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Old 01-13-2010, 07:52 AM   #16
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Turn off unused radiators?


I would lower the thermostat to the lowest possible setting without freezing the system.

The problem with this is for some reason the system fails it could go below freezing fast due to the low temperatures already at set point.

Not much cushion.

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Old 01-13-2010, 01:06 PM   #17
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Turn off unused radiators?


The only problem there is that would lower the temp on my side, that i am trying to keep warm...one thermostat on my side controls all.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:58 PM   #18
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Sounds like a perfect situation for thermostatic reactive valves. These are added in addition to the air vent and 'act' like individual thermostats for each radiator. I replaced all my rads with new thermostatic reactive valves and new vents. Then I was able to set the heat in unused rooms to @ 50 F.

This is an easy DIY project I have described for the How-to-Forum: How to install thermostatic reactive valve and repack supply valve

To achieve some savings on running your boiler I would also suggest:
- checking and replacing your main vents - chances are they aren't working correctly.
- insulating your return pipes
- have your boiler tuned up by a pro who really knows what they are doing

Doing these things over the last three winters cost us around 5,000$ - we are now consuming HALF as much oil as our first winter in the house. And we have recouped our investment in three years.
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:05 PM   #19
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Turn off unused radiators?


Beenthere: What about the condensate return or do these rads have condensate return. I did lots of high pressure steam systems in large buildings etc and if there was no flow thru the rads we ended up with corrosion, plugging the return lines etc. We used chemical treatment also. It is always good to keep some flow thru a steam system IMO.

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Old 01-13-2010, 03:24 PM   #20
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Turn off unused radiators?


Thats why I said to only turn the valve half way closed.

And if a single pipe system. As long as the air vent isn't shut 100%. It would still be able to drain back down the pipe.
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:39 PM   #21
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Turn off unused radiators?


Re: Leah Frances, This sounds good and as Beenthere mentioned in a previous response(ty, btw) regarding the system reaching pressure sooner...would this be the case here, and if so would that prevent the system from running long enough to keep my side warm with the two rads that i have here?? Also there has been alot of NICE new plumb work done to the system(all plumbing and feed lines/pump ect are new), and the boiler is shorter than the original so the return feed is higher than the water level in the boiler. Does this significantly affect the operatioon of the system?

Re: Yuri, I am not sure of the type of return? One radiator has like a 1" tee running down from the feed about a foot from the radiator, one has like a 1 1/4 line t'd up to a 90 going somewhere else and others have feed only. Could not say for sure. This is a Burnham low pressure steam system.
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:45 PM   #22
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Post some closeup pics of it/them and the boiler and piping you mentioned.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:04 PM   #23
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Turn off unused radiators?


Sure, it will be a little bit, but I will get them up. Also I noticed the radiator in my bedroom (where the t-stat is) is cast iron 10 fin 3' tall. I can hear water gurgling inside the radiator and only half of it gets warm most of the time? (this is a steam system)
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:06 PM   #24
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Turn off unused radiators?


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Thats why I said to only turn the valve half way closed.

And if a single pipe system. As long as the air vent isn't shut 100%. It would still be able to drain back down the pipe.
All respect to beenthere. This is WRONG advice. For single pipe steam, supply valves are to be all the way open or all the way closed - anything else is WRONG. Period. Bottom line.

The beauty of thermostatic reactive valves is that your thermostat is what dictates the heat - say you keep yours set at 68 - the TRV just keeps the other radiators from overheating other areas. If you put TRVs in the unused apartments and set the to 50F then that's as hot as they will get. The boiler will run until the thermostat is satisfied and your living area reaches the 68F.

The pressure change doesn't matter because your pressuretrol will keep the boiler within limits as long as the thermostat keeps calling for heat.

I do not have enough experience to speak to the new plumbing but Dan Holohan does. He is acknowledge expert on steam heat. Read his books. Go to his website: www.heatinghelp.com.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:06 PM   #25
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Turn off unused radiators?


Make sure air vent is fully open. And working properly.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:11 PM   #26
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Turn off unused radiators?


As for your gurgling radiator - is the supply valve ALL THE WAY OPEN? Is it pitched properly? Is the vent working? Any of these things can cause gurgling.

It is acceptable for a radiator to only heat part-way across so long as the boiler is no longer running. Your thermostat may be satisfied before your radiator gets all the way hot. Simply put:
- radiator only gets partially hot and boiler is off = no problem,
- radiator only gets partially hot and boiler is still running = problem.

This is slightly more futzy stuff than most homeowners deal with their heating systems, but let me tell you, when you get your steam heat working well you will LOVE it.

Last weekend a guest heard my radiators venting, it sounds like a soft exhale, and asked me what it was. My reply, "That is the sound of happiness."
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:20 PM   #27
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Don't see where I said to restrict the hand valve on a single pipe system. But I may have. And have done it on some jobs the people just didn't have the money to make the needed repairs/changes to the system.

I know I said to restrict by air vent though.

Shutting of the manual valve is the wrong think to do though.
Most systems will have been worked on several times over. And the pressuretrol is set for 3 PSIG, which then closes the air vent, and it can't open again until the pressure drops to 1.5PSIG or lower(where most likely not talking a bout a pristine maintained system here).

Thermostatic valves work ok. But tend to cause noise troubles in many systems.

Specially the ones where people try to keep the temp at a very large differential to the area/zone that has the thermostat.

Those valves work best in applications where a couple areas are over shooting. And you just want to prevent the over shooting.
I have used them to correct temp over shooting.
And I have removed everyone from other systems where they just made things worse.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:44 PM   #28
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Turn off unused radiators?


beenthere - thanks for the correction. 1.5 and 3 PSIG seems high. My cut in is set at 0.5psi and cut out 1.5. Single pipe steam works better at lower pressures.

My experience with TRVs is the opposite of yours. I use them on every radiator in my house (11 of them). 1/3 of them are to drastically lower the temp in unused or little used rooms. For OP you should not put a TRV on the radiator in the room with your thermostat. My thermostat is in a room with no radiator (it should be in the coldest room in your house). No noise, no problems.

Since most older systems were over designed I also use them to keep rooms from overheating. My LR used to get to 80F with the thermostat set to 70F. Now I have one radiator cut out at 60 and the other at 68F.

We have no water hammer, no whistling valves, no spitting. This is achievable with a properly tuned system.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:54 PM   #29
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Turn off unused radiators?


Shouldn't nee more then 2PSIG in any residential steam system.
And 1.5 should be more then enough.


But. So many systems have been hacked by guys coming in and doing all sorts of things. That many are now at 3PSIG shut off.

And by the time you go through and see what all needs corrected. Some home owners just won't foot the bill.

Newer boilers hold a lot less water, and get up to pressure much quicker. One little piping change can make them bang or not not heat.

If all other things are proper. Thermostatic valves will work fine(still shouldn't be used for drastic temp differences). As it changes(shortens) the time to build up steam pressure.

Steam works best in a residential home if it travels slow.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:56 PM   #30
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Turn off unused radiators?


Here are the pics, not sure if they will all go in this one or not.

Yes there is slight banging overhead from time to time, but nothing major, and my 2 rads hiss, spit and gurgle(the blue room).
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Turn off unused radiators?-rad1.jpg   Turn off unused radiators?-rad2.jpg  

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