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ARCO Cast iron convector radiator

joanie
joanie Member Posts: 9
Hello everyone I am new to the forum and I am trying to find a solution to a problem. We are repairing our heating system to our new home and we have Arco cast iron convector radiators. On the first floor, 6 of the radiators so far leak. Does any one know if these can be welded or have information were we could find replacement. THey are no longer manufactured.



Here is a picture of the radiator. see page 4 <a href="http://www.heatinghelp.com/files/articles/1259/192.pdf">http://www.heatinghelp.com/files/articles/1259/192.pdf</a>



thanks in advance for your help.

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,771
    Your best bet

    would be an architectural salvage place.



    Is this a steam or hot-water system? Are the leaks in the radiators themselves or at a pipe or valve connection? Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • joanie
    joanie Member Posts: 9
    Arco cast Iron convector radiator

    It is a hot water system. The boiler installer ran hot water through the system to check it so I am assuming it is a hot water system. I think the leaks are in the radiators themselves. This was a foreclosed home that was not winterized and the pipes froze and now we have a problem. We are in Pontiac MI.



    Do you think they can be welded?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,771
    Oh boy

    a freeze-up. This is going to be a can of worms.



    If radiators froze and burst, some of the heat system piping probably did too. It would be best to disconnect all the radiators and cap the pipes so all the piping can be pressure-tested. That way you know for sure.



    If much of the piping has burst, the entire system may need to be re-piped. Fortunately, there are some newer piping and control strategies that can result in much better efficiency.



    Let us know how you make out.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • joanie
    joanie Member Posts: 9
    thank you

    I will let you know how it turns out. I also found a canadian company that may have replacement radiators http://www.oldcastironradiators.com/ They were very familiar with the system we have in place. Again thanks for your help.
  • joanie
    joanie Member Posts: 9
    Arco cast Iron convector radiator

    I found a place in New York that has replacements. Maybe this info can help someone else. The replace the cast iron with either cast iron, steel or copper convectors. Here is the web site http://www.ocsind.com/ We are going to try the JB weld first and if that does not work them we will buy new ones. will keep you posted on the JBweld product.





    cheers
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,195
    J B weld has its place

    I would NOT trust it as a long term solution for convectors. Once cast iron cracks its structure is like glass and the cracks travel.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,195
    Those radiators are still made today

    or at least a very close copy by Governale and Burnham .
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • joanie
    joanie Member Posts: 9
    jb weld

    I found a place in New York that has replacements. Maybe this info can help someone else. The replace the cast iron with either cast iron, steel or copper convectors. Here is the web site http://www.ocsind.com/ We are going to try the JB weld first and if that does not work them we will buy new ones. will keep you posted on the JBweld product.





    cheers
  • joanie
    joanie Member Posts: 9
    TRIED JB WELD

    We tried the JB weld on one of the radiators but it did not work. We have pressure tested the radiators and now know exactly where they have the leaks. Each broken radiator has a leak in one section of the unit. We were thinking that if we can take apart the radiators and use one of the broken radiators to repair 3 of the others ( by using the good sections in one to replace the broken section in each of the radiators).



    If this is possible, does anyone know if these radiator sections are welded together? They have bolts on top which i have removed but nothing they are still tightly connected. Any help will do. We are trying to find a cheaper solution some of the cast iron we will need are 1K each the cheapest is $700 and we need 6 so this will be a very expensive job if we cant make something else work.



    Any help appreciated.
  • joanie
    joanie Member Posts: 9
    TRIED JB WELD

    We tried the JB weld on one of the radiators but it did not work. We have pressure tested the radiators and now know exactly where they have the leaks. Each broken radiator has a leak in one section of the unit. We were thinking that if we can take apart the radiators and use one of the broken radiators to repair 3 of the others ( by using the good sections in one to replace the broken section in each of the radiators).



    If this is possible, does anyone know if these radiator sections are welded together? They have bolts on top which i have removed but nothing they are still tightly connected. Any help will do. We are trying to find a cheaper solution some of the cast iron we will need are 1K each the cheapest is $700 and we need 6 so this will be a very expensive job if we cant make something else work.



    Any help appreciated.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,475
    Not Welded

    Cast radiators are connected with push nipples. You may be able to still get these. Check the links below.



    Another option is to replace these with convectors that have copper fin tubes. They're much less expensive. Check the "Beacon/Morris link



    http://www.governaleindustries.com/



    http://www.usboiler.burnham.com/



    http://www.beacon-morris.com/html/beacon_morris_convector.asp
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Oak Park Electric
    Oak Park Electric Member Posts: 54
    Frozen rads

    Those radiator sections are not welded together, but you would think they are.  Originally, they are pushed together under considerable force. But in your case time and rust have gotten involved too.  It is possible to carefully knock radiators apart, remove a bad section, and then reassemble.  Another option might be not welding but brazing.  If I had to fix a non-radiator cast iron part that's how I would do it, and it might work for the rads too.  One thing to watch out for though.  What Charlie says about traveling cracks worries me.  If you spend the money and time having them brazed, but the cracks move anyway, the repair could be costly and all for nothing.  Probably the best first thing to try is a salvage place like Steamhead said.  But also check your pipes.  They might need replacement too. Cap all the open ends, and use compressed air at less than 30 PSI to see if you have any leaks.  Just don't let anybody try to talk you into a scorched air system.   
  • Oak Park Electric
    Oak Park Electric Member Posts: 54
    You could also

    Try  www.antiqueplumbingandradiators.com

           www.oldcastironradiators.com

           www.allaboutradiators.com

           http://radicalradiator.com/

    Check any scrap metal buyers in your area, and look on ebay...  there are a bunch of radiators there.
  • joanie
    joanie Member Posts: 9
    thank you

    Thanks for your help. We were able to fix most of the radiators. We had a total of 30 and all but one was intact. We were able to take them apart and swap out the broken pieces for good parts. In the end we had to buy 4 new ones. We went with the steel. A lot cheaper than the cast iron.



    The only advice I have for anyone in this situation is we hooked up the radiators to a close hot water system (we used hoses). We ran hot water through the radiators and once the radiators heated up and got to a high pressure of water (higher than the pressure that goes through the system normally) All the cracks and leaks could be identified. Also after heating the radiators, the nipples were a lot easier to remove and the sections came apart much easier.



    Again thanks for all your help. Now if we could just figure out a way to change the broken pipes in the wall without tearing through the wall.
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