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Have both single and double radiators, now what?

stevesteve Member Posts: 36
I bought a fairly large house with 10 radiators. 8 of them are one pipe and the other two (one directly above the other) are two pipe.

I bought your books because no one around here knows much about steam heat, and I've never had anything other than forced hot air before this house. Much of the insulation is missing and I'm in the process of replacing it.

My question is this: what do I do about having both types of radiators in the same system?


  • JStarJStar Member Posts: 2,668
    Rads they work?

    Any pictures?
    - Joe Starosielec
    [email protected]
  • RodRod Posts: 2,067
    edited February 2013
    1& 2 Pipe Radiators on the Same System

    Hi- Having both 1 pipe and 2 pipe radiators on the same steam system is fairly common. As long as they are installed / piped correctly there should be no problems.

    - Rod
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 6,061
    As the guys said...

    Your situation isn't a bit uncommon.  So long as it works evenly and quietly, you have nothing to worry about.

    If it does not, the usual suspects apply -- just as though they were separate systems.

    It is, admittedly, a little harder to get really good balance in a mixed system, but it is possible -- again, the usual suspects: adequate main venting and paying attention to the speed of the venting of the one pipe radiators.

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • They work...but

    They work, but I was wondering how to tell if they are set up correctly. The old lady who owned the house before me did almost no maintenance so I've also replaced most of the radiator vents. Now that I've done that, the radiators heat more evenly, but now the vents are getting noisy. Not sure where to go from here.
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 4,245
    What kind of vents and what pressure

    You mentioned replacing the radiator vents and that while things were working they were noisy.

    What kind of radiator vents are you using? What pressure is the boiler operating at? What kind of main vents do you have?

    Steam systems usually work best at low pressures and you want to vent the steam mains fast and the radiators slowly.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • moneypitfeedermoneypitfeeder Member Posts: 231
    mixed bag

    Hi, my house also has both 1 and 2 pipe rads. (my 1 pipe rad is in the attic and the rest are all 2 pipe). I suspect when my house was built, they wanted to keep costs down, so for the attic the didn't run the second length of pipe to make it a 2 pipe. If you're starting to get noisy vents, I gotta ask, what is your pressure set at on the boiler, and do you have a low pressure gauge to accurately monitor it? Aside from that, is there any indication that your 2 single pipe rads ever had a return? Either a hole in the floor, plug in the main return etc? Welcome to the world of steam heat!
    steam newbie
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