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"New" house in New York has old radiators. Considering refinishing (sandblasting? painting?)

oldradiatoroldradiator Member Posts: 4
hi all, just bought my first house and the hot water radiators look like hell! more importantly, we have a 6-month old and i'm very concerned about peeling/chipping (potentially) lead paint.

it seems sandblasting is the true course of action. i called a few local places. one charged $20/fin, another $50+ but had no solutions to removal and transport.

our painter also told us he'd sand and paint them but i doubt he'd take all the proper precautions if lead is present.

at any rate, hoping to spark a discussion here. thanks!

Comments

  • EdTheHeaterManEdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 1,557
    edited January 10
    Here is a discussion that started back in May 2020 that seemed to have a happy ending. https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/180002/stripping-paint-from-cast-iron-radiators-using-a-lye-bath
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    Specialized in Oil Heat and Hydronics where the competition did Gas Warm Air

    If you make an expensive repair and the same problem happens, What will you check next?
  • oldradiatoroldradiator Member Posts: 4

    Here is a discussion that started back in May 2020 that seemed to have a happy ending. https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/180002/stripping-paint-from-cast-iron-radiators-using-a-lye-bath

    agree, they look nice but i'm in NO way comfortable attempting that process.
  • acwagneracwagner Member Posts: 507
    Have you tested the paint for lead?
    Burnham IN5PVNI Boiler, Single Pipe with 290 EDR
    18 Ounce per Square Inch Gauge
    Time Delay Relay in Series with Thermostat
    Operating Pressure 0.3-0.5 Ounce per Square Inch

  • oldradiatoroldradiator Member Posts: 4
    acwagner said:

    Have you tested the paint for lead?

    no. as of now it's just an assumption.
  • acwagneracwagner Member Posts: 507
    You can buy lead testing kits at a hardware or home center. They're little swabs that you smear on the suspected surface. That might help understand the extent of the problem.
    Burnham IN5PVNI Boiler, Single Pipe with 290 EDR
    18 Ounce per Square Inch Gauge
    Time Delay Relay in Series with Thermostat
    Operating Pressure 0.3-0.5 Ounce per Square Inch

    kcopp
  • TomTATomTA Member Posts: 17
    Where are you located? $20/fin is outrageous, at least in my area. Try calling a powdercoating place (ask for "blast only", as opposed to blast and powdercoat), or failing that any sort of heavy truck or farm equipment repair place. If that doesn't work, an auto body shop might be able to point you to a sandblasting place.

    Removal, transport, and reinstallation is a whole 'nother issue.
  • oldradiatoroldradiator Member Posts: 4
    TomTA said:

    Where are you located? $20/fin is outrageous, at least in my area. Try calling a powdercoating place (ask for "blast only", as opposed to blast and powdercoat), or failing that any sort of heavy truck or farm equipment repair place. If that doesn't work, an auto body shop might be able to point you to a sandblasting place.

    Removal, transport, and reinstallation is a whole 'nother issue.

    thanks - just outside NYC.
  • TAGTAG Member Posts: 394
    Many years ago when I was restoring an 1810 town house in Philadelphia we removed a had some sandblasted and then painted by a local auto body (different people) --- it was a lot of work. Later when doing a stone victorian in Chestnut Hill PA there was no way I was going through removing and reinstalling heavy radiators -- just getting them disconnected without damage would have been difficult. That project was large and I had people blasting other parts of the project .... they blasted the radiators in place and I had them sprayed. Back then they used shells.

    Today they blast with both dry ice and baking soda ... I had a whole project soda blasted after a fire in 2012. Soda blasting is common when cleaning old beams for barn projects. It's actually easier to find blasting companies today as they have truck based franchised people around -- they don't use sand anymore.

    Stripping them with chemicals depends on how thick -- it's messy and hard to get into the tight spots to clean off.

    I would look for someone who would do them in place
  • Paul PolletsPaul Pollets Member Posts: 3,359
    Many times I've removed all radiators for sandblasting and paint in a renovation. Since I live in a major city, there were 2 places to have it done. Now there is one place that does it. The owner or GC is responsible for delivery and pickup. The paint used is a high temp paint available in a dozen colors. Powder coating is not used anymore due to hazards in the workplace. Costs were "reasonable", about $300 per radiator

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