Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

How to add a radiator to existing steam heating system

PatB
PatB Member Posts: 40
Hello, I am new to this forum. have a question:

I have a room without heat. It is next to the kitchen which has a radiator. The house uses steam boiler.

My question is whether I could install a radiator in the room connecting to the heating system through kitchen radiator pipe.

thanks

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,098
    The run out pipe (the branch feeding the radiator) would have to be large enough for both radiators and also have the proper pitch. Calculate the EDR of both radiators then we can tell you what size the pipe must be.
    ChrisJSTEAM DOCTORLS123
  • PatB
    PatB Member Posts: 40
    sorry, I really don't know much, just a landlady trying to fix things when tenants ask. The room without heat is no more than 10 x 12 size, lots of windows. Tenants want to use the room during winter.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,421
    Oh come now, @Youngplumber . As @EBEBRATT-Ed says, one does have to make certain that the runout pipe to the existing radiator is big enough with enough pitch -- or to figure out how to run a new one with enough pitch. That's not hard, and actually doing the job isn't that hard either.

    And, @Youngplumber , it is something which you, as a plumber, need to know how to do and be able to do.

    or @PatB , and you figure out which pipe (or pipes) in the basement feeds that existing radiator, and then tell us what size it is? Also tell us whether the existing radiator has just one pipe coming in, or two? We're working on it...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ChrisJethicalpaulLS123
  • PatB
    PatB Member Posts: 40
    thank you all; I guess I need a plumber to check the specifics then come back to present more details. a follow up: when is the good time to add the radiator if all possible? thanks
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,421
    Um... well... the plumber can get you more specific information, but not all plumbers are all that familiar with steam any more...

    As to when is a good time? Pretty much anytime. Unless the job involved a lot of carpentry or plaster or sheet rock work to get at pipes, a good steam person should be able to knock it out in no more than a day or so, having spent another half a day or so looking over the job and getting prepped for it. Just don't do it when it's 20 below and snowing...

    I remember one job when a bunch of folks got together and repiped an entire steam system -- granted, one story house -- in a day and a half...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    LS123
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,421

    @Jamie Hall you think whomever designed the sytem designed the piping big enough to counter flow two radiators? You have more experience than me, so you'd know. I'm just asking, has that been your experience? If so good to know. Me blindly guessing would think they wouldn't design it that way. 

    Often not -- but you have to look to see. Thing is, it depends so much on the situation. If the whole riser has to be made bigger, and it goes up three floors and over, that's a real hassle. On the other hand, if it's on the ground floor and you are looking at a runout and short riser... even if the takeoff from the main is a size too small, you can use an eccentric reducer to increase a size and you'd be OK. It really isn't safe to make a generalization -- one has to look at the specific situation.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,084
    known to beat dead horses
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,084
    meant to add,
    where are you located?
    known to beat dead horses
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,421

    @Jamie Hall I figured a safe no rather than a guess at something that isn't likley.

    But that was before you said you could increase from the main with an eccentric reducer. I would assume the choking down at that point would cause problems, but if you think it's OK then I'll go with that. Good to know. 

    It's not the best idea in the world, but it will work -- and it beats taking the old T out and substituting a new one... keep in mind on that that a pipe with a very strong pitch (or vertical!) will handle a lot more radiation and a nearly horizontal one -- that's the the bit that saves you.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • PatB
    PatB Member Posts: 40
    Thank you for your reply, very helpful. I found three contractors could help me. I will make contact. Thanks!
  • LS123
    LS123 Member Posts: 466
    @PatB , always go with a contractor from this site. last 4 years I was paying slightly less than 400 a year for local heating co to take care of my oil steam burner, all they did was, clean and vacuum the chamber, get rid of any soot, change oil filter and filter on the burner, change the nozzle and then make sure its burner is meeting levels of CO2, CO, O2 and temp (there was a small leak on the slight glass, I bought a replacement and put it on... now its even better... as I found out that heating vendor never mention about insulation of supply pipes, never check main valves (one was so badly damaged and old, I was loosing steam about 2 gallons in 24 hours... I just put new Gorton 2) insulated the supply pipes... performance has increased significantly... radiators are next... they will all get new vent valves
    Thank you!
    @LS123
  • PatB
    PatB Member Posts: 40
    thanks for sharing
  • LS123
    LS123 Member Posts: 466
    @PatB not..... sure where your potential project to get new rad in the room mentioned at the beginning of the post. if this is till an open or tentative project use all these smart and experience members of this forum to give you few more feedback.
    I was wondering, ?
    1) pics of rad
    2) pic of boiler
    3) pic of the pipes that connects to this rad (perhaps from the basement if pipes are visible)
    Best!
    Thank you!
    @LS123