Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Length (sections) limit on a cast iron radiator?

Options
Lambini
Lambini Member Posts: 11
We disconnected, sand-blasted, painted two National Art 16" window radiators that were 28 sections each and connected together by threaded pipe. We are reducing the number of sections to 42 (from 56 total). The sections use push nipples and rods with feet only on the end sections. Is there a limit to how many sections can be put together, or is there enough support with just the push nipples and rods? I couldn't find any info in old catalogs or manuals. Thanks.

Comments

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,745
    Options
    I don't know what the limit is, but I do know I've seen longer ones with another set of feet in the middle.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    Lambini
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 469
    edited October 2022
    Options
    I might be able to tell you...If you post up some pictures, 1 front and 1 side for these rads as well as section thickness...Am I understanding correctly that you plan to take two identical 28 section rads and join them into a single rad that is 42 sections?
    Lambini
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 919
    Options
    According to an Arco hand out sheet dated 1959, their radiators were supplied in widths of 3,4,5,and 6 tubes and up to 56 sections long with no mention of center feet. So I would have to assume that 56 sections was their maximum recommended length for their radiators. They came with 1" malleable nipples on the 3,4,and 5 tube and 1.25" on the 6 tube radiators.
    Lambini
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,859
    Options
    42 sections long sounds awfully long without any center support.

    @Steamhead thoughts?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,544
    Options
    If you find it is too long and can't find a centre section with feet (they're rare), there's nothing that says you can't wedge (carefully) a piece of wood under it...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    mattmia2Lambini
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,090
    Options
    No feet.....no problem.....
    LambiniPC7060
  • Lambini
    Lambini Member Posts: 11
    Options
    Thank you everyone for your info and insights. It's so great to have people that are willing to help on something like this! BTW, random12345, 6-tube, section thickness 7/8" (1-3/4" on btm), section width 8", push nipples 1-3/8" OD.
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 469
    edited October 2022
    Options
    I agree with @retiredguy . The max appeared to be 56. Section thickness is measured from the top/bottom from where they connect to one another, not the tube itself. I think it will be ok, but this chart shows the max stock assembly standard for 6 tube 19" tall was only 38 sections:



    https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015035429805&view=2up&seq=1707&size=200&q1=r174-40

    I would play it safe and put a block of wood with/without some of those cheap wood wedges underneath. Never flip a radiator onto its side, keep it upright always.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,840
    edited October 2022
    Options
    I think the push nipples offer a tremendous amount of support and nearly make it one solid casting. I think their concern abut over 56 inches is in the strain from transporting it.
    Lambini
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 919
    Options
    This should be in the "funny story section" but it may be appropriate here. In the early 1970's, when I was quite new to the trade, we were trying to take a very long radiator (the longest I have ever seen) from a second floor room to the first floor to be put on a truck for some reason. They built a ramp down a pair of steps to slide this rad on. As soon as it started down the steps it got away from everyone and slid down that ramp like a runaway freight train. It crashed through the 1st floor and into the basement. What a mess and an insurance claim. At this point they decided to take it apart into manageable pieces. True story.
    Lambini
  • Lambini
    Lambini Member Posts: 11
    Options
    You guys are great! I did carefully take the radiator apart into manageable pieces (6 or 7 sections). Unfortunately, my labeling didn't survive the sandblasting, so now I either need to figure out which sections can rejoin without removing its nipple(s) or is there a good way to drive the nipples out from the opposite side?

    Retiredguy, had a similar experience with an ARCO 32" 3column/5section radiator that slipped off my appliance dolly and literally "walked" down our steps like it came to life, sort of like the teapot or candelabra in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, dancing its way down the stairs. No one hurt, didn't hurt the radiator, steps took a beating toward the bottom though.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,750
    Options
    Was working at my desk at the shop when two of our guys came back from a job with a good-sized radiator. I went out to help them get it off the truck so "they wouldn't get hurt". The one that ended up with a broken toe was me.

    At the hospital the nurse and doctor laughed at me. I guess they were thinking car radiator
    Lambini
  • Lambini
    Lambini Member Posts: 11
    Options
    Need to ask again, is there a good method to remove a push nipple from a section and be able to use it again?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,544
    Options
    Lambini said:

    Need to ask again, is there a good method to remove a push nipple from a section and be able to use it again?

    Not really -- but all the nipples should be the same, so unless they are damaged it shouldn't matter anyway.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Lambini
    Lambini Member Posts: 11
    Options
    My issue is that we're reconfiguring how many sections to use because we've remodeled and reduced the room square footage; radiator will now have fewer sections. The radiator pieces (6 & 7 section 'chunks') that were once together, now won't necessarily be the same ones rejoined as originally joined. Some have the push nipples, some don't, some have 1, 2, 3, 4 or none attached. So in some cases, I need to either remove or rob push nipples from a given piece to accommodate how they will rejoin to make up the total radiator. Hope that makes sense. Thanks!