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What radiator do I have?

johncharles Member Posts: 50
edited October 2022 in Strictly Steam
I have this really nice 1pipe steam radiator, I’ve been looking through the catalogs on the museum section of this site but I’ve not been able to find it. There are no bands or logos on the radiator itself. 

Id love to learn the make and model of this.


  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 469
    edited October 2022
    Possibly Richmond Radiator Company, Richmond Ornamental Two-Column:


    The only difference seems to be that yours has the two columns connected, whereas in all these images, they are not.


    You may also want to submit a research request to the Smithsonian at NMAHLibrary@si.edu and reference this collection:


    If you can narrow down the date range (when your house was built for example), and specify that you are only looking for radiators, they should be able to get back to you relatively quickly.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,821
    I'[ll second Richmond- we see these around Baltimore sometimes. If you need the EDR figures, any standard 2-column rad chart will do.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • johncharles
    johncharles Member Posts: 50
    Thank you both, that's definitely it.

    I'm actually looking for more of them. I have a post on here from about 4 years ago, where I had all my baseray removed and radiators put back in. The problem is that the person who did the work just brought random radiators none of them match. This is the nicest one and I'm now on a quest to make all the radiators match.

    Knowing the name of the radiator helps me at least mentally with my search.

    I'm going to meet up with this person on friday: https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/atq/d/chicago-ornate-cast-iron-hot-water/7537901928.html - 1 of the 4 appears to be a Richmond 2 column (from texting with them they don't know much about radiators the post says "hot water" for example and none of the photos show hot water rads) on Friday. Is there anything I should look for to ensure that the radiator is good before I drag it home?
  • johncharles
    johncharles Member Posts: 50

    @random12345 my house was built in 1910. Unfortunately I have none of the original radiators all the upstairs radiators have been replaced with Burnham slenderized which I don't actually find very attractive and the first floor was all Burnham BaseRay which struggled on 1pipe steam. So I'm definitely trying to find radiators that "could have been" the originals to the house. There are a lot of Roccos available in my area maybe I should just standardize on them as they are very easy to find and also from around the same time. But I don't have any Roccos now and this Richmond is the only one I already have so I'm going to stick with the Richmonds for now.
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 469
    edited October 2022
    I'm not a pro, just homeowner. I too have single pipe steam. Make sure the total EDR of your new radiators matches the steam output of your boiler. If there is a big mismatch, you will have problems. Did your radiator installer attempt to figure this out? It's impossible to know if the craigslist rads have leaks unless they have been tested. If you are handy, you may be able to do this yourself. You will need at least one other person to help you move the new rads from the craigslist seller into your house or hire a moving company. They will need to be carefully handled. The steam feed and vent tappings might be too rusty to use and need rethreading. They are old. The rads you're looking at may need to be sandblasted/wire brushed/Ospho, spray painted, and you would have to connect the valves you have now to the tapping on the new rad which may be a different size. If you're doing all this, that's a lot of work, if you hire someone to do it for you, it will be expensive. The new paint will potentially initially cause a lasting serious stink for weeks or even months when it is connected. If you find the right paint, maybe you can avoid this. @Jamie Hall has had non-smelly experience with regular acrylic paint. This is a big undertaking, and maybe more trouble than it's worth.

    EDIT: I read a few of your older posts. I am wondering if your system is piped correctly. Different pipe sizes have different capacities. If you have a small runout feeding a large radiator, it may not fully heat. Take a look at the sections on pipe sizing. I don't know what kind of system you have:

  • johncharles
    johncharles Member Posts: 50
    Yeah if you’ve seen my older post you might have missed two things, 1 the radiator is turned the other way and also the radiators were different colors with peeling paint. 

    I’ve re-piped the Richmond and moved it about 10 feet from the middle of the room to the corner which is a much better place for it than the middle of the room. I’ve also dealt with stripping and re finishing all 4 of them.

    To your point about EDR the guy never did measure anything more or less looked and WAG’ed it. I know that radiator I’m going to pick up is lower EDR but life is a journey and that’s why I added a vapostat lol. 

    In all seriousness though I’m not super worried about it. The radiator that is there now is a bigger radiator but it’s short and long my experience is that the taller and thinner radiator will be able to emit more heat as it makes the convection currents stronger. 

