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which steam heat radiator do I choose?

Rachel Member Posts: 5
I have a kitchen area that currently has a 5-tube, 25", 18 section radiator (our system is one-pipe steam). I do not know the manufacturer, but it must be an old one as its five tubes.
My kitchen and adjoining room are about 300 sq. feet. I'm on the top floor and fairly warm throughout the winter. I want to get a replacement radiator w/ 4 tubes 19" high and 18 sections as I think I could get away with less heat in that space and it would fit much better.
There is such a vast range of pricing differences in radiators per section ($7-$16 for what I want). How do I choose the right manufacturer? What effects the price? Is it the thickness of the metal/efficiency? I have had an impossible time getting a straight answer on this. Any guidance would be SO appreciated.
Thank you very much,
Rachel Randolph


  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    Does the radiator that you have

    have small tubes and measure about 1.75" center to center section length? That is the only 5-tube (Burnham Slenderized) that I can find. It has an output of 2.4 EDR per section or 43.2 EDR total.

    10,368 BTUH in plain English :)

    That works out to just under 35 BTUH per SF of floor area which absent better information is about in the middle for an older home which has been improved. Not knowing the actual heat loss or how proportional to the heat loss the radiator now is, one can only guess at how effective the new selection might be.

    Pricing tends to be per SF of EDR (equivalent direct radiation or surface area).

    If, as you say, you have a yearning for a 4-tube 19" high unit, Burnham still makes those. It would be 4-7/16" deep, 19" high (no fooling!) and 31.5" long. Output would be 28.8 SF or 6,912 BTUH, just 2/3rds of what you now have. 23 BTUH per SF of floor area. Again, without a heat loss, this "reasonable number" has no meaning. Older homes with retrofitted insulation and sealing can fall anywhere between 20 and 45 BTUH per SF.

    My concern is, if the other spaces have a proportional over-sizing and this room happens to be spot-on, this smaller radiated room may seem cooler. I have no way of knowing but all things being equal, this is my experience.

    IF the spaces in general overheat, installing TRV vent valves on those radiators may compensate for this effect.
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,752
    Cast iron radiators

    You must be looking at used radiators, new cast iron radiators are more like triple that $ amount.
    Burnham slenderized fits your requested dimenstion and would be a good choice. Tim
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