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Old radiators get burning hot to touch

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moneymm
moneymm Member Posts: 10
What is my best bet with these old radiators? I am not sure what they are called, and how much the replacement options will cost me?

in the mean time is there something i can do to make them safer as we have a 1 and 3 year old and we are afraid they will get burned.



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  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,750
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    They would have to try and get burned. They will say ouch, move their hand and never touch them again. To actually burn they would have to ignore the ouch and try and make themselves get burned.

    I would only be concerned if your children have some kind of neurological disorder that prevents them from feeling pain.

    Other than that teach them not to touch, My children are 11 and 8, had steam heat since born, they never said ouch as I taught them since birth not to touch them. Children are curious, but need something to attract them, those radiators are pretty boring to a child.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,650
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    Radiators do get hot. That's their job. At the risk of sounding slightly callous, most of us, back in the day, touched a hot radiator once -- and learned never to do that again. Your kids will, too. No lasting damage, just respect.

    However. If you feel you need to protect your kids from the radiators, the only approach is to put up a screen around them. There are a number of standard fireplace screens which would do, or you could create a screen yourself -- as decorative as you like -- with some wood and screening (metal, please). Be sure to allow for air circulation to and from the radiator -- otherwise it won't be able to heat the space.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    I assume this is a Steam system even though it looks like that is a Hot water bleeder valve on the upper right corner. Has to be steam to get that hot, so valve is wrong. To your question, they have to get hot to warm the room. Do all of them get that hot or just the one or two nearest the boiler? Are the rooms over heated? There is no way to have cool radiators/convectors and still heat a space but you might check to see if the boiler pressure is higher than it should be or, if it is just one or two radiators/rooms that over heat, balancing the venting will help a little, but like a kitchen range or oven, the kids have to understand the meaning of "Hot". It's the way we taught all of our kids.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,750
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    Their other post speaks about the house having hydro air, so this is not a bit confusing as to what the system is. It also says they have AC, but I see a window unit in that picture.

    I am guessing this is a hot water system. If so another option may be to run it at a lower temperature. Depends on the install and controls available.

    Even so, my earlier statements still stand.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • moneymm
    moneymm Member Posts: 10
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    KC_Jones said:

    Their other post speaks about the house having hydro air, so this is not a bit confusing as to what the system is. It also says they have AC, but I see a window unit in that picture.

    I am guessing this is a hot water system. If so another option may be to run it at a lower temperature. Depends on the install and controls available.

    Even so, my earlier statements still stand.

    this is a different house. this is actually my brothers house that he just bought, i was just trying to help him out with this issues as the grandparents are very concerned.

    Its not just touching them, they are kids so they can easily fall or lean into them when playing etc. one is right next the 3 year olds bed.

    again, didnt know what it takes to replace these with a normal in wall radiator that doesnt get burning hot to the touch. or if there was a cover or something. thanks.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    @moneymm said: again, didnt know what it takes to replace these with a normal in wall radiator that doesnt get burning hot to the touch. or if there was a cover or something. thanks.

    They do make radiator covers for the more convention, free standing radiators. I suppose you could put one of those in front of these. They typically stick out into the room 8 to 12 inches and they do impact heat output. They are not cheap either.
  • Brewbeer
    Brewbeer Member Posts: 616
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    The radiators are relatively small, so they need to get quite hot to put out enough heat to make the room comfortable. To get the same amount of heat at a lower temperature, you need to use bigger radiators. If you feed the existing radiators with lower water temperature, they won't produce as much heat, and they may not produce enough to get the room comfortable.

    For example, I am using radiators that are designed to put out 850 btu/hr for each foot of radiator when using 180 degree water. However, I'm using ~120 degree water (not 180 degree water), but I'm also using 3 times as much radiator length, so that the heat output for one foot of radiator at 180 degrees is the same as three feet of radiator at 120 degrees.
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,008
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    Does the boiler maintain a high temperature all the time? If so, and it doesn't have a tankless coil (or if it does but is no longer used) a control upgrade will let the system run cooler. Also consider outdoor reset, which tailors the water temperature to the outdoor temperature.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,839
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    Radiators get hot. That's what they do. People have lived with radiators for about 130 years. Millions of kids have survived and your brothers will as well. Kids are smart and will learn fast. You can always put furnature in front of it. Leave plenty of space so it can still heat. A portable fireplace screen
  • Dave0176
    Dave0176 Member Posts: 1,177
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    I grew up in a steam heated house from the time I was born, my mother never had any covers on the radiators if I got burned I don’t remember it. Your children will fine, as was mentioned if they do decide to touch them it’ll probably only happen once.
    DL Mechanical LLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing 732-266-5386
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