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baseboard heating system

Hi, I have 3 questions related to baseboard heating system.
1. We do not have any automatic air letting valves and keep letting air manually from air valves, when the heater is on. It is so inconvenient, you have to catch it at a right time, have a valve key, etc.
2. The few first drops of water that come out are very dirty - black, should I and how to properly drain heating system and how often?
3. When we moved to the house the heating practically did not work, until we vacuumed baseboards that had 1-inch thick layer of dust on them!!. The problem is that it is practically impossible to do so, since the air valves do not allow to take the metal cover off completely to gain access to the baseboards

Re: baseboard heating system


The most important of the 3 issues
raised is the 1st issue.

1) You shouldn't have to constantly remove air from the system unless something is not working right.

If the system has been like this for months or years, it may have been originally designed wrong where the circulator pump is in the wrong position relative to the main piping and the expansion tank in the piping near the boiler & is actually sucking air into the piping when the system comes on.

Do you have any manual air valves in the piping near the boiler??

Do you have an older type long steel (usually green) expansion tank propped between the floor joists above the boiler with a 1/2" copper tube connecting it with the boiler, or is there an expansion tank that looks like a 10 gallon gray propane gas tank???

Can you post some pictures of the near boiler piping.

Is all your baseboards on the same floor & the same level---or do you also have some on the 2nd floor (bedroom) also with bleed valves???

Do you hear gurgling, rushing, sloshing or "waterfall" noises coming from the piping when the heat is on???

2) It is strongly advised that you DO NOT change the boiler water periodically---the black tinge to the water is simply some iron oxide that leeches off the cast iron parts of your system & is harmless & won't clog anything---this "old water" usually gets depleted of oxygen (which is what you want) over time---a desireable thing.

3) It's a good idea to remove as many dust bunnies on the insides of the baseboard as you can---the front metal piece is designed to lift off completely on most bb designs---the bleed valve shouldn't be blocking this, but if it somehow is on your system, do the best you can to get the vacuum tip in there---also make sure the moveable damper is wide open at the top of the baeboard so as much heat as possible gets into the room.

Please post back.

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