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Exposed interior piping

limejuice Member Posts: 3
I live in a home built in 1920 in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. No insulation. Built with gravity hot water, now circulated, but most piping is original. I’ve observed in many places around here that they tried to run supply/returns in interior walls, but where they had to run up an exterior wall, they ran them exposed within the living space, about 4” from the exterior wall. I have one such pair in this house, and when the radiator they lead to was replaced, the bozos just bent the pipe to make it fit the new rad, which is a bit smaller. Now it’s much more of an eyesore and I’d like to replace it with copper, which I would then insulate and box in. So my question is, did they figure exposed piping to count as radiating surface when designing these systems back then? I’m just concerned that once I hide and insulate these pipes, am I going to have a cold/drafty spot here? The pipes in question are next to the front entry and across from the staircase leading to the 2nd floor hallway. A possibility I thought of was to add a 4’ high rad of 4 sections or something similar to heat this area. House is 1400 square feet.


  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,785
    No ,they ran it though the room as not to freeze ..

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  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
    Probably not considered for heat to the room but more for not letting it freeze in an exterior wall.
    Post some pictures.

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,317
    The above, plus... it was probably a retrofit, and trust me -- you don't bury pipes in old walls if you can possibly help it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England