Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Steam Radiator to Water Question

tombro
tombro Member Posts: 4
I'm building a new home and found a cool old one-pipe steam radiator from a school, which my wife fell in love with and promptly had powder coated. Our desire is to hook it to our hot water radiant floor heating system to provide (minor) supplemental heat near the front door. My problem starts with the outlet fitting being powder-coat baked into place and so far immovable. My question is, can I run my water into the 1-1/4" inlet and outflow via a small port I see on the upper third of the opposite side, on the idea that the water will not flow very quickly thereby allowing time for heat transfer out. Can this work? My inlet water temperature can be adjusted from my geothermal heat pump, from about 90 to 130+ deg.f.

Comments

  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,330
    Picture

    There are 2 issues that come up with these conversions.

    Many rads that do not leak steam will leak water like a firehose.

    Steam rads often lack the tappings needed to vent the air and are difficult to convert to hot water.

    I would post pictures of you radiator and let one of the steam gurus on here tell you what you have.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • tombro
    tombro Member Posts: 4
    Model ID

    It is a Kewanee 2-column listed as usable for water or steam.
  • Patrick_North
    Patrick_North Member Posts: 249
    Test It.

    Much as I like powder coating, the process can free up rust and such that's been keeping a radiator otherwise water tight. I'd pressure test it to avoid some potential heartache.

    Good luck,

    Patrick
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,082
    No top connection

    If yours does indeed look like that I don't think it's going to work with water.  Water radiators need a connection between the sections at the top and bottom so the air can be bled out of the radiator.  That radiator appears to only have connections at the bottom which makes it steam only.  If it had connections between the sections at the top it would have large pipe plugs at the top on each end which is a provision for pipe connections similar to the bottom of the radiator. You should post a picture of your exact radiator and not one from an old catalog.  I have found just because something is shown in a catalog does not mean the picture represents the real thing.  That picture is a steam radiator and they may have made a similar water version with slightly different connections, but dimensionally the same as that. 
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • tombro
    tombro Member Posts: 4
    Bummer

    KC, you are right. It appeared to have a duct but after closer exam those are cast spacers on the top. My wife will be crushed. Any ideas? How about if I drill and tap a small vent to bleed air from each segment? Would there be any thermal "rise" in the short column of water for functional heat?

    Maybe I can sell it for $25 and take her to a movie...

    Ooh! Can I make steam under my house? Cheaply? Also makes me wonder how a single-pipe radiator works, does the water gravity away from the radiator in the steam supply?

    Thank you all for your view on this! My expertise is alarm systems, let me know if you have any questions!
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,564
    Intersection of professions

    See this post about alarms in hydronics:--NBC



    http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/150605/Carbon-Monoxide-Smoke-Alarm-Interlock



    You could in theory tap each section for a screw air vent, but without the cross connection at the top, performance would be compromised. Why not look for another rad which is water capable?
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,082
    Good idea

    NBC there are tons of old radiator available all over the place.  Try craigslist I even see them on ebay.  I thought (can't find it now) there was a list of places on this site that sold radiators?  They are being torn out all the time (unfortunately).
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    radiator Valve

    I don't know how well this would work on a radiator with non-connected upper sections but it might work?  There will be an air pocket but eventually the air will dissipate.



    Rob



    http://www.oventrop-us.com/pdf/submittal/1-SteamRadConversion-S-091510.pdf
  • tombro
    tombro Member Posts: 4
    That's it!

    If I read this right, that valve directs a jet of water into the radiator and draws on the rotational flow or whatever you guys call it. Any plumbing wholesaler I presume? Would this be noisy with all the air?



    It'd be ok to find another, but this got all loved and stuff and now I can be the hero, once again, and don't have to buy more tools to drill it out.....wait a minute..



    Thanks for the link nbc the spider crawls anew.



    Thank you
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,082
    Will they work?

    The rad still isn't connected at the top so there won't be any real circulation.  This was recently mentioned in another thread and that is what was said.  I think the idea with these valves is for people with top connected steam radiators that don't want to add an extra tap into the radiator, at least that's how it presents to me.  Personally I would explore finding a hot water radiator instead.  It will probably end up being cheaper to just find the correct item than trying to make the incorrect one work.  By the way from what I have seen your radiator is worth a LOT more than the price you quoted to sell it for, especially if it's already powdercoated.  Here is a link to the other thread that discusses that valve.

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/150202/Ornate-Cast-Iron-Radiators
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Rad

    If this strictly for supplemental heat, I would give it a shot. If your wife loved it enough to get it powder coated it would make sense to try it. The vent will bleed the air out halfway, the rest of the air will be compressed in the top. I have no idea what the BTU output would be, but if piped correctly it will definitely get warm. If it doesn't work out you can always get another one and install it.



    JMHO,

    Rob