Home>Discussions>INSULATION & HVAC>Removing Portion of hot water baseboard heater that's not working good idea?
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Old home owner
Removing Portion of hot water baseboard heater that's not working good idea?

We just moved into a home that has a hot water baseboard heating system, not electrical. It seems to be working wherever it is located in the house except for two corner areas in the upstairs bedroom. The other baseboard in the room is working just fine as well as the other bedrooms upstairs. They're nailed into some pretty old baseboard paneling that we would love to expose. So, I'm wondering if we can remove the hot water baseboards in those two corners and cap off the pipes. If we do so will that affect the heating to the rest of the areas upstairs? I'm assuming not since they seem to not have been affected. The previous owners informed us that the corner units haven't worked in years.

Re: Removing Portion of hot water baseboard heater that's not working good idea?

You run the risk of creating more problems if you attempt to remove the bedroom baseboard---the amount of baseboard convectors in a room is calculated to coincide with the amount of heat (in btu's per hour) that a room needs to keep it warm & comfortable during heating season---baseboard usually don't work because there is some air trapped in the piping---this can be easily removed by searching behind the baseboard covers for a little AIR BLEED VALVE that can be opened with a screwdriver to remove the trapped air & thus fill the non-working baseboard with water, which will once again flow & provide more heat to the room.

Sometimes this condition is caused by "INADEQUATE ALTITUDE" of the boiler water pressure---if the bleed valve doesn't work, try measuring the height of the bedroom radiator in feet from the boiler---if it exceeds 35 feet above the boiler, the water doesn't have enough pressure to get to the bedroom baseboard & the pressure reducing valve at the boiler has to be adjusted slightly.

Another reason for not blocking off the baseboard piping is that the hot water circulation in the heating system piping for the upper floors is usually INTERCONNECTED AS A SERIES LOOP with the rest of the piping for the entire 2nd floor, & you will not only lose heat, but you'll shut down the boiler operation completely if a baseboard section is removed or capped off---there are at least 3 different piping schemes used in heating systems, as noted in the diagrams at the sites below, there are series loop, diverter-tee loops, 2-pipe loops, etc.

Check in your boiler room to see if you can determine by the piping layout which system is used in YOUR house before you attempt to remove a section---on the last site, click onto "loop hot water heating" and "diverter-tee hot water heating" to see the piping diagrams.

Please post back.


Old home owner
Re: Removing Portion of hot water baseboard heater that's not working good idea?

Thanks for the advice! We'll check it all out and let you know what we find. I can tell you that the other baseboard heater in the room is working, but it's located on the opposite wall. I want to say that the heater is at least 35 feel above and across from the boiler, but will check and let you know.

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