It happens every winter: a radiator that is unprotected may freeze due to unexpected and very cold outdoor temperatures. This does not just happen at job sites but also in residential buildings.
How does this occur?
Rooms that are unheated or rarely heated during winter are the first rooms "at risk" (e.g., a porch, garage, unused room, barn, basement, hall and even a living room that is unheated during winter in an attempt to save heating costs).
Temperatures in rooms that are unheated can drop below freezing, even in residential buildings. The water filling the radiator turns to ice and the radiator will literally crack under the immense pressure of the frozen water. This not only results in a broken radiator that needs to be replaced, but water damage caused by the melted ice that flows from the now-damaged radiator.
How can this be prevented ?
- Ensure the radiators have thermostatic valves installed that regulate the supply of hot water, provided the valve is not fully closed, but is in the position indicated by a star. However this alone is insufficient.
- Ensure the requested temperature at night does not go too low. Most people set their home’s temperature for their living room. It is possible that the room temperature is achieved if this is programmed to 15°, however the thermostat will now order the boiler to temporarily stop warming. This is a dangerous moment for the other radiators in the other rooms. It is possible that the room temperature will remain at 15° the entire time, while the temperature in the porch goes below freezing, causing the water in the radiator to freeze.
- Do not change the installation of the radiators, the boiler or thermostats while you are absent (if this is not too expensive, or only for a couple of days).
- Do not think the heat produced in the other rooms will automatically go to the rooms that are not heated. In other words, do not expect that this will occur, but instead ensure that the required min. temperature is set in every room (on every moment of the day or year).
How to spot a frozen radiator ?
- The upper water channel is deformed throughout the entire length of the radiator due to the conversion of water into ice.
- The steel between the welding points will swell due to the ice.
- The steel sheeting at the upper welding points or at the connection box will have cracked in most cases. There is no doubt if you see any of these signs: the radiator has frozen.
Cracks in Certain Heated Floors
Certain causes are possible:
- There are no expansion seams: surfaces that are not rectangular or square have to be divided into rectangular or square spaces. Surfaces larger than 40 m2 and/or longer than 8 meter have to divided too such that the total surface is smaller than 40m2. In this case, ensure that the proportion between the longest side and the shortest side is not greater than 2:1! The door openings also require an expansion seam underneath the closed door. The expansion seams have to be filled with silicone or a special profile. If this is not the case, the various floor surfaces cannot move freely.
- The heating procedure has not been properly executed : always wait at least 21 days after covering the pipes with a screed (for screeds based on cement) or 7 days (for anhydride screed) before starting the heating procedure. The first heating period lasts 3 days with a supply temperature of 25°. After that, 4 days with a max. temperature of (45° to 50°)
- The temperature of the circles is too high : the maximum water temperature is 50°. An automatic setting monitors this limit, but your contractor will add another protection that will stop the circulation pump in case the setting should cease to function.
My Radson boiler is defective
Radson manufactures and sells panel radiators, bathroom radiators, design radiators and floor heating (in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands). The Radson boilers are not part of the selection. Please contact the company below for more information regarding after-sales service for boilers:
Kontichsesteenweg 17-2630 Aartselaar (Belgium)
+32 3 887 20 60 - fax: +32 3 887 01 29