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Vintage Convector Repair - is it possible?

ChicagoCooperator
ChicagoCooperator Member Posts: 354
edited January 2021 in Strictly Steam
So one of my neighbors has a leaking convector element in a vintage convector cabinet (installed as an additional convector in a room that was inadequately heated by the design or running of the original system). I've heard that these can sometimes be repaired by car radiator shops - do any of you know if this rumor is in fact correct? Obviously it probably depends on the material, etc, etc...

PS I should add it's similar to those in the Trane brochure in the museum but I don't know if it is in fact Trane.

Comments

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,818
    edited January 2021
    Copper and/or steel tubes can always be repaired by a craftsman. Finding one that is willing to try this is the difficult part. Looking for an auto radiator repair shop is the first place I would start. A radiator is a radiator no matter where it is installed. They need to hold water pressure... Plane and simple. Getting the old parts to the radiator shop is the challenge. You need to shut down and drain the system below the level of the radiator in question.

    You could then cap off the piping to re-commission the system during the repair. Better yet, install isolation valves on the supply and return piping to that radiator.

    Yours Truly,
    Mr.Ed
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,818
    Another idea is to find a new element that can be fitted into the vintage cabinet. What are the dimensions of the leaking element? The pipe fitting size that the supply and return, and locations of the connections are important too.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • ChicagoCooperator
    ChicagoCooperator Member Posts: 354
    It looks like the convector element is fixed to the cabinet (this is two-pipe steam, so no draining required). If the original convector is still in situ that might just get reconnected - she thinks the room is too warm as it is. It's fairly lightweight so getting it to a shop would be no problem.
  • ChicagoCooperator
    ChicagoCooperator Member Posts: 354
    As a follow up, it sounds like there are supply chain problems for everything (or the contractor who she hired doesn't want to do it), but convector elements and radiators!