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One Pipe Steam - recessing radiators

foresthillsjdforesthillsjd Posts: 14Member
Hello friends!
My 1925 house in Queens has been stripped to the studs on the inside, and the contractor asked me if I want to recess some of the radiators. I have a one-pipe steam system that works pretty well, but some of the radiators have inconvenient locations, and it would be nice to have them tucked into the wall, under the windows. The previous owners had replaced the exterior facade with EIFS, so there is rigid insulation on the outside of the house. What are your thoughts about converting from freestanding radiators to in-wall ones? I have a couple questions

1) Is it a bad idea?
2) Besides putting something reflective on the back of the radiator, any other concerns? Would the radiator be too hot to put in the wall of a balloon framed house? Would it melt the insulation on the outside?
3) How would I calculate the size of the in-wall radiator? Do I take the EDR of the current radiator and buy a recessed one with the same EDR? Does this calculation change since the original radiator was sized for an old, drafty house, and now I have a tight, insulated one?
4) If I don't recess the radiators, can I replace the freestanding radiators with a cast-iron baseboard type? What's the maximum length before I run into issues with the condensate?

I don't post here often, but when I do, you guys are always a tremendous help. Thanks in advance!

~Jackie

Comments

  • JohnNYJohnNY Posts: 2,168Member


    1) Is it a bad idea?
    2) Besides putting something reflective on the back of the radiator, any other concerns? Would the radiator be too hot to put in the wall of a balloon framed house? Would it melt the insulation on the outside?
    3) How would I calculate the size of the in-wall radiator? Do I take the EDR of the current radiator and buy a recessed one with the same EDR? Does this calculation change since the original radiator was sized for an old, drafty house, and now I have a tight, insulated one?
    4) If I don't recess the radiators, can I replace the freestanding radiators with a cast-iron baseboard type? What's the maximum length before I run into issues with the condensate?

    1. No.
    2. No, but do a good job of insulating the recessed enclosure.
    3. You'll need to calculate a new heat loss of the room and size the radiator output on that value.
    4. Don't use baseboard heaters on 1-pipe steam.
    For installations, troubleshooting, and private consulting services, find John "JohnNY" Cataneo here at :
    "72°F Mechanical, LLC"
    Or email John at [email protected]
    John is a professional Master Plumber, licensed by The Department of Buildings of The City of New York, and works extensively in NYC while consulting for clients in and out of state.
  • foresthillsjdforesthillsjd Posts: 14Member
    How can I calculate the heat loss of the room? I remember seeing excel files being shared a long time ago, but I can't seem to find them using the search function. Are there any websites I can use?
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