Turn Off Unused Radiators? - HVAC - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > HVAC

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-12-2010, 06:14 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 38
Rewards Points: 25
Question

Turn off unused radiators?


I live in a old building with a large storefront with upper/lower appts on one side of the building. The heating system is oil fired steam boiler with only 2 radiators in my living area of roughly 1,200 sq ft. The storefront has 2 radiators and the apts have 5 each of various sizes. As you could imagine there is not much heat in my area and the largest area is supplimented by electric base heat. The oil bill for the boiler (with tstat set @ 68 in the bedroom) is roughly $1,000.00 a month.
The apts are vacant and I was wondering if it were possible to turn off some of the radiators on that side without adverse effects to the entire system, and would this help to direct more heat to my side and possibly cut back oil consumption?

Thanks
E.N.

Advertisement

flatlander745 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 06:30 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Turn off unused radiators?


Where do you live ?
How far below freezing does it normally get there ?
Are the areas insulated ?
If heat goes from lower Apts to upper Apts thru floor you maybe able to shut down the upper Apts

Does each Apt have a thermostat ?
Are there seperate zones for heat ?

Advertisement

Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 06:38 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 38
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Turn off unused radiators?


Dave,
I am in eastern PA, with temps averaging 15-25 degrees. No insulation, 1800's baloon framing and heat does rise from 1-2 through open stairwell. The entire system runs on my thermostat.
flatlander745 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 06:57 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Turn off unused radiators?


One thermostat makes it harder...can't turn it down
What type of radiatiors ? Slant fin, old style tall cast iron ?
Do you know if it is a one pipe or two pipe system ?

Problem without insulation & Temp drops you could freeze a pipe
Then any costs savings is wiped out by repairs & damages
You could try shutting 2nd floor partially off & monitor Temps
As long as it stays warm close them off a little more

Not sure why the Apts are vacant but you might consider short term lower cost rentals just to pay for the heating
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 07:25 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 38
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Turn off unused radiators?


The building sat idle for five years and the apts are in need rennovation. The radiators are cast iron with a return t-off from the main feed about a foot from the radiators....not sure if they all have it. I have heard about problems with turning off radiators and downstream or upstream issues??
flatlander745 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 08:48 PM   #6
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 26,409
Rewards Points: 4,470
Default

Turn off unused radiators?


If you have water in the normal plumbing pipes in those apartments. Then you would risk freezing those pipes.

If its a 2 pipe system. You can throttle back the supply valve to those rads. maybe 1/2 way at the MOST.
beenthere is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 10:11 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 38
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Turn off unused radiators?


No H20 is on for plumbing now. I was just thinking of 2 or 3 radiators out of the 5 on each floor if it would help with fuel cost. This is a steam system btw, and also do the bleeder valves lie in a different location on the rad between water and steam rads...mine are at the top.

Last edited by flatlander745; 01-12-2010 at 10:27 PM.
flatlander745 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 10:30 PM   #8
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 26,409
Rewards Points: 4,470
Default

Turn off unused radiators?


Steam has the air vents about 1/3 the way up from the bottom.
And doesn't have bleeder valves.

Hot water has bleeder valves at the top.
beenthere is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 10:43 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Turn off unused radiators?


Quote:
Originally Posted by flatlander745 View Post
No H20 is on for plumbing now
Were the lines drained & blown out completely ?
Traps drained & plugged so sewer gases will not come thru ?

Theres a lot more to it then simply shutting the water off
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 10:52 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 38
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Turn off unused radiators?


These rads have maid-o-mist's 1/3 from down from the Top.
Re:Dave...I am looking to turn valves off on steam rads.
flatlander745 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 11:01 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Turn off unused radiators?


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
If you have water in the normal plumbing pipes in those apartments. Then you would risk freezing those pipes
Quote:
Originally Posted by flatlander745 View Post
No H20 is on for plumbing now
The issue is that the normal plumbing may freeze if you turn the radiators down too far
They rely on heat from the Apt/area being warm enough to penetrate the walls & keep normal plumbing from freezing
Without insulation & enough heat you would be running a real risk

The building sat idle for 5 years - was the heat off ?
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 11:09 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 38
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Turn off unused radiators?


Yes, Heat and H2o was off....and there is no H2o there now to freeze.
flatlander745 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 11:14 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Turn off unused radiators?


Ah...I see...so any pipes that were going to freeze it would have already happened
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 11:38 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 38
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Turn off unused radiators?


Most likely, yes. They apts will get rennovations....just wondering if turning off 1/2 of the rads will affect the operation of the boiler and/or save me any $$ from the $1,000.00 per month oil bill this season.
flatlander745 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2010, 12:11 AM   #15
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 26,409
Rewards Points: 4,470
Default

Turn off unused radiators?


I would restrict them. By air vent if they are adjustable.

You could run into a problem shutting them off by the valves. The boiler may build pressure to quick. And then the vents on your rads will close to soon. And you won't have heat in your apartment.

But it will save you some money.

Advertisement

beenthere is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
shower will not turn off all the way mj42070 Plumbing 5 12-06-2009 02:27 AM
Basement Radiators BrettY HVAC 2 10-29-2009 07:43 PM
Removing old oil boiler and radiators 71Whaler HVAC 4 05-28-2009 08:14 AM
Pilot light button on furnace won't turn whydonchathen HVAC 5 10-06-2008 12:03 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts