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Converting one pipe steam radiators to hot water

I'm putting a boiler in a small ranch style house. I have the urge to put in radiators in a couple of rooms. I found some really ornate radiators but they are one pipe steam with steam vents about 1/3 the way down from the top and it appears the top connections between the sections are very small. Can I drill a vent at the top and tap it to 1/8" FPT? I think I can get the plug out of the opposite end of the existing connection.

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,916
    For hot water they will have to have a cross connection at the top.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    kcoppIronman
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,723
    @Jamie Hall is right. You can drill all the bleeder openings you want, and they still won't work on hot-water.

    But you could always install a steam system in that rancher...................
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    kcopp
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
    Post a picture of the rads you are looking at. We can tell you if they will work on water.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 887
    The steam radiators will work on a hot water heating system. You wont need vents on the radiators if you install the system with the pumping away method of locating the circ pump.

    Jake
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,021
    We haven't seen the radiators yet.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,317
    edited February 2022
    I agree post a picture so we can see
  • veteransteamhvac
    veteransteamhvac Member Posts: 73
    Radiators (both hot water and steam, but mostly hot water) are available on Facebook marketplace (Zuckerberg and I aren't pals) at giveaway prices. If you want a hot water system just go source a few there, the sellers will be so happy they found some fool :smile: willing to take away that giant, heavy door stop. Find the right radiator that suits your needs, there are even lots with fancy filigree on them.

    BTW, if it were me dreaming up interesting places to install old hot water radiators I would specify wide and low (ie; not steam radiators) so I can sit on top of the warm ribs and watch the snow fall through my ranch house picture windows.

    delcrossv
  • Dennis
    Dennis Member Posts: 101
    If you're going to covert what cannot be converted, best to go all the way, install a blower and duct system. If you want to retain the boiler install a hot water or steam coil in a cooling blower.
    Just do it, right.
  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 496
    <Snip> available on Facebook </Snip>
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  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,214

    The steam radiators will work on a hot water heating system. You wont need vents on the radiators if you install the system with the pumping away method of locating the circ pump.

    Jake

    I have found this to be true too. It may take a bit of time, but the circulating water will gradually absorb the air in the tops of the radiators and bring it back to the air separator near the boiler. I would use at least a B&G IAS ( not a plain air scoop) or a microbubbler air separator for this application.
    There are several old Reed type radiators at the Florence Hotel, in historic Pullman (Train car manufacturer company town) that were reused when they pulled out the steam and hacked in a hot water system ( destroying trimwork, tin ceilings and the like). Now they have to inspect 100 some radiators in cold weather to make sure nothing is getting frozen since most of the structure has not been renovated and is not in regular use.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 669

    The steam radiators will work on a hot water heating system. You wont need vents on the radiators if you install the system with the pumping away method of locating the circ pump.

    Jake


    There are several old Reed type radiators at the Florence Hotel, in historic Pullman (Train car manufacturer company town) that were reused when they pulled out the steam and hacked in a hot water system ( destroying trimwork, tin ceilings and the like). Now they have to inspect 100 some radiators in cold weather to make sure nothing is getting frozen since most of the structure has not been renovated and is not in regular use.
    That's just sad. :(
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.