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Wall mounted steam radiator

Hi, we have a great steam system. Sized appropriately, great near boiler piping, it's quiet etc. Everything is motherhood and apple pie, except the kitchen. I'm sure it's a common problem, but the previous owners pulled out the radiator(s) to save space and installed 2 toe kick heaters connected to a hot water loop off the steam boiler. 2 problems: the water pipes water hammer like crazy (I think steam is being sucked out of the boiler), and it's not sized properly for the heat loss in the room, given leakiness and a lot of windows.

While I might be able to fix the water hammer, I'm tired of listening to the noisy fans, and I'm tired of it not being able to keep up on colder days. I figure why not make use of the 340,000 BTUs I have in the basement and put a steam radiator back in... I've seen people talking about them on different forums. Something like this: https://steamradiators.com/pdf/charleston-radiator.pdf. We have a good spot that could hold one of these, near where I think the old radiator was located. Anyone have experience with them? Other manufacturers? In the basement under the kitchen I can see the old "connections" that have been capped off, so I figure I could connect into one of those?

Am I missing something? Thanks all.


  • Grallert
    Grallert Member Posts: 637
    Sounds to me like you have a handle on your needs and have a plan in the works.You might be able to find one of those radiators at a salvage yard. Or buy a new one. I'm not familiar with that company. Not so sure one radiator will do the trick.
    Miss Hall's School service mechanic, greenhouse manager,teacher and dog walker
  • flarf
    flarf Member Posts: 2
    I have three of the Steamview from the same manufacturer. Plumber who installed them tried to steer me away, saying they don't work as well as traditional radiators -- that's probably true, but I'm in an NYC co-op where the single-pipe steam system runs way ahead of where it needs to be.

    The only issue I've had is that the radiators get pushed up and out of alignment by subtle moves in the pipes as they expand and contract. All three radiators are now higher on the end where the steam pipe enters (up from the floor) and need to be adjusted. The brackets that hold the radiators to the wall aren't strong enough to resist the force exerted by the pipe movements. I'm thinking about putting a block under the end opposite the pipe to keep them from going askew.
  • speedbird
    speedbird Member Posts: 21
    Thanks to you both.

    Grallert, haven't done heat loss calc yet. Maybe the current toe kicker system can remain in place to supplement on colder days. Will have to see how big a rad I can fit in that spot.

    Flarf, interesting issue, will keep that in mind. I lived in NYC for 8 years, so can relate all too well to more steam than you need!
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,724
    Those radiators are stamped steel, which behaves differently from cast-iron. So the room might not heat properly if you use them.

    They still make cast-iron rads, or you can find a used one that will fit the space. Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • mikeg2015
    mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,194
    Just put in a good sized radiator and put a TRV on it. Kitchens have a lot of diversity for net heat loss.

    Could use the hit water since you already have a pump. You just need to add a 1/2” bypass line so boiler water is mixed with the return water to make sure it stays under boiling. Also, the pump need to be mounted as low as possible so water pressure is higher than the boiler pressure.
  • Dave in QCA
    Dave in QCA Member Posts: 1,785
    It sounds like you have located where the steam radiator was originally located. I would suggest installing cast iron again, its the only thing that will perform an a manner consistent to the rest of your dwelling. I suggest scouting out radiators on Craigslist. Search on cast iron radiator or cast iron radiators. There are usually plenty to be found.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
  • speedbird
    speedbird Member Posts: 21
    Mikeg2015, thank you for the suggestion regarding my hot water loop. I found an article by Dan H about this and had a diagram showing my bypass loop you mentioned. See pic attached below, I have this exact setup without the bypass. My plumber said he doesn’t work on stuff like this, how can I find someone to add this loop?