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Please help .Is this a good idea ???

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Hello I just purchased a multi family with cast iron heating system now sometimes the radiators will randomly leak for example on the 3rd floor and tenants will not tell me until i randomly go into a unit and see a wet spot on the 2nd floors ceiling Can or should i make a galvanized steel pan that i can place under neath the raditor similar to a drain pan but no drain it will just catch drips ?

Comments

  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
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    Typically, the radiators themselves don't drip. They usually leak from the valve itself; packing or union drips.

    Sure, a pan will collect the drips and damage won't occur unless the pan overflows.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
  • adilson001
    adilson001 Member Posts: 4
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    Thanks just wanted something to buy me time. also i think they would be more inclined to call me if they have a pan nearly over flowing with water then they are to call me if its just a drip
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,653
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    Probably better to go to each emitter and clean everything up and get it in good shape then inspect it regularly.
  • adilson001
    adilson001 Member Posts: 4
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    this is a very old house nearly every radiator leg is puncturing through the floor i have to remove them reinforce the floors so i was thinking might as well place a steel pan underneath them
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,478
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    If the leak is from the radiator valve a pan may not do you any good because the pan won't be under that valve.

    Unless your getting the floors sanded and refinished repairing those floors is not cheap. You can get some strips of plywood cut and stained to match the floor and placed under the radiator feet. These strips will wear in time but it's a simple matter to replace them if that happens.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,303
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    Feasible? Perhaps, depending on where the leak is. Good idea? No, not in my book. Spend the time and effort to find and fix the leaks.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    STEAM DOCTORmattmia2
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,841
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    @adilson001 , is this a steam or hot-water system? Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • adilson001
    adilson001 Member Posts: 4
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    this is a steam system and i'm located in Brockton MASS. Also i'm not suggesting this so that i can ignore the leaks i'm looking into this as a way to prevent the leaks from doing any sort of damage i have 36 units in the building
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,841
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    this is a steam system and i'm located in Brockton MASS. Also i'm not suggesting this so that i can ignore the leaks i'm looking into this as a way to prevent the leaks from doing any sort of damage i have 36 units in the building

    @adilson001 , you need to have a Steam Man look at this. There are plenty in the Boston area- go here:

    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/state/MA
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 627
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    Well I suppose just to prevent a mess in the short term only, a cookie sheet or something similar under the radiator or leaky valve would catch the mess. I'm sure you can tell where it was leaking based on the water stains and/or damage.

    Long term, get all the leaky radiators fixed as soon as you can. I'm no pro but as a homeowner I would be concerned with all the fresh makeup water being added to the system which could prematurely kill the boiler.

    Post some pictures, they speak a thousand words here. And get in touch with a steam pro, if nothing else to have someone with a trained eye point out what you need to tackle yourself should you choose to do so.
    My guess is that the previous property owner didn't maintain things too well and wouldn't be surprised if your boiler was set at an excessive pressure, etc.

    @New England SteamWorks is a great steam pro and they are based out of RI and I believe cover SE MA. This may be right up their alley.
    mattmia2
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 1,007
    edited March 2022
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    You said your building is 36 units. Brockton has an inspection program for rentals.

    https://library.municode.com/ma/brockton/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIIREOR_CH4BU

    Presumably, the size of your building is subject to inspections. I am not sure how system leaks fit into the applicable codes, but why would an inspector ignore known leaks in the system?
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,061
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    If you have CI rads boring into the floor then you will have pipe settling with possible sags giving water hammer, wet steam etc.

    Is that 36 rental units or 36 radiators?