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Replacing old iron fittings

what part of the MA building code says "no non-ferrous piping"; might that be in error? For heating, copper is often used as is iron. Galvanized is limited and never on domestic HW or gas. Regular black iron (Sch. 40 steel) and malleable iron fittings tend to dominate; cast iron less so as a function of availability. Copper is also used for domestic water of course, but only type L and type K. Type M, the thinner wall, is often used on heating.

Enough about that.

In would start by using air pressure to find leaks. If identifiable, great, you can replace those areas. I would stay with iron on an iron system.

Now, if the leaks are pervasive (but the radiators, how are THEY??), I would consider PEX-AL-PEX, homeruns to a manifold or to new copper mains. Run these right to the radiators.


  • Stan Geddes
    Stan Geddes Member Posts: 1
    Replacing old iron fittings

    I recently purchased an old 1900 2 level 2 family home.
    The original heat source is an old gas hot water boiler with cast iron pipe and fittings and old cast radiators. I am in Massachusetts and 2 winters ago - before i bought the house - the house was not winterized and the pipes froze. There are 2 badly cracked 2" tees and several places where the pipes appear to have been leaking [ on long vertical runs].
    Do i do the repairs and if so should i go with black pipe or galvanized? MA building code says no non-ferrous metal pipes but i assume that it is permitted for repairs to existing iron pipes. Are there special couplings that are designed specifically for this type of repair?
    Or should i assume that there will be lots of additional frost damage and plan to replace the entire system? I would like to keep the radiators but am open to boiler and pipe replacement partly because there is a second new heat system heating the 1st floor and so i think the big old boiler is likely way over size for the remaining 2nd floor only heat.
    Thank you
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