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Steam radiator on external wall - best option?

Hi all,
I searched on this site for my situation but couldn't find exactly same so posting few pics and would welcome any advice. I have 1 pipe steam system, and in process of remodeling bath on 2nd floor. Now that walls are open can see the bathroom radiator had single piece of aluminum sheet metal attached directly to the exterior wall of the house. No insulation behind it and nails from the outside siding were poking thru the aluminum in several places! There is maybe an 1/8 gap between the radiator and sheet metal behind and wood box on top.

Sometimes newer isn't better so I can just get another piece of metal and make sure it is attached a little neater and without nails thru it but would be open to any thoughts if newer materials etc that folks would recommend?

Thank you in advance



Monika

Comments

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    Is there enough room to get some foil faced rigid foamboard or a foil faced insulation blanket behind the radiator?

  • atmonifa
    atmonifa Member Posts: 15
    edited September 2018
    Unfortunately, no. That is what I hoped - I wouldn't mind the rad sticking out more but to give me more room would mean cutting into the wood and moving piping and that is behind the shower pan...

    To clarify I don't now about the insulation blanket - is that like space blanket kind of? if thin as sheet metal then it would fit
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 429
    If you cannot fit a thin piece of aluminum backed styrene insulation behind it you can always glue the thinner blue board insulation to the wall to hold the heat with some aluminum foil glued to it with the shiny side facing inward. Failing that a thick piece of strong cardboard with the shiny side of the heavy weight aluminum foil glued to it to reflect the heat inward would work if there is minimal clearance.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    atmonifa said:

    Unfortunately, no. That is what I hoped - I wouldn't mind the rad sticking out more but to give me more room would mean cutting into the wood and moving piping and that is behind the shower pan...

    To clarify I don't now about the insulation blanket - is that like space blanket kind of? if thin as sheet metal then it would fit

    Then I would line the face of the sheet metal you use with a foil that is highly reflective (facing into the room) to radiate the heat back into the room.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,371
    Where is the radiator valve for that CI rad?
  • atmonifa
    atmonifa Member Posts: 15
    No valve. It is also copper pipe ... It would be more than I can spend to change all this and it does actually run beautifully and heat without issues after I made changes suggested on this site and got proper vent on it.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,371
    How about a picture of the other end of the rad.
    Will a magnet stick to the pipe or the fitting on it sticking out of the wall?
  • atmonifa
    atmonifa Member Posts: 15
    I can post one later when home but the coupling? is iron if I remember right
  • atmonifa
    atmonifa Member Posts: 15
    Would copper be a suitable material instead of aluminum? I know it would be more expensive but looks a little better ...
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,010
    Are you using the metal as a reflector or a heat shield? Can try gluing bubble foil if just looking for a heat shield.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • atmonifa
    atmonifa Member Posts: 15
    To have best solution (knowing no insulation behind it) to minimize heat loss. If it can look better, since the radiator and the wall behind it first thing you see , i.e copper then that would be great but not at expense of heat. If piece of sheet metal is still the best option then I will live with it. Thank you everyone for providing feedback - I learn a lot on this site.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,371
    Just a thought here.
    Would you have enough room if you could bring the rad completely out of the recess and into the room?
    A 90, nipple and 90 would place the rad out onto the floor.
    You could close up the cavity completely.

    Or 2 45's would bring it part way out.
    In either case the rad would go farther to the right.

    As a mock-up you could place the rad on the floor,
    Place a chair where the WC would be and check the knee room.
    I have done such mock-up's in the past for visual effect and checking clearances. Seems weird but free.
    ethicalpaul
  • atmonifa
    atmonifa Member Posts: 15
    edited September 2018
    That is a great idea. I did not even occur to me and the rad is already out to try it. Thanks!

    I remember I took a couple before shots for the Reno, I assume the new toilet dimensions will be similar so it looks like I could come out more from recess.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,371
    It would be a great towel warmer also.
    Your heat loss could be lowered so that you will want the towels over it whenever the steam is up.
    You just need to sure that any piping added will drain the condensate back down the riser pipe.
    Any dips or reductions may produce water hammer.
    Also you may need to add some nice looking blocks under the legs to insure the slope of the piping for proper drainage.

    That 4" PVC riser might be ready to be shortened if the plumber approves. (for the chair).

    You could post a picture of the mock-up.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,371
    I did not see your last pictures until today.
    At this point of construction, your plumber might be able to use an "Offset" WC floor flange that could move your toilet about 2" to the right.

    For the radiator piping if you use a "Street 90" for the 90 that connects to the union on the outside of the wall you would gain almost 2" away from the front of the WC.

    IIWM, I would dry fit the radiator before making the final decision.