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Cheap hot water radiators

Brad White_9
Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
If you need cast iron (as opposed to steel panels), may I assume you do not have constant circulation and cannot tolerate different mass outputs? If you have constant circulation, steel panels with TRV's on ALL radiators might be a good bet.

If it is aesthetics, what is wrong with the old ones? If it is low style you want, you may have to pay what they ask. Salvage radiation is another option. Help the homeless! :)


  • John_166
    John_166 Member Posts: 2

    I am replacing old cast iron steam radiators with a hot water system. I plan on using the Governale Gov Ray to replace them however they are really heavy 13lbs a section and pricey About $13 a section. Don't want to use regular baseboard because I dont think the rooms will get hot enough. One has 15ft cieling. Any opionions on something that I can use that won't weigh about 260lbs for a 20 section which is what the heating contractor said I need atleast 4 of. BTU's needed in the biggest room 15,900. Bedrooms about 7,000-9,000 and basement about 20,000. Thanks
  • John_166
    John_166 Member Posts: 2

    Not sure what you mean by steel Panels and TRV
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    1) Why replace steam with hot water? Every good steam man here agrees that such is usually a bad idea. Better to spend your money getting the steam system in top-notch shape than to spend significantly more money converting to hot water. Granted residential steam will always be less efficient than the finest, most modern hot water systems using condensing/modulating boilers, but residential steam systems in top-notch shape give surprisingly high fuel efficiency.

    2) Why replace the cast iron radiators? In many cases steam rads will be quite sufficient for a hot water system (even with a mod-con boiler)--especially if the shell has been at least reasonably insulated/weatherized. Certainly some work involved to convert rads from steam to hot water (especially one-pipe steam rads), but as you can see any decent hydronic heat emitter is fairly expensive.

    3) Are your iron rads sizable? If so, you will see small rods running across them at top and bottom. If they are sizable and significant insulation/weatherization improvements have been made and if this is a one-pipe system, I would look long and hard for the finest steam man you can possibly find. Such will be able to give you a truly fine steam system that will likely outlast you (and maybe your children) with minimal maintenance and reasonable fuel bills.
  • john_168
    john_168 Member Posts: 1

    OK I'll call your bluff. Who is the honest steam man in my area that will ( will put new valves on 3 rads and raise them 3/4" to accomodate a new floor. Put a rad in the kitchen. Make my 1 st floor cold rads in the bedroom warm without cooking me out in the rest of the house and give me heat in the basement all for alot less money than my new conversion. NY Queens/ Nassau border.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Matt \"Mad Dog\" Sweeney!

    owner of Triple Crown P&H in Floral Park. Matt has installed a steam system from scratch in his own home, and it works perfectly, so he can straighten your system out.

    So could I, but I'd be coming from Baltimore :(

    Go here for Matt's info:


    Not only would it cost less than a complete tear-out, but it would be far less disruptive to the house.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    If you *were* going with hot water

    Steel panel radiators are lighter and probably less costly than the CI you are looking at. Myson, Veha, Buderus and others make stamped varieties. Runtal and others make welded tube varieties. TRVs are Thermostatic Radiator Valves, designed to even out the radiator outputs in each room based on temperature. Thus if you have cast iron in one room which will put out heat at one rate versus steel panel radiators in another room, the TRV's will compensate for that.

    I agree you should talk to Matt MadDog!! Sweeney. He is about the best in your area, among others.
  • Helium CI Rads

    Ohh, so what you are really looking for is HELIUM Cast Iron. 1/3 the weight of standard cast iron.

    I just had to bid against this light stuff used in a certain B$%#@i boiler. I was told my 4 section boiler was twice the weight and 1-1/2 times the cost.

    After I nearly cried I looked you the specifications of the B boiler, seems their 4 section fires at a max of .9GPH and my 4 section fires at a max of 1.5GPH.

    Go figure! Seems that the 4 cast iron manufactures we carry are still the best buy.

    So, keep an eye out for that Helium CI, in the mean time do a good heatloss on the area ands see what you really need.


  • Tony_31
    Tony_31 Member Posts: 1
    Water Heater Connected to Geothermal

    I was called out on water heater that was building up too much pressure, thus opening the relief valve. It's an electric water heater and both elements and t-stats have been replaced. The w/h is pipped to a geothermal heat pump. Also the well tank has good pressure.Why is the relief valve keep openning?
    Anyone with a solution?
  • Uni R_3
    Uni R_3 Member Posts: 299
    Please start a new topic for your question

This discussion has been closed.