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Home Care Library

Radiators

The Home Wizard app calculates your ideal home care program to avoid problems with your Radiators, but sometimes trouble can still occur. Here are answers to questions about radiator no heat.

QUESTION FROM Clint

I'm trying to bleed the air out of my radiators.
i turn the furnace on but only one radiator gets hot. i open the valves on the other radiators one by one but only a small amount of air comes out so i leave the valve open for as long as six hours and the water never fills the radiator nor does it get hot. the furnace is running properly and the pump is running. the pipes in the basement are hot but the heat doesn't seem to make it upstairs.

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear Clint:

Is your upstairs a separate heating zone from your downstairs? In other words, does your upstairs have a separate thermostat?

If it is a separate zone then:

1) the circulator pump for your upstairs zone may be faulty; or

2) you should check the zone valve that serves your upstairs radiators. The water pipe should be hot both upstream and downstream of this zone valve. If the valve is bad or stuck, it will be hot upstream of the valve, but then cool downstream of the valve. (Upstream refers to the piping that is in the direction of the boiler).

On the other hand, you said that only a small amount of air comes out when you try to bleed the upstairs radiators. If the problem is not with the circulator pump or zone valve for this zone, then here are a couple of other things to check:

1) when you open the bleeder valve, have you tried putting something like a stiff paperclip in it, to see if the valve is clogged and trapping air in the radiator?

2) do the radiators that are not heating up have shutoff valves upstream and downstream of it that are closed?

3) another possibility is that sludge has formed in the pipes leading to the radiators and are creating a blockage that is keeping adequate water flow through these radiators.


Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

QUESTION FROM ken

I have one, upstairs radiator that is not heating. In the beginning of the season I bed it and it worked great. Now it is the only one not working/heating. The last few mornings I tried to bleed it, hear air releasing for a few seconds, then nothing. Twice it got hot, but recently nothing. There are times when I open the bleeder valve and nothing, not water, no air.

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear Ken:

If it just one of your upstairs radiator that is not heating up some of the time, and sometimes this gets better when you bleed it, but sometimes when you try to bleed it nothing at all comes out . . . then you may have a couple of issues going on here. It could be a combination of problems with both your heating system's expansion tank and possibly blockages around this particular radiator.

If you've already tried bleeding this upstairs radiator, and its still not heating up, then the problem could be that you heating system's expansion tank maybe empty. You would need to check the ball valve in the tank and fill the tank enough to get the ball to float when the system is cool.

On the other hand, if nothing at all comes out of this radiator when you try to bleed it, then here are a couple of things to check:

1) when you open the bleeder valve, have you tried putting something like a stiff paperclip in it, to see if the valve is clogged and trapping air in the radiator?

2) does this radiator have shutoff valves upstream and downstream of it that are closed?

3) another possibility is that sludge has formed in the pipes leading to the radiator and is creating a blockage that is keeping adequate water flow through this particular radiator.

Also, FYI, here is a webpage that describes solutions for different kinds of radiator problem situations:

http://www.diynot.com/pages/pl/pl033.php

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

QUESTION FROM Judy

We own a century+ Victorian home which is heated by radiators, our problem is that two of our second floor radiators have stopped working. We have bled them and now there is neither air or water comming out. What is our problem and do you know how to fix it.

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear Judy E:

If you have two radiators that are not heating up, and nothing at all comes out when you try to bleed them, then here are a couple of things to check:

1) when you open the bleeder valve, have you tried putting something like a stiff paperclip in it, to see if the valve is clogged and trapping air in the radiator?

2) does the radiator that is not heating up have shutoff valves upstream and downstream of it that are closed?

3) another possibility is that sludge has formed in the pipes leading to the radiator and is creating a blockage that is keeping adequate water flow through this particular radiator.

Hope this helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

QUESTION FROM kmpeters

The attic addition to my home was added 12 years ago. And I believe added to the existing heating system. I have a boiler with radiators in the main level. In the addition there are radiator baseboards, with a separate theromostat. I have bled the air out of the lines but still do not get any heat from any of the units in the addition. They are not ice cold but are far from warm. Would there have been a separate controller added when this addition was done in order to tie the existing heating unit to it? We are replacing the therostat to see if that makes a difference.

