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Starting Over...

ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
Very common, we do it all the time.

And yes, radiant can be added to the first floor later , if you wanted. Definalty put it int he 2nd floor rooms that you want. Do the Bathrooms. You'll kick yourselve later if you don't.


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  • Doug_11
    Doug_11 Member Posts: 16

    I bought a 1300 square foot colonial built in 1926 which had a single-pipe steam system installed. After some initial exploratory work I discovered major issues with the place and ended up gutting it to the studs. Large changes needed to occur (walls moved, rooms changed roles, etc.) so I scrapped the whole system. I intended on going to forced air and "be done with it". Over time guilt set in and I decided to go back to radiant heat in an effort to keep the place as original as possible.

    I recently came across a large number of radiators IDENTICAL (size, style) to the ones I stupidly pitched. Question is what would be my best bet as I'm starting from scratch. Single-pipe steam, two-pipe steam, hot water? I'm literally at the point of a roughed-in old house, all structure exposed on all floors. I don't plan on doing any of the heating install myself, I'm just looking for unbiased opinions regarding which way to proceed. The radiators are US thin-tube radiators.

    Thanks for your time,

  • I'd do a Tudor system

    which is an Orifice Vapor system that runs on a few ounces pressure. This has the lowest number of moving parts of any system out there, which is one thing that made it popular in Europe. It could even run without electricity if the proper boiler were installed. Read more about it here:


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  • Dave Stroman
    Dave Stroman Member Posts: 763

    Yes, it would be cool to put in another steam system, but is it really practical? Wouldn't it make more sense to put in a hot water system with small, hidden, pex tubes supplying each radiator?

    Dave Stroman, Denver
    Dave Stroman
  • fatty
    fatty Member Posts: 46
    and also

    you can transition from pex to copper coming out of the floor. for the right look. wait... can you go pex to iron? why haven't i ever seen that?
  • Doug_11
    Doug_11 Member Posts: 16

    How common is it to use PEX piping to supply hot water to old radiators? This may be the option I'm looking for, all I really care about is getting the radiators to supply the heat, not the mechanism behind the scenes. Jumping ahead, I could also have radiant floor heating along with the radiators, correct?
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    Are your outside walls siding also removed?

    i would make a heavy investment in insulation , one time....

  • Doug_11
    Doug_11 Member Posts: 16

    The exterior walls were gutted as well-I insulated the heck out of the place. I could not believe the lack of insulation when I peeled off the plaster.
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    Good thinking...

    we are into r40 walls and 60' in the lid these days. complete vapor barrier attention and controlled ventilation ...the heating source and system is becoming more often than not, radiant heat of some sort and often low temp hydronic...

    on a home your size you may find that a small oil condensing unit and trv'd reverse return a habby combination in your new home / period restoration.. every thing looks the "same" except... you may have insulation in abundance, some low temp floor radiant and rads to dial in a little something Extra in the colder parts of the season...

    your rads can still produce heat mind you , the water temps are just lower ... when you think the system out, look for the coolest water temp that you can use ...

    Pex is often used . more and more the multi walled style pex aluminum pex is finding its way into the market , as it does not shrink and expand as drastically as pex ... well, me shut up now ...let someone else have some input...
  • Doug_11
    Doug_11 Member Posts: 16

    Thanks for all the comments, much appreciated!
  • Doug_11
    Doug_11 Member Posts: 16

This discussion has been closed.