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new radiator installed with copper piping

Spunky424
Spunky424 Member Posts: 82
i've got one pipe steam in my home and had a contractor a few months ago install a new radiator in my daughters room as there was no heat source in there. in checking my system over i just now realized the steam piping is copper. The branch from the main is 1" black iron but the vertical riser from the basement to the second floor (roughly 10') is 1"copper. After some google searches i'm reading this is not good wondering if i should leave well enough alone. i'm not having any issues but just found it strange to see copper in a system that is all black iron.

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,516
    Threaded Black iron is recommended because the joints willhold up with constant expansion and contraction. Copper, with sweat joints can't twist and turn and will eventually give way and start to leak. It may happen in a year, it may happen in ten years. That's an unknown. I hope the radiator in your daughter's room is a small one. A 1" steam supply will typically support about 25 EDR, 30 at best.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,434
    What @Fred says is true enough -- but in application like this one you should be OK, as the radiator really isn't fixed at the end, and the expanding pipe can push it around some, but there's no twisting. You may find, though, that the pipe as it expands rubs on something and makes a noise; the most common is on the floor where it comes through. If it does, you may be able to shut it up by moving the radiator slightly or by slipping a piece of plastic cut from a milk jug between the pipe and where it rubs.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Spunky424
    Spunky424 Member Posts: 82
    Fred said:

    Threaded Black iron is recommended because the joints willhold up with constant expansion and contraction. Copper, with sweat joints can't twist and turn and will eventually give way and start to leak. It may happen in a year, it may happen in ten years. That's an unknown. I hope the radiator in your daughter's room is a small one. A 1" steam supply will typically support about 25 EDR, 30 at best.

    Yes it is a small radiator. calculated EDR was 16 since her room is relatively small.
  • Spunky424
    Spunky424 Member Posts: 82
    edited June 2019

    What @Fred says is true enough -- but in application like this one you should be OK, as the radiator really isn't fixed at the end, and the expanding pipe can push it around some, but there's no twisting. You may find, though, that the pipe as it expands rubs on something and makes a noise; the most common is on the floor where it comes through. If it does, you may be able to shut it up by moving the radiator slightly or by slipping a piece of plastic cut from a milk jug between the pipe and where it rubs.

    Thanks so much for this information. i also notice the copper pipe is not insulated. would it be worth while to insulate?
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,516
    edited June 2019
    @Spunky424 it always helps to insulate the pipes. It is less critical if the pipe is on an inside wall but important if on an exterior wall.
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,000
    Well, expansion is increased, but you left out a critical piece of info...does it work without any issues? If so, I would leave it be.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,183
    My bathroom radiator was piped in 1" copper a few years before I bought the house in 1981. This was done when the bathroom was remodeled and the radiator was moved across the room.

    After 40 years the radiator (17.5 edr) works fine. At this point (I'm 72 years old) it's going to be up to the new owner to remedy that little faux pas
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
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