No one likes dealing with problems involving their heating system. Heaters that won’t turn on – or in some cases, won’t turn off – cause comfort issues and energy waste that can cost you big. One issue that is more common than people might think is a radiator that is still hot even when the heat is off.

So what causes a radiator to still be hot when the heating is off? In our most recent blog, the heating and cooling technicians at Bigham’s One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning discuss two common reasons for this issue.

Malfunctioning Check Valve

Older radiator heating systems use a boiler to keep hot water at all times. The hot water from the boiler rises and travels by natural convection up to the radiators. When your home’s heat is turned on, a pump draws water from the boiler to the radiators. When the rooms reach their desired temperature – or the heat is turned off – the pump stops.

When the pump stops, a check valve is closed by a weight, which stops the natural convection from occurring. When the pump turns back on, it can overcome the resistance of the weight from the check valve. If the check valve fails, the natural convection will continue. This makes your radiator feel hot even though the heat is “off.” Check valves tend to fail when a spring breaks or debris is blocking the valve from closing.

An HVAC technician from Bigham’s One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning can help fix your check valves and diagnose your issues. Because these issues are common in older systems, it may be worth modernizing your heating system. 

Diverter Valve Problems

Modern radiator heating systems use their boiler to heat water for heating radiators and for heating water for sinks and faucets. Thermostats are used to switch the water to the radiators or the hot water tank. The part that directs the hot water to the radiators or the tanks is called the diverter.

Diverters work like your tub with a showerhead. When you don’t want the water to come out of the tub faucet, you push a button that diverts the water to the showerhead. The difference in boilers is that it can supply water to both the radiators and the hot water tank at the same time by moving into a “mid-position” so that both can get the hot water they need.

Occasionally, this diverter valve fails or gets blocked with debris so it can’t stop water from going to the radiator even when the heat is “off.” Water that should be going only to the hot water tank is still being diverted to both. This is another common reason why your radiator is still hot even though your heat is off. Bleeding your radiator can help fix this problem, but if it still persists, that means there might be more issues with your thermostats or boiler, and you should call Bigham’s to fix it. 

Bigham’s Is Your Trusted Radiator Repair Company in the Bay Area

If your radiator is still hot when you want to be cool, this could be very uncomfortable and wasteful, so it’s important to fix it right away. From Cloverdale to Los Gatos, Bigham’s is there to solve your heating and cooling problems.

Calling Bigham’s One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning will make your house comfortable again without issue. We are prepared to replace and install any parts or equipment your heating system needs. We’re on call 24/7 for you. No issue is too big or too small when your comfort is in jeopardy. Call us today for service!