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Steel Radiators

Chris M_2
Chris M_2 Member Posts: 67
I'm wondering how many of yu have installed steel radiators, either for new construction with steam heat specified, or as replacements or additions to existing systems with cast iron.  I have a Burnham Megasteam (2 yrs old), as a replacement to a 60 year old boiler, and went ahead and replaced two of the old irons with two steel radiators. The steel looks nice, and has a much lower profile. The one drawback is that the steel cools a lot faster when the boiler cycles off, but overall, I'm happy with them. I'm wondering now if more contractors/builders would consider steam systems, given the fact that steel radiators are a lot less labor intensive to install than cast iron.  What are your thoughts? CMannering


  • Patrick McGrath
    Patrick McGrath Member Posts: 58
    Told not to

    Hi Chris:

    I looked into them for my kitchen and a bedroom in my house (the kitchen had two removed over the years, and the bedroom's was too small).  I was told specifically not to do this, as you are essentially losing heat potential due to the fact that the steel cools faster.  I ended up buying some old ones and sandblasting them.  I was able to get a pretty cool looking one for the kitchen, as the rest that I have are the "newer" type of cast-iron radiators.

    I do like the look of the new ones, however, and I think it would be cool to put one in my bathroom.  I also saw that you can buy rads from a British company that have towel racks built into them, so that has some interest to me.  An automatic towel warmer!
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,195
    Towel warmers can be made

    a decent welder can make a nice towel warmer from schedule 40 pipe and then it can be chromed or bronzed. I would not paint one unless I could get it high temp powder coating. No one likes the towels to stick to the towel warmer.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • haaljo
    haaljo Member Posts: 112
    steel radiators losing heat potential

    " I was told specifically not to do this, as you are essentially losing heat potential due to the fact that the steel cools faster. "

    The steel does cool faster but OTH it will warm faster so that may be a wash? I'd like to use a steel radiator (wall mounted slimline picture frame style) for my kitchen. it's floor mounted radiator was removed. These steel radiators seem to be a great option for wall mounting when renovating.

    When renovating two bathrooms, plumber advise me to be careful where you put radiators. He said you don't need bathroom radiators. The compromise was one got a small baseboard steam radiator and one got a separate 20 amp circuit for a small electric heater. The baseboard was a bad idea. It "stinks" and is rusty. The electric heater is rarely used but at least it's out of the way and easy to replace/repair.
  • Chris M_2
    Chris M_2 Member Posts: 67
    You might be right....

    You might be right about it being a wash (cooling faster/heating faster).  All I know is that the steel is a lot lighter and a piece of cake to install. They mount right to the wall with a couple of brackets that screw into the studs. I'm going to install another in my third floor bedroom when I gut and redo the room in a couple of months, and will probably replace the remaining cast iron rads in the other rooms with steel soon thereafter. - Chris
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,864
    If you're going to replace them all

    do a room-by-room heat loss calculation. You may find that you can use smaller radiators.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
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