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Help with pipe size

joe7joe7 Posts: 15Member
I’m a new homeowner with little experience with steam heat.  I was hoping that some of the pros on this forum would be kind enough to help me with my question.

 

I’m renovating the whole top floor for myself.  My contractor convinced me to exchange the bulky, column cast iron radiators with recessed Surad radiators – to save valuable space.   In preparing the piping for the Sunrads, the plumber reduced the pipes to 1”.   (note: he didn’t reduce any risers. each 1” pipe goes only to a single radiator).   This got me a bit worried, since I noticed that the original pipes were wider.

 

He insists that 1” pipes are more than adequate for a single radiator.  (on the top floor, there will be 6 Sunrads ranging between 12 and 14(16) sections, plus 2 smaller sunrads for the bathrooms).

 

My system is a 1 pipe steam system.  It’s a 2 story building (plus an unfinished basement).  The mains are 2” (from the boiler until the back of the house is aprox 25’, to front - 50’).   The risers range between 1.25” to 2”.

 

Thank’s in advance for your guidance and advice
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Comments

  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Posts: 5,535Member ✭✭✭
    Size matters

    If these were piped as 2 pipe radiators, then they might work; but a 1 pipe radiator will need enough room in the pipe for the steam to come in, and the water to exit. Why not run returns from the other end of the radiators back down to the basement floor, and into the wet return.

    If you can reinstall the old cast iron radiators, they would work best, as their thermal mass will match the rest of the system, which the sun rads may not. Lower thermal mass rads will need more frequent short shots of steam to keep them warm, while cast iron can have longer, and less frequent cycles.--NBC
    · ·
  • BobCBobC Posts: 2,671Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2013
    It could work

    I assume you are going to insulate everything to death and the length of 1" pipe will be short (I would insulate those pipes if you can). For the largest Sunrads you will be on the edge, a 14 section has about 31.5 EDR rating and a 1" single pipe will supply 28 on a horizontal run so they may not get hot all the way across. If the space is well insulated and that 1" pipe is real short you will probably be ok, some of the more experienced pro's will have a better feel for how this will work than I do.



    If those Sunrads had a return pipe on them the 1" pipe would be rated for an EDR of 68.



    I have a single small sunrad in a second floor bath that is 1" copper from the main all the way up and aver and it works fine. That radiator only has an EDR of 17.5 but is fed by 20+ feet of 1" pipe and it works well.



    Bob
    Post edited by BobC on
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    · ·
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,396Member ✭✭✭
    Rads

    Post a list of all the radiators and number of sections, and the lengths of the horizontal run-outs. We can tell you what size pipe they should be.



    Maybe you should invest in a steam expert to do the work.
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357
    j.star@thatcherhvac.com
    http://thatcherhvac.com
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac

    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.
    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
    Consultation anywhere.
    · ·
  • STEAM DOCTORSTEAM DOCTOR Posts: 520Member ✭✭
    Caution

    I have seen endless jobs done by general contractors that have involved moving or recessing radiators. The results have not been pretty! Undersized pipes, poor pitch and other knuckleheading. I have made a good bit of money fixing up these problems. Do yourself a favor and get a steam pro involved. It is always cost effective and more pleasant to have it done correctly the first time.
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  • joe7joe7 Posts: 15Member
    Joe Starosielec

    They are Sunrads, they will run between 12 and 14 sections.  The 1” horizontal run-outs run anywhere between1’ to 6’  Thank you!
    · ·
  • BobCBobC Posts: 2,671Member ✭✭✭
    Mind the details

    Steam systems are simple but the details matter. Make sure all the piping is properly pitched and insulate it if at all

    possible. Any problems you had on the second floor before may be worse after this modification, so look at the entire system nt just the work being done now. The Sunrads will lose the heat faster than the column

    radiators did but if the space is well insulated that should not be to

    much of a factor.



    Take the cautions of the two pro's who posted after me to heart, they have a lot of experience between them. Make sure your installer backs up that work with a performance guarantee, in writing if possible.



    Make sure all the piping is properly pitched and insulate it if at all possible. The Sunrads will lose the heat faster than the column radiators did but if the space is well insulated that should not be to much of a factor.



    good luck,



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    · ·
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,396Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2013
    Rads

    1" run-out is only good for an 11 section SunRad. Go with 1-1/4". You MIGHT be okay with 1" pipe in the vertical rise but NOT for the horizontal run-out. In other words...use 1-1/4" the whole way. Also, if you exceed 10 feet or can't pitch it enough on the run-out, go up one size to 1-1/2".
    Post edited by JStar on
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357
    j.star@thatcherhvac.com
    http://thatcherhvac.com
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac

    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.
    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
    Consultation anywhere.
    · ·
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