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear kmpeters:

If you have properly bled your upstairs radiators, and they are still not heating up enough, then your problem could be that your heating system's expansion tank is empty. You would need to check the ball valve in the tank and fill the tank enough to get the ball to float when the system is cool.

If this is not the problem (or if there are other symptoms that you didn't mention in your email), then here is a webpage that describes solutions for different kinds of radiator problem situations:

http://www.diynot.com/pages/pl/pl033.php

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

QUESTION FROM confused

Upstairs radiators are cold and down stairs are h+I32ot. Just repaired recirculation pump and still no heat upstairs. Bled all radiators and no heat upstairs.

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear confused:

Since you have already repaired your recirculation pump, bled all radiators, and you are not getting heat in only one zone of radiators, then here are a couple possible causes of why you are not getting heat in your upstairs radiators:

1) It could be possible that you have dedicated circulators for different heating zones in your home. If so, you should check to see if the circulator for your upstairs radiators has failed.
2) If not, you should check the zone valve that serves your upstairs radiators. The water pipe should be hot both upstream and downstream of this zone valve. If the valve is bad or stuck, it will be hot upstream of the valve, but then cool downstream of the valve. (Upstream refers to the piping that is in the direction of the boiler)

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

QUESTION FROM dean

have an apartment with water radiators. all but one is giving heat. tried the bleed it but when i turned the valve no air or water came out. what could i try to fix this

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear Dean:

If you have a radiator that is not heating up, and nothing at all comes out when you try to bleed it, then here are a couple of things to check:

1) when you open the bleeder valve, have you tried putting something like a stiff paperclip in it, to see if the valve is clogged and trapping air in the radiator?

2) does the radiator that is not heating up have shutoff valves upstream and downstream of it that are closed?

3) another possibility is that sludge has formed in the pipes leading to the radiator and is creating a blockage that is keeping adequate water flow through this particular radiator.

Hope this helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

QUESTION FROM Patti

We have baseboard heat downstairs, radiator heaters in upstairs. Only one radiator gets warm (VERY warm), one other gets minimally warm. The other 2 stay cold. Have tried bleeding them. Help?! Please.......Thanks…

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear Patti:

If you've already tried bleeding the two radiators that are not heating up, and if these two radiators are the ones located upstairs, then the problem could be that you heating system's expansion tank maybe empty. You would need to check the ball valve in the tank and fill the tank enough to get the ball to float when the system is cool.

On the other hand, if is not the upstairs radiators that are not heating up, then here is a webpage that describes solutions for different kinds of radiator problem situations, and hopefully you can find the situation that matches what you are seeing at your home:

http://www.diynot.com/pages/pl/pl033.php

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

QUESTION FROM erik

My house has steam radiators and is gas powered. I just did a gas conversion and has a new peerless boiler installed. THe issue is that all my radiators work fine except for my upstairs bathroom and second bedroom (which is some sort of cast iron baseboard)
They ONLY work when the thermostat is above 70 degrees. If it is under 70 they are ice cold, as I type this it is set to 72 and they are perfectly fine. We are more comfy at 68 but at that temp the other 2 rooms are not working and I have 2 kids on the way that it is important that I figure the issue out. Also we have just replaced the valves on both the 2 rooms in question

any ideas

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear Erik:

I assume that your upstairs radiators are on a separate thermostat from the rest of the house, right?

I'm wondering if the problem is with your thermostat. One thing you can try is to swap your upstairs thermostat with another thermostat in you house, and see if this fixes the problem with your upstairs zone.

If it is indeed a problem with the thermostat, this could be an opportunity to replace it with a programmable thermostat, which could help you save energy in your home.

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

QUESTION FROM raymond dawe

my rad is cold in apt have 5 2 work but heat suck comeing out of them i now need blend them but no thing on to blead them i did to buy thing cant fine in store tru home depto canadain tire lowes pluming stor say to old cant get part for it

my radiator is so cold no heat in them i can bleed them because vaives on them to do bleed i like to i can get them i live in canada hamilton ontario help i cold up north

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear Raymond:

Here is a video which describes how to diagnose if you have air trapped in your radiator, and if so, how to bleed the air out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3dvJZoZvdI

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com