Hot water baseboard heating systems don't have many moving parts, so they're very reliable. One problem that sometimes occurs with them, however, is air entering the pipes. A large amount of trapped air will prevent water from circulating through the pipes, resulting in some of your baseboard heaters not working.
Air can get into the pipes if one of the pipes is leaking or if the seals on the boiler's pump are deteriorating. Deteriorating seals cause the pump to force air into the pipes when it's in operation, and the trapped air will build up in the pipes that supply your baseboard heaters with hot water.
If some of the baseboard heaters aren't working in your home, it may be due to air that's trapped in the system. To learn the signs of air being trapped in your baseboard heating system, read on.
Gurgling Noises Coming From Your Pipes
If you hear a gurgling noise coming from the pipes that supply your baseboard heaters with hot water, it's a sign that air is entering them. The noise is created by a small amount of trapped air in the pipe causing turbulence in the water as it works its way through the bends in the pipe.
Since the noise happens when the amount of air trapped in the pipes is small and before the trapped air blocks the flow of water throughout the pipe, it's normally the first sign that air is getting into the pipes supplying your baseboard heaters.
One or More Baseboards Heaters Aren't Getting Hot
When the air bubble in your pipes becomes large enough to prevent water from flowing through them, one or more of your baseboard heaters won't heat up. The water in the pipes is heated in a boiler, where it flows through pipes feeding the baseboard heaters. A small pump constantly circulates water through the whole system of pipes.
However, the pump isn't very strong, and it can't force water past a large amount of trapped air that has collected at a bend in the pipe. The pipes downstream of the trapped air won't receive any hot water from the boiler, and the baseboard heaters that are fed by the pipes won't produce any heat.
When you notice that your pipes are making a gurgling noise or your baseboard heaters aren't producing any heat, try freeing the trapped air in your pipes by opening the manual air bleeder valves on top of the boiler and your baseboard heaters. Opening the valves will release any air that's trapped in that location. Freeing the trapped air in your pipes will allow the pump to properly circulate water around your baseboard heating system again.
If freeing the trapped air doesn't result fix your baseboard heaters or if your pipes quickly become clogged with trapped air again, call a heater repair service and have your baseboard heating system inspected. A heating repair service will inspect all of the pipes in your home, your boiler, and your pump to determine how air is entering the system.
Contact a service provider to learn more about this topic.