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I have a 110 year old multi family house that has asbestos covered FHW supply and return lines feeding radiators on the first floor. (BTW: the asbestos is already encapsulated). It appears to be a two-pipe direct return sytem. The previous owner uncovered the 1 1/4" pipe, to a fitting, then connected copper reducers down to 3/4" in order to install a Slantfin 4 ft. baseboard radiator in the bathroom. Due to major renovations that are needed in the bathroom, I will be replacing the baseboard heater, since it was damaged during the renovations and the copper connections now leak at the fittings.
I am looking to replace the copper with Pex.
1. Is the original 1 1/4" piping black pipe? 2. If so, will I be able to use a black pipe 1 1/4" to 3/4" reducer directly to a Pex brass connector without an issue of corrosion or electrolysis? 3. What would I use on the threads? Is tape OK? 4. Do I need to use a balancing valve, and if so what type and in what configuration.
We live in RI, USA.
We purchased this house in 1999, complete with all the former owner's mess-ups, which we have been trying to fix, one project at a time.
This baseboard unit is the last unit on the loop. I am not able to tell if there was originally a cast iron radiator like the rest of the apartment, replaced by this baseboard heater, or if he simply decided to tap into the line and add a new baseboard unit to it. More than likely, it was the first situation. Now I'm stuck trying to figure out how to work around it.