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cleaning steam radiators

REMREM Member Posts: 10
We had a house fire.. we don't know how this affected the radiators. we are in the process of rebuilding.  can you please recommend a procedure we should do in order to make sure

the radiators are ok before hooking them back up?  is power washing ok? I cannot afford to take them somewhere and get them sandblasted which is what someone local had suggested.  They are going to be in built in radiator covers so I am not worried about appearance.  I was just going to wire brush them and use compressed air to get all the surface and loose stuff off.  Please give me an opinion.  thanks so much. This is a one-pipe steam system.


  • Tim_HodgsonTim_Hodgson Member Posts: 59
    Cleaining radiators

    Any method you discussed will work. Please take care to protect yourself, kids, neighbors and pets, since the paint most likely contains lead. Call the local DEQ office and find out how to handle and dispose of the old paint.

    Best regards,

  • RodRod Posts: 2,067
    Cleaning and Testing Radiators

    Hi- Sorry to hear about the fire problems. Cast iron radiators can take a lot of beating. The interior of the radiators should be clean. I would be a bit concerned about any radiators that were subject to high heat and or were subjected to be doused with cold water while be hot.  You might want to water test the suspicious ones and see if they are leaking. Keep in mind that steam radiators operate at under 2 PSI so a 5 PSI pressure test is more than enough.

    Here's a good post on testing:

    You might want to click on this link which shows the posts of Radiator Ranger.

     Gwen, "Radiator Ranger", has posted a lot of good info on testing and painting radiators which may be of help to you.

    - Rod
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