When it comes to being a homeowner, there is quite a bit you have to know and a lot you have to stay on top of. The fact is that everyone’s dream is to own their own home. A big giant castle on a hill, with a white picket fence, nice car in the driveway, and kids playing the yard, and while that’s great and all, and definitely something to strive for. The fact is that there is a whole lot more that comes with that, from paying your bills every month and property taxes every year, to maintaining the thousands of things that can go wrong, especially when you are living on Long Island, with so many older homes, and weather that can be unpredictable humidity to just as unpredictable snowfall. When it comes to home renovation work and maintenance, one of the most difficult aspects of dealing with it has got to be the plumbing work. The fact is that plumbing isn’t just making sure the toilet isn’t clogged and the drains are clear, it has a lot to do with your heating as well. And one of the hallmarks of older homes on Long Island, Suffolk and Nassau is radiator repair Suffolk County homes are notorious for having some of the oldest radiators running all through the house. And unless you’ve got the money to replace them all when you first move in, its best you pay attention and learn as much as possible about maintaining them and make sure to call pros like Elite Plumbing & HVAC, known for the best heating repair Long Island has to offer. As the best plumber Port Jefferson has to offer, Elite has been helping homeowners for years keep their plumbing and heating in order, especially their radiators. From winterizing their pipes, to getting their radiators ready to handle the brunt of winter, they offer the best HVAC service Suffolk County has around. Despite their service they always recommend that you maintain your radiators the best you can and learn as much as possible about caring for them. In this article, we will be going over a few vital things to know about your steam radiators on Long Island.
The Basics of Hot Water Radiators
The fact of the matter is that within a hot water radiator, a pressure-reducing valve between the city water and your hot-water heating system keeps it filled all the time. Most two-story homes need 12-psi pressure, and that’s the factory setting of the valve. If your old house has three stories and there are radiators on the top floor, you may need to adjust the valve to feed water at 18-psi pressure to make sure the radiators at the top are full. According to the team at Elite, known for the best heating repair Suffolk County has to offer, once filled a circulating pump moved the heated water from the boiler into the radiators and back again. This water is recycled over and over, and without proper maintenance this system can easily break down. When it comes to HVAC service Suffolk County homeowners are some of the biggest culprits for poor radiator maintenance.
In past years, especially when it comes to older homes, many hot-water heating systems didn’t have circulating pumps; the water flowed by gravity, with hot water rising and cold water falling. Because of this, many freestanding, cast-iron radiators have their pipe connections at the bottom of the radiator. The heated water enters the radiator and rises by convection, while the cooler water inside the radiator falls back to the boiler. Before circulating pumps, the path of least resistance for the water was always the top-floor radiators. If you have steam heat, each of your radiators will have either one or two pipes. All steam radiators take advantage of gravity to get the condensed steam (called “condensate”) back to the boiler. The key to making it all work is to keep the system pressure low. If you can’t heat your old house with 2-psi pressure or less (that’s the pressure the Empire State Building uses), something is wrong.
One-Pipe Steam Radiators
One of the most common systems we see, and tend to require the most radiator repair Suffolk County homes with one-pipe steam radiators. All too often are connected only across their bottoms. A section is like an individual slice in a loaf of bread. Steam is lighter than air, so when it enters a one-pipe steam radiator through the supply valve at the bottom of the radiator, it will rise, pushing the air ahead of itself. The air will leave the radiator through the air vent, which is on the last section, and about a third of the way down from the top. According to the team at Elite, the best plumber Port Jefferson has to offer, if the vent were at the very top of that last section, the lighter-than-air steam would close it before most of the radiator got hot. Remember, if the air can’t get out, the steam can’t get in. For more information on radiators, be sure to contact Elite Plumbing and HVAC today.