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Radiator Replacement

MaTTyBiGsMaTTyBiGs Member Posts: 26
edited February 28 in Strictly Steam
Back with another question, tried to search the forums and found some answers but want to make sure it's correct before I make any mistakes.

Background: we have a leaking radiator in one of our rooms, it's leaking from the press fit connection between the plates (sorry, forget the right term for this fitting) - which after reading the book sounds like it's a big gamble and a pain to try and fix. The radiator is too small for the room anyway so I'm working on replacing it.

My question involves the height of the radiator connection relative to the valve on the riser. The one I want to replace is quite short (picture 1) compared to some of our others (picture 2 as an example of "normal" in the house). The radiator I found I wanted to purchase looks like it may be even higher (picture 3). I know I will need a new valve since the valve/spud are unique and I was wondering if I can just get some sort of adapter to raise the valve to the appropriate height, and then shim the radiator if I need fine adjustments to connect?

Pictures of old radiator are attached too (pictures 4, 5 and 6) and potential replacement are attached as well (picture 7 & 8).








Comments

  • MaTTyBiGsMaTTyBiGs Member Posts: 26
    Just found the 45 method as well, seems like there are a couple of options to do this effectively. Sorry for the unnecessary post, you can close and delete if needed.
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 7,965
    The replacement rad seems to have a very small inlet spud. Is there a bushing in the radiator which can be removed to accept the size you need?—NBC
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,058
    You may also find that below your floor there is already a structure that will let you lift the riser some.
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 6,103
    @MaTTyBiGs
    Remove your old radiator and valve. You may have a little play in the supply pipe but make sure you maintain upward pitch on your horizontal supply.

    Put the new valve on as tight as you can by hand (no dope for now...just to get a measurement) and slide the new radiator in place.

    If the radiator is high you may be able to pull the pipe up a bit (if your within a 1/2" or so)

    If the new radiator is low remove the valve and install a coupling and a close nipple or an "extension coupling" which is male x female thread dope it up and put it on with the new valve.

    Then you can "shim" the radiator up. You can find a couple of scraps of hardwood to cut up and stain to raise it up.

    You could also do it with (2) 45s and a few nipples if you don't mind the look of extra pipe fittings
  • MaTTyBiGsMaTTyBiGs Member Posts: 26

    The replacement rad seems to have a very small inlet spud. Is there a bushing in the radiator which can be removed to accept the size you need?—NBC

    Yes, there is - I was worried about that too but if you zoom in you can see it.

    You may also find that below your floor there is already a structure that will let you lift the riser some.

    Not sure how I would get to it without pulling up the carpet and flooring? The riser is in the wall after this until you basement when it appears again.

    @MaTTyBiGs
    Remove your old radiator and valve. You may have a little play in the supply pipe but make sure you maintain upward pitch on your horizontal supply.

    Put the new valve on as tight as you can by hand (no dope for now...just to get a measurement) and slide the new radiator in place.

    If the radiator is high you may be able to pull the pipe up a bit (if your within a 1/2" or so)

    If the new radiator is low remove the valve and install a coupling and a close nipple or an "extension coupling" which is male x female thread dope it up and put it on with the new valve.

    Then you can "shim" the radiator up. You can find a couple of scraps of hardwood to cut up and stain to raise it up.

    You could also do it with (2) 45s and a few nipples if you don't mind the look of extra pipe fittings

    Great information, thanks. My plan is to wait until the heating system is over in case my plans go slowly. Since I'm very new to it all, I want to go slow and make sure I don't break anything.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,058
    Not sure how I would get to it without pulling up the carpet and flooring? The riser is in the wall after this until you basement when it appears again.


    You can gently lever the pipe-side of the radiator higher to see if it comes up any
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • Chris_LChris_L Member Posts: 143
    Your "new" radiator looks like it was last used for hot water. In addition to taking out the iron bushing at the inlet, which won't be easy, you'll need to be sure there is a place for a vent at the other end.

    If I were you, I'd see if I could find a used radiator that was previously used for steam that has the right size inlet and a steam vent ready to go.
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,099
    What diameter is that steam supply pipe? A larger radiator won't provide more heat if the supply is too small to supply both supply steam and allow condensate to drain out (on a one pipe system). If that supply is only 1", it will support a radiator of about 25 maybe 30 EDR. Any radiator over that will likely not any value. If the pipe is 1.25", you can reliably expect about 55EDR.
  • MaTTyBiGsMaTTyBiGs Member Posts: 26
    edited February 28
    Chris_L said:

    Your "new" radiator looks like it was last used for hot water. In addition to taking out the iron bushing at the inlet, which won't be easy, you'll need to be sure there is a place for a vent at the other end.

