great job of tighten up the house! Your radaitors became oversized and not needed to be hot all the way across before the stat statfied(sp)... Enjoyed ur lower amount of enegery used!
  • Steve L.
    Steve L. Member Posts: 35


    Then you really don't have any trouble at all. The system was probably designed to run with the windows open. So on a cold winter day with the windows open you would have heat all the way across each radiator. Now, with new windows and insulation, the radiators do not get hot all the way across simply because the do not need to. As you said, once the thermastat is satified the boiler stops making steam.
    See Dan's article:
    http://www.heatinghelp.com/newsletter.cfm?Id=12

  • Steve L.
    Steve L. Member Posts: 35


    I just re read your original post. I guess I didn't really answer the question you asked. While it is possilbe that your system would work without the traps. I think it would be a really bad idea to remove them. If they really never see any live steam the elements should last almost indeffiniatly.
    Just for curriousity, why would you want to remove them ?


  • Steve: That was my thinking as well. Since they rarely (if ever) see steam, the traps should last a VERY long time, but remove at your peril as there certainly could be times when they WOULD see steam--exceptionally cold weather; start-up in a cold house in cold weather, recovery from deep setback, etc.
  • Dave_23
    Dave_23 Member Posts: 190


    just curious. I've never opened one up to check the bladder. I couldn't tell anyone if they work or not, other than they're not clogged. I would never remove them since the repipe would be more trouble than it's worth. Just wondering, theoretically, whether or not they're still necessary.
  • Leave them there

    nothing like wearing a belt AND a pair of suspenders, eh?

    Sounds like the only time they'll see any steam is when the system comes out of setback in the morning on a real cold day. But if the steam gets past them, it will cause banging.

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  • Steve L.
    Steve L. Member Posts: 35


    If you had a trap element fail in the closed postion the radiator wouldn't heat very well at all. Same if it was "clogged"
  • Dave_23
    Dave_23 Member Posts: 190
    setback comment

    Steamhead,
    You mention "setback." I've never run a nightime setback on my system. I just set it to 68F and let it run. I've read mixed reviews on this board concerning the use of nighttime setback on steam systems. I've been of the belief that recovery from setback uses more energy than steady state heating, although I can't prove this one way or the other since I have no good data. Thoughts?
  • Dave_23
    Dave_23 Member Posts: 190
    Setback

    Steamhead, You mention "setback." I've never run a nightime setback on my system. I just set it to 68F and let it run. I've read mixed reviews on this board concerning the use of nighttime setback on steam systems. I've been of the belief that recovery from setback uses more energy than steady state heating, although I can't prove this one way or the other since I have no good data. Thoughts?
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,666
    main air vents

    When the system was converted from steam to gas or oil or just a gun added whatever did anyone add any main vents to your returns ?most coal fired boilers that i have ran into that where converted usually had main air vents added because the running time for coal was long and steady and the auir had a great deal of time to get out during a cycle before the draft damper would strart to shut according to the boiler pressure and type of damper control over the fire box ,You uneven or feeling that the system is not performing may be due to the fact that a original main air vent on the dry return may be shot or not working completlky ,if repaied or replaced it may increase your comfort level and lower your fuel bill may be it's time to contact a steam pro and have him take a look peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Dave_23
    Dave_23 Member Posts: 190
    Main vents

    With my Trane two pipe vapor system I have three Gorton #2 main vents. One per loop on the mains and one on the dry return. All are working properly. I've been wondering if I should install another main vent at the split between the main loops for improved venting. To do this, I would have to cut and weld in a tap for another nipple for a fourth Gorton #2. Not sure it's worth the effort to strip back the insulation, etc. for the required work.
  • It depends

    on how long and deep the setback is, and how quickly the system heats up on a call for heat. A sluggish system coming out of a long, deep setback would probably use more fuel than was saved by setting back. But I have a feeling your system heats quickly and evenly, so setting back a few degrees would probably save a bit.

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  • If the system

    heats quickly and evenly, your Gortons are OK. If the radiation at the ends of the mains is slow, add more venting capacity there. No need to do so at the split.

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  • Dave_23
    Dave_23 Member Posts: 190
    Setback

    So, should I ditch the T87 round I'm using for a programmable T'stat. Also, a few degrees cooler at night makes for more comfortable sleeping. Steamheadh, what is your recommendation for a new stat? Bill from Honeywell, what is yours?
  • I like

    the Honeywell Vision Pro 8000, and I'm sure Bill does too ;-)

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  • Dave_23
    Dave_23 Member Posts: 190
    setbaouck

    Thanks, Steamhead. I'll check out the 8000. Do you know if it has an anticipator? If so, what is the recommended anticipator setting for steam? Thanks for all your help!
  • No anticipator

    but you can change the number of cycles per hour. Start at 3 CPH on your system.

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  • Dave_23
    Dave_23 Member Posts: 190
    setback

    Thanks, more later. btw, should we be at the local bar having fun playing pool, goofing off, or is this better...my wife much prefers me haning around on The Wall than out and about...Talk to you later...
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