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Levitating Radiator

Big_Al Member Posts: 20
We just bought an old house a few weeks back with single pipe steam. It looks like a couple of radiators were removed some time ago. There was a capped-off steam pipe going up to the second floor bedroom where my wife and I sleep. I like to sleep warm, so I bought and installed a pretty small cast iron radiator for the room . . . It weighs maybe 75 pounds.

I installed it at what seemed to be the proper height. The pipe lines up nicely and the radiator sits solidly on the floor when the system is cold. When the riser pipe gets hot, the radiator actually lifts about 1/8" off the floor.

Anybody ever seen this? Anything to worry about?


  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    Thermal Expansion

    It seems the riser to which you are connected has "Bob Dole Disease" and carries the radiator with it.

    My concerns are the stress on the radiator connection itself and that the "pitch back to the main" might be compromised. A solution to me would be to install a swing joint (series of elbows and nipples in a U or J pattern) to absorb the stresses of expansion, and to "cold spring" the radiator- give it an exaggerated pitch when cold so that when the riser expands, the pitch is still acceptable. Just wedge the opposite radiator end from the connection enough to do this, maybe 1/4". Be gentle.
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
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