    If I were you, I'd see if I could find a used radiator that was previously used for steam that has the right size inlet and a steam vent ready to go.

    That was a suspicion of mine, thank you for the input.
    Fred said:

    What diameter is that steam supply pipe? A larger radiator won't provide more heat if the supply is too small to supply both supply steam and allow condensate to drain out (on a one pipe system). If that supply is only 1", it will support a radiator of about 25 maybe 30 EDR. Any radiator over that will likely not any value. If the pipe is 1.25", you can reliably expect about 55EDR.

    It is a 1" supply and unfortunately that entire side of the house is. If this is true I fear that entire side of the house has radiators that are too big for the supply. Does this cause a big problem? Or is it just not using the entire capacity of the radiator?
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,099
    How long have you lived in this house? Has it been a problem? Those larger radiators can be vented down enough to make them work but if they are vented fast enough to fill all the way across, there will likely be some problem with condensate draining out during a heating cycle and that can cause water to spit out of the vents. Adding a large radiator probably isn't going to provide more heat in that room as you will likely have to vent it down enough to provide about what you are currently getting out of that smaller radiator.
  • MaTTyBiGsMaTTyBiGs Member Posts: 26
    @Fred - about a month :)

    We just moved in and I am working on getting everything figured out - I'm as far as reading the "we got steam heat" book and measuring main and riser diameters and lengths. No mains are insulated, the main vents are way too small, and some of the radiator vents are painted over. The whole thing seems like it's been neglected minus the new boiler - which I have no idea if it's sized correctly. This radiator was just broken, so for all I know it may be adequately sized for the room - and maybe some of the other big ones are oversized. I feel like I won't know until the system is working a little better.

    The good news is the house is not uncomfortable, but it's definitely unbalanced - some radiators get real hot and the rooms are cozy and others barely warm up on a heating cycle.

    I am self admittedly a little over eager, so I may be jumping ahead of where I should be. I ordered some main vents but have not unboxed them and have insulation all ready to be ordered as well, and also ordered new radiator vents that I'm not sure if I will use yet or not.

    I think I'm at a point where I want to have an expert come look everything over and provide suggestions and then give my plans a blessing or a resounding "no". I called "All Steamed Up" and am waiting for a callback, if they don't service Harrisburg PA I will have to find someone else.
  • GrallertGrallert Member Posts: 344
    One of the advantages of a water radiator is it's likely to be sound as it's been holding water at around 12psi, assuming it hasn't been cracked. You'll want to put some air pressure to any new radiator to be sure. The radiators will be happy with a 1" steam supply. Those water radiators are pretty easy to convert to steam you'll just have to locate the vent in the correct place, there is a drilling casting you will find about half way up the end.
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,099
    @MaTTyBiGs , you're on the right track. Insulating the mains will help a lot and getting enough good, big main vents on the system are key. Do that before you try to balance the radiators. If you can get @Steamhead out for an evaluation, that would also be great.
  • MaTTyBiGsMaTTyBiGs Member Posts: 26
    @Fred - Is there any reason to not move ahead with the insulation and bigger mains before I have a pro take a look? I would assume if the steam mains are wrong I can always just replace them and if necessary remove insulation to check slopes and stuff.
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,099
    MaTTyBiGs said:

    @Fred - Is there any reason to not move ahead with the insulation and bigger mains before I have a pro take a look? I would assume if the steam mains are wrong I can always just replace them and if necessary remove insulation to check slopes and stuff.

    If you are going to have someone evaluate the system in the near future, I'm sure they would prefer not to have to have insulation on all the pipes. Makes it easier to check pipe sizes, pitch, look for any pipe reductions on the horizontal pipes, etc.
    The heating season is coming to an end and you can take your time, during the spring and summer to insulate, after any corrections are made to the system.
    If the evaluation determines the piping is good to go, then you can insulate at your convenience.
  • MaTTyBiGsMaTTyBiGs Member Posts: 26
    That is true, perhaps I will live with what we have for now and then work on it during the warmer months to have it in high gear for next year.

    Maybe I can install my new main vents to satisfy the itch a little bit? :)
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,099
    MaTTyBiGs said:

    That is true, perhaps I will live with what we have for now and then work on it during the warmer months to have it in high gear for next year.

    Maybe I can install my new main vents to satisfy the itch a little bit? :)

    You can certainly install the new main vents. That will help a lot.
  • MaTTyBiGsMaTTyBiGs Member Posts: 26
    Excellent, that will satisfy the tinkering side of me enough until a pro can come in.
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