    I will be re-piping this one about 8 feet to the left of the current one. Pipe work is a good way to relax. Also I’m looking forward to not banging into a radiator every 30 seconds while I eat dinner. The current one eats up a lot of space in a rather small dining room.

    The irony now is if today’s me still had the baseray issue I could re-pipe it myself easily. 
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 469
    edited October 2022
    If you are set on going through with this, what boiler brand and model do you have, and what is its steam output in sq ft? The EDR of each of your radiators should be looked up in its corresponding trade catalog. I can help with that if you post some pictures of what you have now. The catalog I linked to above shows you the exact EDR of that radiator. Looks like 38" height maybe, two column 13 sections, so 52 sq ft. If it is supplied by a 1" pipe, it may not heat up fully, so you'll have a much bigger radiator than your piping can support. If your boiler is oversized relative to the total EDR, it will short cycle, there will be increased pressure, and your vents will whistle. A vaporstat can't fix this. Undersized boiler relative to EDR, and some of the rads may not fully heat up. I'm not sure but there may also be balance issues. I would also measure the size of the runouts with a pipe caliper and post that up along with pictures of the piping so some of the pros here can take a look. If pipe work on rusty old rads relaxes you, that's impressive...
  • johncharles
    johncharles Member Posts: 50
    edited October 2022
    Sure, here are the rest of my radiators.

    Down stairs:
    1. This one is the second one I really like it's got a more modern feeling design and cleaned up really well.

    2. This is the one which is in my dining room, I never managed to get it out of the house to strip so I just painted it over and it's all becoming a chippy mess this is the one which takes up too much space and will be replaced with the one I'm hoping to buy.

    3. This is in my kitchen I like it, but it's not on the favorite list so it may or may not end up getting replaced at some point (but not right now)

    I didn't realize the photo was so blurry it says American Radiator

    4. This is the original radiator we've already identified.

    Second Floor:
    These are all modern slenderized still in production I believe.
    5. This is the only different thing on the second floor: it's a convector I've not taken the front cover off. I don't have my tape measure handy but I think it's 30-36 inches wide.

    The boiler name plate:

    Other notes:
    1. There is a 48 EDR Slenderized in my attic/master bedroom which has been dis-connected and I am running hot water baseboards up there, the room has issues with needing heat long before the main house thermostat kicks on which will not be solved by fixing the radiator piping.
    2. I have two open porches which my wife wants to enclose those will both need radiators I've not done a heat loss one what they will be but I will guestimate that they will each need around 50-60 EDR or more so that is a load which will not be present now but will be in the near future.
  • dabrakeman
    dabrakeman Member Posts: 551
    Can it be assumed you have no trouble heating any of the rooms today with the existing radiators? Just want to be sure you don't under radiate a room because that can cause cause tricky system balance issues. Original systems I doubt were ever really under radiated in todays standards but when changes are made it can happen.
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 469
    edited October 2022
    You would need to measure the height, width, and thickness of each section of the radiators to make sure they match with what is below. This is very important because if it doesn't, the EDR could be significantly different. You can check any other published dimensions as well to be 100%. Here's my best guess along with the catalogs I could find...


    1) United States Radiator Corp. Triton or maybe Puritan 5 column Window Radiator. 19 sections, looks like 14" height, 4 sq ft/section, total = 76
    a) https://archive.org/details/UnitedStatesRadiatorCorporation0001/page/n43/mode/2up?view=theater
    b) https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uiug.30112047386849&view=1up&seq=271&skin=2021

    2) Possibly American Radiator Rococo Window:
    a) https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uiug.30112047386849&view=2up&seq=42&skin=2021&size=200
    b) https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc2.ark:/13960/t83j3bp53&view=1up&seq=84
    20 sections at 3, 3.75 or 4 sq ft/section, total = 60-80. Since you plan on replacing it...not that importannt

    3) American Radiator Corto. 4 tube, 11 sections, looks like possibly 20" height, so 2.25/section, total = 24.75

    4) done. Possibly 52

    Second floor:

    1)-4), it's tough to tell from the pictures if this is slenderized or large tube. You should look for manufacturer embossed writing around tapping or on tube on the first and last sections. Large and slenderized were both standardized designs. Check the section thickness if it's 1.5" or 1.75", height and other dimensions to make sure they match:


    Possible total = 24 + 36 + 36 + 25.6 = 121.6

    5) Impossible to say. I'd need a picture of whatever is behind the grille as well as exact width, height, and depth of the inside of the enclosure.

