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steam radiator/towel warmer

Luv'nsteam Member Posts: 278
Do any of you "old hands" know if they have ever made a combination steam radiator/towel warmer?  If so, any idea where I mite buy one?  Does anyone having ideas on building one?  I was thinking it would look cool, serve two purposes and not sit on the floor.  If I build one, I would get it plated, or, would stainless steel work better than steel (I know cast iron is the best, but I do not know any fabricators for cast iron) for heat dissipation?  Any other ideas?

Thanks you,



  • Luv'nsteam
    Luv'nsteam Member Posts: 278
    Radiator/towel warmer

    In my search for this animal, I have discovered a few for hot water only (and electric).  I have considered having two made (one for each bathroom) out of stainless steel, but I am not sure if the heat retention of stainless makes this a worthy investment.  What I really need is a cast iron foundry to cast me two.  Now that would likely cost a small fortune!  :  )

    Anyone want to chime in on using stainless for a steam radiator?


  • Patrick_North
    Patrick_North Member Posts: 249
    Been there.

    I have no data, but...

    With steam, all other things being equal, the odds are worse that your towels would be warm when you wanted them to be. And your odds go down further if you replace cast iron (would retain heat longer) with stainless (even shorter periods of towel toastiness).

    As part of a bath remodel I sought out a wall radiator to save on floor space, but I'd be reluctant to cover this (somewhat smaller) radiator with a towel. Maybe put the towel rack on an inside wall?

    Good luck,

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,714
    It depends

    cast-iron will hold heat for a while, so if it doesn't quite cool down before the next firing cycle the towel will stay warm.

    Stainless steel is low mass though, so it would go cold rather quickly.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,314
    May be a good time to use a programmable Tstat?

    have the temp climb 2 degrees a half hour be before your shower. Make it out of black iron heavy gauge like schedule 80 or 120 and have it welded and chrome or brass plated. I would prefer chrome.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • Chris M_2
    Chris M_2 Member Posts: 67
    Mount one of these vertically.. (steel radiator, any color you want)

  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752

    Have a timer/switch control a wet loop off the boiler.
  • Luv'nsteam
    Luv'nsteam Member Posts: 278
    So many great ideas

    I got the towel rack/radiator idea because my bathrooms need so little EDR (6 to 10), finding fancy rads anywhere near that small has proved fruitless (so far), the rads would be off the floor, they would not look like radiators and overall, they would be cool: who else has one??  I confess, this is not an original idea for me as I read about it/saw one/heard about it, etc and this is why I was searching for one already made.  Preferably, made from cast iron.  I looked at the rads available from steamradiators.com.  These units are for hot water or are electric.  I was able to learn from one of the engineers the main issue with not using these rads for steam is the input diameter.  According to the engineer, these units come with a 3/4" NPT and steam needs at least 1" NPT.  I am not an engineer but having read TLAOSH, using 3/4" for at least one-pipe steam (my system) would be asking for problems.  I am not ready to install these yet so I will keep looking.  Also, I may think about using black iron, as suggested by Charlie.  I am curious though, what pipe diameter would you use, 1 1/4" seems appropriate to me?

    A wet loop is more than I want.  If I do this, it will be all steam.  Even though I have more important things to do, the idea of designing a towel rack/radiator for steam is rather intriging......

    Thank you to all for your input.  If an idea pops in your head, please share it.

  • Chris M_2
    Chris M_2 Member Posts: 67
    Mike, I've installed these myself...

    I've got a one-pipe steam system (Burnham Megasteam). I've installed two of the steel radiators that I bought from steamradiators.com  myself, and couldn't be happier with their performance. They can be used for both water and steam, so I'm not sure where your engineer's coming from when he says you're asking for problems with these. FYI.. I was cautious myself at the start, and bought one radiator 24" X 36" to "try it out" for myself.. It was a piece of cake to install (mounts to the wall with a couple of brackets that screw into the studs), and after that one proved itself for a season, I went ahead and replaced another large cast iron unit in my dining room with a 24" X 72".
  • Luv'nsteam
    Luv'nsteam Member Posts: 278
    Good to

    Know that they have worked for you.  No issues with water hammer?  How about the heat output, was it enough to keep your bathroom warm (more important than the towels) and the even your dining room? 

    Any special steps or parts required to pipe to existing valve, Chris?

    Thank you,

This discussion has been closed.