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One pipe steel convector

I have a 50’s cape with one pipe steam and steel convectors.  The cabinets and convector elements are 5.5” deep.  The fins are 10” high with four oval shaped tubes running through them.  One of my elements cracked which was 59” long.  I replaced it with a governale steel convector that has two cast iron tubes, 4” Depth and is 59.5 inches long.  No one makes a fin that is 5.5”, only 6” which will not fit in cabinet.  I read somewhere that the fins should take up the entire depth of the cabinet to get a chimney effect.  Is this true?   I also know I lost some BTU’s with the smaller fins and less tubes. 
   Are there any tips for getting the most out of this  element since it was the best thing I could find after a lot of research? It seems to be heating the room ok but the temps have been mild since I installed it…. Thinking it might not be enough for really cold days…

Also I am using a Hoffman #41 vent on the new convector, not the Vari-Valve in picture..

Comments

  • TwoTones
    TwoTones Member Posts: 52
    Element in pictures is the old element 
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,275
    You'll still get a pretty good chimney effect even with the narrower fins. As you suggest, though, youmay not get quite as much heat output -- although if the new one has a closer fin spacing, it might be very close.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 887
    The amount of BTU loss is negligible. You will not notice much of a difference or non at all when tge weather drops to 10 and below.

    Best way to to keep up the efficiency of the convector is to blow out and or vacuum the dust that accumulates between the fins at the start of each heating season.

    Jake
  • TwoTones
    TwoTones Member Posts: 52
    Ok thanks.  Fin spacing is very tight on the new convector, it’s made better….  There is a staircase to the upstairs in this room, almost feel like it radiates a little better into the room instead of the ceiling and upstairs like before…. It will have to do 
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,516
    You could also add an additional convector elsewhere if it doesn't work out
  • TwoTones
    TwoTones Member Posts: 52
    Vent on new convector is mounted right on top.  I noticed some people put a nipple and then mount the vent.  What is the benefit of this?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,629
    Helps keep water and debris from getting carried up in to the vent and spitting while it is venting.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,060
    Does anyone else think that closing up the 5.5" gap to 4" would improve the air flow?
    It seems like sheet metal strip(s) to keep the air flow concentrated on the 4" fins would increase air flow.
    EBEBRATT-Edmattmia2
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,516
    @JUGHNE

    agree
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,629
    JUGHNE said:

    Does anyone else think that closing up the 5.5" gap to 4" would improve the air flow?
    It seems like sheet metal strip(s) to keep the air flow concentrated on the 4" fins would increase air flow.

    I was thinking that but i figured Jake knew far more than i did.
  • TwoTones
    TwoTones Member Posts: 52
    That was the remedy I had heard about which is why I had asked the question…
  • TwoTones
    TwoTones Member Posts: 52
    Think it might be ok bc it is over a main vent on the first floor.  It is one of the first convectors to heat and is not far from
    thermostat.  It heats almost instantly so it might balance out.  Suspect the old one was oversized.  Also getting new windows above it and whole area so it will also help a lot.   Old window is large and leaky