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Supplier & MFG. of Best Quality Steam Vents and Cast Iron Radiators

Athana Member Posts: 105
In our Ny/NJ area can you suggest where we can find tested used or new Cast Iron Radiators....company that will reasonably strip/repaint original ones...and best

steam vent maker.Thanks


  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
    edited June 2010
    best air vents and radiators

    what type of steam system do you have, 1-pipe, or 2-pipe?

    the best air vents, are the ones on the main pipes, which do most of the work. small gorton or hoffman vents will then let the air out of the radiator, after the main vents have released air from the main supply pipes, and the boiler itself.

    get a copy of "the lost art of steam heating" from the shop here, so you will be better able to understand how these wonderful systems should work.--nbc
  • Athana
    Athana Member Posts: 105
    edited June 2010
    One Pipe System

    The System is one Pipe with vent on the radiator itself.

    In our previous house(One Pipe) we'd replace the vents with ones from the Home Depot, (also valves ...but some of those failed in 10 years made in China.)

    Also someone put a long baseboard heater in a room and I'd like to find a replacement like the original cast Iron ones.

    I will buy "The Lost Art of S/H" has it been updated since original publication?

    Where is shop by the way,Long Island?
  • Big-Al_2
    Big-Al_2 Member Posts: 263

    My favorite brand of radiator vent is Jacobus Maid-O-Mist, made in Chicago.  I have found them to be reliable and very quiet.  They don't "ping" when they open or shut like the Hoffman, Watts, Dole, or Chinese knock-off vents.  They are available online from Pexsupply.com and others. They are regularly available on eBay, but watch out for unreasonable shipping charges there.  Many people here seem to prefer Gorton vents, which are similar in operation, but don't have any plastic innards like the Maid-O-Mist ones . . . but I've had better luck with Maid-O-Mist, and they are a little less expensive.   For a main vent, the consensus seems to be a Gorton #2.  I have Hoffman main vents in my house.  They don't vent as quickly as the Gorton units, so I used more than one. (I was able to find them pretty cheap on eBay.)

    New radiators are still available from Burnham.  Your local heating supply house can probably get them for you . . . but be prepared for serious sticker shock. 
  • Athana
    Athana Member Posts: 105
    edited June 2010

    How about used tested radiators ..?

    Any local sources(Ny/NJ)...

    Where is shop for book I can come in person if possible Thanks

    Oh yes..local company to refinish original ones with durable coating??
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,935
    For used radiators

    go here:


    This site has a lot more than The Wall.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Athana
    Athana Member Posts: 105
    refinish of original cast iron radiators?

    Aware of anyone who does good job of refinish of Original cast iron Radiators?
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,444
    for rads...

    also check craiglist... lots of them out there. As far as finishing them check out an auto body shop. They can sand blast them and even powdercoat finish them.
  • Unknown
    Painting Radiators

    Here is a link regarding painting radiators.


    You might also want to use the Site Search function (upper right hand corner of the page) and the Search the Wall function (right hand corner - middle of the page when you are on "the Wall". Use the words "painting radiators" with quotation marks. That should get you a lot of info from past posts on painting radiators.

    For the ultimate finish, powder coating seems to be the way to go though it is a lot of hassle as the radiators have to be transported to the powder coat facility. Also you want to make sure that the powdercoater knows not to heat the radiators too much (above 250 degrees Fahrenheit as this can burn out the paper gaskets between the radiator sections and cause leaks.

    I've painted my radiators in place and have been very happy with the result. You can do this yourself or get a painting professional to do it. Just read over the past posts to obtain a good systematic approach and make sure the paint professional you hire follows it.

    Most house paints today are latex and a satin or gloss latex works fine as long as it is over a good oil base primer. As the paint formulations are being approved constantly, I would seek the professional advice from good brand paint store (Benjamin Moore, Sherwin -Williams) . Make sure they understand that you are painting metal steam radiators.

    - Rod
  • Athana
    Athana Member Posts: 105
    Painting Radiators

    In our last house(1904) we had Steam Radiators and wife and I had bad experience with painting them.

    We proceeded to strip and paint them one by one.

    I used Sandvick/Bahco triangle blades and took everything off, down to metal.Then sanded with 60/80 grit sandpaper, and then vaccumed/cleaned them real well.

    Paint store recommended Benjamin Moore ImPervo Oil Metal and Wood low luster Undercoat(?) (Red can).And on top we put BM Impervo Oil Metal & Wood High Gloss.

    The first one generated a WOW! result from all (White Enamel) so we proceeded casually doing more..

    After two heating seasons the first one began to show signs of pealing..the rest followed over the few years..and began pealing..

    An incredible effort wasted.

    I called the most traditional country on earth concerning workmanship (England) and they recommened "Stove Paint"...No one knew what that was here anyway...

    We looked for a DULUX supplier as it's a much used paint in England, which might know what it was... and found a "High Heat paint" by DEVOE.

    The first one we did job on did not come out as high gloss/ impressive finish as others...

    but was painted in the house...a large house may I add...with some windows open for ventilation..

