CommunityWhat’s the Cause of Spotty Radiant Heat?

What’s the Cause of Spotty Radiant Heat?

Hi!  I am a new member and cant tear myself away from your website and show.  I purchased my first home last year in upstate New York.  It is a small 1922 farmhouse that was mostly move-in ready.  After spending a year here, I have learned what improvements should be made.  Going into winter, I have a big concern about my radiators.  

I have hot-water radiators throughout the house, zone-controlled, with a thermostat on both floors.  I noticed that the second floor radiators don't provide sufficient heat when compared to the first floor.  I chalked this up to their distance from the boiler, but after closer inspection, i discovered the culprit: Though the pipes are new copper and seemingly updated, I learned that there is actually no “Send” for the second floor rads.  There is a zone valve for the return, but the second floor supplies are all tapped out of the first-floor send.  I didn't catch this before purchasing the home, but the more I learn, this seems like trouble.  

Is this as large an energy-waste as I think it is?  It seems like the radiator is pushing and pulling in ways that it isn't plumbed for.  Would running a supply line be best, or should I leave it alone?  I feel that with the proper plumbing, I will get much more heat and efficiency from the boiler.  

Thank you so much for your input, and I look forward to hearing your replies.

The Money Pit Answer
First, welcome to the Money Pit!  I'm glad to hear you've gotten a lot out of the show and website.  My advice for you: This is NOT a DIY project.  There are a number of possible causes for the inconsistency among your radiators, but I don't have information to confidently diagnose the problem.  For example, is it a hot water system or steam?  From a consumer perspective the two can look identical, but they're plumbed differently.  This is a case where I'd spend time finding an experienced plumber, one with a reputation of successfully servicing older houses, and get a diagnosis.  If after that happens you still have questions, fell free to send us the information provided by the plumber or heating contractor, and we can take it from there.  Good luck!