Radiators are large, coiled metal structures that radiate heat in a home. These structures are used in conjunction with boiler furnaces because the hot steam produced is easily circulated through the metal radiators causing them to heat up and warm a room. If you notice that one of your radiators is not quite as warm as the others in your house, here are three options for repairing this component of your residential heating.
Check the Radiator's Line to the Boiler
Every one of these hot water radiators has a plumbing line to the boiler. It is how the water from the boiler reaches the radiator and helps heat the rooms in your old home. If you lightly touch this very visible plumbing line to the radiator, the line should feel extremely hot. Be careful not to rest your fingers on it too long--these lines are full of boiled water and can still burn your skin if you leave your fingers on it a second too long. If the line is cool to the touch, there may be something wrong with the line and an HVAC contractor will need to trace the line back to the boiler to see where the problem may lie. There may be a blockage in the line which prevents the boiled water from going up and into the radiator. If this line is hot, then the problem is somewhere within the radiator itself.
Look the Radiator over for Dents
Big dents in the radiator itself can prevent the flow of hot water and the hot air it produces once it enters the radiator. If there has been a recent event that caused a dent in the radiator (an earthquake that shook a cinder block onto the radiator or a car drove through your living room and hit the radiator, etc.) then the radiator may malfunction. You will either have to replace this radiator entirely, or an HVAC contractor may have to rework the metal like a blacksmith or auto body repair specialist in order to take most of the dent out and return the radiator to its original level of functioning.
Listen for Rattling and Banging Sounds That Accompany the Cold Radiator
Another common problem with these very old radiators is a blockage in the drain valve. A blocked drain valve not only prevents the radiator from releasing the boiled water as steam heat, but also prevents the cooled air from returning to the boiler where it is immediately boiled again and returned to radiators throughout the house. You will know that this problem applies to your chilled radiator when it rattles and/or shakes every time the boiled water from the boiler tries to get into the radiator through the connecting opening and past the drain valve. Either you or an HVAC contractor can open up this valve, drain it, close it up again and listen for any indication that the problem has not been resolved. Usually one complete opening of the valve is enough to resolve the problem. For more information, go to site.