    That night I thought I would have to take my wife to the hospital...The fumes of that paint was incredible...we left every window and door open all night...but was SO poisonous smelling.. Regular Oils (FPE,BM..)are nothing compared to that stuff .It sould be illegal...

    That paint held up,though soffened a bit when radiators got very hot as curtains would stick to them some. Others radiators we did had to be taken out side for painting...still with unbearable fumes.

    In this "new" house, some of these Radiators are really ready to be taken on ...one by one, but would love not to waste the work, or use DEVOE again..

    I wonder how some paints are on these old radiators and do not flake off?

    Finish seems real thin though...
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,331
    If you search the wall

    This has been discussed many times. We have often used Aluminum paint on radiators. It goes on thin and silver in color. It also reduces the heating capacity of the radiator which can be a good thing in some situations. Powder coating is also popular but requires having it done by a professional paint shop. Usually an automotive body shop.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • Big-Al_2
    Big-Al_2 Member Posts: 263
    edited July 2010

    Locally, the monument (tombstone) dealer will do sandblasting at a reasonable charge.  Apparently he uses sandblasting as part of the stone engraving process and as long as he's set up, sandblasting a radiator doesn't take him long.  I got a couple of medium sized radiators sandblasted for well under a hundred bucks each. 

    Local home centers sell matte finish high-heat spray paint in white, almond, and black.   The auto supplies sell spray cans of glossy engine paint in a variety of colors.  Both kinds of paint will easily stand up to radiator heat.  I spray it right onto the sandblasted radiators without any primer.  It really sticks to that freshly roughed-up surface and I don't need to worry about the heat resistance of primer.  One thing I discovered: Radiators have a surprising amount of surface area and take a surprising number of cans of paint.

    Both kinds of paint stink pretty badly  when the radiators see steam for the first week or two, even if the paint is completely dry.  The high-heat paint stinks less.  Eventually the smell goes away.
  • Athana
    Athana Member Posts: 105
    High Heat Paint & Stripping...surface too smooth with scrapper?

    Thanks Al.

    Local monument suppy?....On Broad Street next to Evergreen Cemetary? Is that where?

    The first two radiators id like to paint are so brittle at this point, i can get the stuff off with scraper pretty quick...but will surface be too smooth for these paints too stick?
  • Big-Al_2
    Big-Al_2 Member Posts: 263
    Far, Far Away

    I'm in the Midwest, so I'm not sure where your local monument dealer would be, but you could give them a call and see what they have to offer.  The hardest part for most folks would be to haul the radiators to a sandblasting shop and back home again. 

    I have a couple of radiators that are just too big to move.  I scraped and sanded them, and the paint stuck OK so far.  Sandblasting does afford a rougher surface though, with better mechanical adhesion.  The main problem I have with preparing radiators by hand is access to the inner parts of the radiator.  There are a lot of nooks and crannies in there. I have read about others having good results by hauling their radiators out onto their front sidewalk and cleaning them up with a pressure washer before painting.  I tried that once . . . with limited success . . . but that particular radiator had countless coats of paint on it and had been left outside long enough to get pretty rusty.  I wound up getting it sandblasted anyway

    Spray painting works better outdoors too, because the overspray dust

    from several cans of paint will settle everywhere if done indoors,

    despite your best efforts at ventilation and containment.

    Whatever you do, please take reasonable precautions to protect yourself from lead paint that might be on the readiators.  I bought myself a good respirator and got a HEPA filter for my shop vac, etc. It was probably money well spent.
  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,568
    governale radiators

    New Radiators, various styles, Brooklyn NY.

    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,113
    ABC scrap

    ABC srap in paterson usually has a bunch of steam rads and usually some ornate one and as other have stated check both e bay and craigslist ,i recently drop a bunch of orinate 1 pipers at a freinds home but they decided to completly remove there steam system and another buddy grab them i believe he will be putting them on e bay in as is condition ,as a side line in the past he has another guy that picks them up bead blasts them and then power coats them they do come out beautiful when done but it is not all that cheap,as others have stated you can still get brand new ones like the beautiful burmham reprodutgion orinate ones they are not cheap but there new and theinside is whisle clean and leak free.Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • damnradiators
    damnradiators Member Posts: 1

    Do you have the contact details of ABC Scrap in Paterson NJ?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,527
    Do I lead a charmed life?

    Or is there something really weird about my situation?  In the process of restoring the building which I superintend, we paint the radiators in a room or space at the same time as we do the walls.

    With the same paint.

    Which is one or another colour of Benjamin Moore's current best acrylic (it's changed over the years). 

    We scrape and wire brush the radiators in place before the floors (which are shellaced) are refinished and while any plaster repairs are happening.  Depending on how bad the rust is, we may or may not prime -- which would be BIN, a shellac based primer.  Then when the walls are painted, so are the radiators.

    We've been doing this now for about 10 years (trust me: restoring a house to museum quality is not quick) and have yet to have a problem.

    We don't take the radiators out; we figure that something which has been in place, without a problem, for 80 years just isn't worth moving...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
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