Saturday, December 3, 2011

No Heat in One Room/ Cold Room

Here's a quick fix for no heat in one room, just run a new line to it. Many times for one reason or another you have a cold room, either the line is clogged via a union, an elbow, or shut off valve, and no matter how many times you try to fix it you just can't get hot water to the radiator.  To circumvent troubleshootimg and save yourself hours of agony of taking the system apart, only for your fix to not yield heat, just run a new line to the radiator, tap into the old line just before the pipe turns cold with a Tee, and cap the old line for leakage. 

First you have to plan your route, visualizing exactly where and how the lines to the radiator will be run.  Next measure the length of pipes, and calculate how many elbows, unions, tees, couplers, etc you'll need to get from the radiator to the basement to the designated point where you will tap into the existing line (hint, always buy more than you need, you can return the extras).  And guess what, you don't have to tap into the same line you're replacing, you could tap the line anywhere that's more feasable for your new line, just remember to cap the old line.  By the way, All these techniques are described in the book No Heat On The Second Floor... finding cold spots, tapping into lines, capping lines, running new pipes etc. pictures and all. Drill a couple of holes to fit your new pipes next to the wall at the location of the cold radiator and run your new pipes. 

If you're having problems envisioning running the lines behind the walls, don't.  I've renovated many a Victorian, and every one of them had visible 3/4-1 1/2 inch exposed heating pipes displayed next to the wall, or up the back stairs, visible for all to see, and adding to the charm of a Victorian home.  It's only with modern construction that we're obsessed with hiding heating pipes behind walls because what would your guests think.  Well guess what, if you're more worried about your guest's thoughts than providing heat to a cold spot, you're going to continue to have heating issues. 

All you have to do to make the new heating pipes go away is just paint them, this way it fades right into the background, and out of sight.  Copper, Black Pipe, it doesn't matter, just paint it.  And for a little kicker, if the room is a big room, add another radiator to the room while you're at it.  Who said you have to keep the heating plan of the builder, or the former owner if it doesn't work for you.  Just upgrade the heat by adding two new heating lines instead of one.  And to boot, adding a new line won't add to your gas bill because once you turn on the boiler, it doesn't matter how many radiators you have attached, the gas just heats the water in all the pipes the same.  You'll be so happy with your new heat that you will wonder why you didn't think of this solution before.  

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