    Other notes:

    1) Hot water baseboard and steam is a terrible combination. I have radiant + steam in my house. I regret it. You will need to keep that boiler hot all the time at 180 F. Inefficient and expensive. Might add 20% to your annual heating bill or more because of the standby losses. Getting rid of that baseboard will save you money if you plan on staying in that house. Fixing the piping and reconnecting that rad or adding a small ductless mini split is the way I would go.

    2) Right now, your boiler is oversized, but not too badly. Looks like 334-54 without the convector vs 472 boiler. If you are adding two more rads, you have plenty of capacity to do so as long the runout pipe sizes are big enough for each of the rads, and that the mains are large enough to handle those additional runouts. That's why I suggested posting some pics of that piping so the pros here can give you some idea if this is advisable or not. Might need to take into account pressure drop and friction losses...Balancing the system is a whole other challenge. TRVs should be a last resort. Not sure why you have those on the second floor. Might need to do some experimenting. This is a fantastic resource:

  • johncharles
    johncharles Member Posts: 50
    edited October 2022
    This is great @random12345 thank you for this research. I can definitely confirm that the radiators up stairs are genuinely slenderized and not large tube rads. I definitely didn't realize how oversized my boiler was. It's really well installed, it's a dunkirk style with the side outputs which isn't the best but both of those outputs are attached to a drop header and there is very good main venting, my 40ft main has two Gorton #2's on it and my smaller main has 3 Gorton #1's on it. So I had assumed that the installer having had the skill to add proper main venting and a drop header would have been the type of installer to have also done a proper EDR calculation of all the radiators. But alas that doesn't seem to be the case. 

    Second, while my posting history might not show it I actually spend a lot of time on this forum one thing I will say is that most of that document on venting is stuff I'm already aware of. The reason for the TRV's on the second floor is largely related to variable heat dissipation rates. On those cold nights the first floor will need heat long before the second floor so it's not really a matter of steam getting to the rads at the same time, I've confirmed and timed it out and they all get steam at around the same time it's more that the second floor just doesn't need as much heat as the first floor. Without the TRV's the second floor will be two to three degrees warmer than the first floor.

    All things considered I really wonder when the rads were replaced with the Burnham stuff and if it was after the boiler was installed? I also know when I moved in the pressuretrol was set too high and the steam vents on the rads were all shot. The new old radiators have solved this for the most part. The only times I really ever fill those big under window rads is on days where it's below 5 degrees out. Most cycles except the most extreme parts of the year never even fill the rads fully. 

    On a side note about the hot water, I don't know if your control wiring is done right I don't believe you should need to keep a hot boiler for a hot water zone. I plan on following this guide as I set mine up: https://heatinghelp.com/systems-help-center/how-to-run-a-hot-water-zone-off-a-steam-boiler/ note the section on "How should I control the zone?"
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 469
    edited October 2022

    Second, while my posting history might not show it I actually spend a lot of time on this forum one thing I will say is that most of that document on venting is stuff I'm already aware of.

    Sorry I didn't know you were a steam fan as well. It sounds like you know what you're doing, probably more than I do. I would not depend on myself to install/repipe new rads on an old steam system without help. So if you can do it, good for you, no need to throw hundreds after a plumber. What kind of paint did you use on your radiators and did you have any smell problems?
    On a side note about the hot water, I don't know if your control wiring is done right I don't believe you should need to keep a hot boiler for a hot water zone. I plan on following this guide as I set mine up: https://heatinghelp.com/systems-help-center/how-to-run-a-hot-water-zone-off-a-steam-boiler/ note the section on "How should I control the zone?"
    I have read that article, but have also heard that pumping the dirty boiler water through baseboard directly can gunk up the pump eventually. I heard someone mention a bronze impeller pump for that reason...although in our case this hasn't happened yet in 20 years, but then again it's a very small zone. We have a tankless coil for DHW and use a plate heat exchanger because it's a pex radiant loop, not hot water baseboard. Boiler has to stay at least somewhat hot for it to work...I wonder about the efficiency of combining hot water baseboard + steam vs. steam alone...

    Anyway, good luck with all the new rads...Let me know how it all works out.