15

The US has a mixture of systems. I'm not sure what the prevalence is, but I've lived in homes with both steam and hot water heating. Steam offers the following advantages: One-pipe systems More heat transfer for a given radiator surface No distribution pumps Steam offers the following drawbacks: Furnace needs to be a low point Corrosion Finicky ...


10

This is basically going to be landlord work unless you plan playing heating technician and checking the basement pipes. Here's the gist: Air vents on the radiator must flow air out so it can be replaced by steam to heat. They sometimes have adjustment valves on them so you can balance the system. Air vents that are producing a lot of noise are either too ...


9

If we're talking a cast iron radiator, it's a good process. First you need to remove the old finish. You can get it sandblasted, or you can get in there with some sandpaper for a few hours. A wire wheel on an angle grinder can get out a good bit, or you might have luck with chemicals to strip them. If you do use chemicals, you'll have to wait for them to ...


9

Bleeding radiators is quite simple, and can usually be done by homeowners. All that's required is a radiator key, a towel and/or bowl, and a bit of time. Why Bleed Radiators Even with closed systems, air can still find its way into the system. When it does, it will collect at the highest points available (the top of radiators). Trapped air can cause ...


9

The typical way to pre-warm water is to install a standard tank water heater before the tankless, but leave it turned off. Using an automotive radiator is a terrible idea. You don't want to connect something not designed for potable water to your plumbing. That's just asking for trouble. The pex idea is interesting. The only reason that I can think that ...


7

You could add a smaller tank-less heater in front. Some of them are even rated to be plugged into an outlet so you won't have to do additional electrical work. In Europe I've seen it done with a bigger unit to supply the whole house and a smaller one at the shower for use during the winter. In either case you're going to get a lot further with this ...


6

The first valve looks like it might be a thermostatic valve - the numbers representing the various temperature "settings". There should be an indicator on the bit that turns that points to the number. Try turning this fully towards the "1" and then fully towards the "5". Leave the valve in each position for half an hour or so. The radiator should get a lot ...


6

An alternative that might work in some rooms is a ceiling fan that has a low speed (we have some 6-speed models in our home where the lowest speed just circulates the air slightly). This would help move air around in the room (and thereby helping to move some heat away from the radiators) and has the added plus that you can use it on higher speeds for ...


6

If your carbon monoxide detector is going off, you have a carbon monoxide problem. Contact your utility or local emergency services for a more thorough test. The symptoms you describe are consistent with early stages of carbon monoxide poisoning. If your radiators heat with hot water or steam, or another system other than forced air, you will not have ...


6

The official statement is that if you have no calor BT app that is currently paired, you are lost and should return the device to the dealer as broken. However, there is a way out - the following steps are written for a Linux environment but probably can be adapted to other OSes: Install a current (!) VirtualBox and VirtualBox Extension Pack for USB ...


5

There could be air trapped in your system - that is if the pump is working. You might have to bleed the system at the burner and/or at the radiotors. And a good flush could help, but you might need help with that. A : Bleeding valve B : Trapped Air E : Reducer boiler performance


5

I'm afraid your super is right. The supply valve must either be fully open or fully closed. If it is partially open, condensate cannot properly drain back to the boiler. It will collect in your radiator instead. How much heat is put out is regulated by the size of the vent valve. If the boiler works by central control, meaning the steam goes on and off for ...


5

You are correct that having a hot radiator on what's effectively a cold space - the porch - is very inefficient and, presuming nobody's on the porch most of the time, wastes a lot of energy. And you are correct that the hot water going into that radiator is being cooled in the process. However, it is unlikely that the water is going to any other radiators, ...


4

This is an old question, but I just wanted to add: Adding a fan to a radiator will not increase the overall efficiency of your heating system (at least the way efficiency is normally expressed: usable heat output per unit of fuel, or per dollar). Adding a fan will make the radiator deliver heat to the room more rapidly, but the boiler will then have to work ...


4

From what I've read and experienced with household radiators: Building a cover over a radiator, according to everything I can find about radiator efficiency, will absolutely decrease efficiency about 30%. This is true even if reflective material is added. Radiator shelves and enclosures were often meant for this purpose - to control an oversized radiator. ...


4

To echo what @acrosman said, yes insulate the pipes. I'd suggest using fiberglass pipe insulation joined with foil tape, and loose fiberglass / PVC caps for turns. Wear a respirator. Cuts can be made with a sharp, long utility knife. here's an example:


4

I think you need to balance the system; as water will always take the easier option. So when the system first comes on most of the water will go to the radiator with the shortest pipe run, once the thermostat rad valves on that radiator shut down, then the water will find the next easier option. So by turning down the “lockshield“ values (the value ...


4

There are different water heating systems, but I'd check if the the pump that is pushing hot water through the pipes is working. A circulating pump in a central heating system typically looks like this. You can tell if your pump is working by: Checking if the pipe is cold or hot each side of the pump. If it gets cold a foot or two after the pump, it is ...


4

To answer your question, the radiators in your home are a closed loop. If they are single-pipe steam radiators, then there is a small amount of vapor loss out of the little valve on the radiator. (The one that may hiss a bit while warming up.) If you have that type of system, the water level in your boiler must occasionally be topped up, but that would be a ...


4

We ended up bleeding the radiators, upping the pressure, and replacing the thermocouple. After all of that, we discovered that flames had been shooting out of the front of the boiler and melted half of the valve, messing up the electronics for the pilot light. We ended up replacing the entire boiler since it was 35 years old anyway, but the reason for the ...


4

Do NOT use an automotive radiator - it's not meant for nor suitable for potable water use. If you have a "relatively warm basement" you can either use a plain, uninsulated pressure tank (a "tempering" tank in this application - cold in the bottom, warmed out the top) or run a long run of large-ish diameter PEX (to minimize pressure drop) around the basement ...


3

There is a pretty new product in the UK market at least, which is a radiator fan unit. It does need a power source but it has a built in thermostat so it only turns on when the radiator gets hot. Seems to be quite effective, we have one and it made a real difference to our living room. Not sure if they are in any stores or anything yet but we just got ours ...


3

I haven't had very good luck with repairing steam radiator patches from the outside (sample size: 2). Steam under pressure is very good at finding microscopic holes between patch and substrate, and enlarging them. What I have done successfully is an inside patch with epoxy, using a wire brush and steel wool to prep the surface. Getting at the leak may be a ...


3

Don't change them. Single line steam radiators are tricky at the best of times, and most modern plumbers have little experience with them. In addition base board radiators make it impossible to put bookcases in. (In our climate they use up all of the external wall.) There are lots of ways to dress them up Recessing them is a bad idea, as the space to ...


3

The pipes should look like this: There should be an unrestricted flow around the system. Each radiator should be connected to both the flow (red) pipe and return (blue) pipe. The turnable value (or better still thermostatic valve) should be on the input to each radiator. There should be a simple on/off valve on the outlet which is normally set to fully ...


3

This type of radiator should be warm to the touch, not hot like an cast iron radiator. If you touch the fins with two or three fingers it should feel hot enough to be very uncomfortable. Lastly, go to incoming pipe coming up through the floor again, it should be very hot, too hot to touch for more than a few seconds. Usually the water moving through the ...


3

If the radiators are still hot you'll have to get the shut offs repaired first. The heat and the resulting drying action will raise havoc with the wood. The issue isn't so much a fire hazard as a drying hazard. The wood is going to shrink in the winter and expand in the summer. The seams and joints will split. I would also make the design so that you have ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible