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Need New Radiator - Best Source? Gov-Free Rads?

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Hello everyone! I have EDR to spare and was thinking about putting in a couple new radiators in some cool spots on the first floor.

I've poked around the internet and found some beautiful radiators from CastRads.com and also some ones from Runtal. The internet price tends to be north of $1k for a radiator with an EDR of 10 or so.

I came across Oswald Supply out of New York City and they carry these "Gov-Free" radiators made by Governale which is a subsidiary of Burnham. The "Gov-Free" name means Governale Free Standing Radiator.

The pricing is amazing. I hope it is okay to post the price as it is just an internet click-and-ship item, not a quote, but the a radiator with an EDR of about 10 is only like $215!!!!

Even with shipping included it is about a third of the price of the beautiful Castrads.

They are a plain design but that's fine, none of my existing radiators are ornamental. Are these things real? Too good to be true? Anyone have experience with these? I'm hoping they aren't Chinesium pot-metal. Thanks!

Here is a link:
https://oswaldsupply.com/collections/radiators

Comments

  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 469
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    Those look identical to the ones made by OCS:

    https://ocsind.com/products/cast-iron-radiator/

    I seem to remember calling them and being told that their rads are indeed made in China. I think even the slenderized Burnham rads may be manufactured by the same Chinese factory. Don't know for sure.
    GGross
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,670
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    You could go the craigslist route too.
    ethicalpaul
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 906
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    I would call any of the larger HVAC companies that do steam and hot water heating in your area and ask them if they have any radiators that you could buy or are they scheduled to do any "tear outs".
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 629
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    I had thought of going the used route, and I may end up doing just that. But you never know what you are going to get and I'd do a sustained air pressure test before I put any work into it.

    But brand new is nice too. I'd rather not buy Chinese....but for sake of argument, are these any good? I imagine they must be pretty thin castings at that price.
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,210
    edited November 2022
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    Governale is now all Chinese. Believe it or not, China can mess up a lump of cast iron. We've installed many of these and most are okay. Of 100, we may have gotten eight that were unusable. Leaks, casting defects, drunken threads, oversized threads or no threads. Many still have core sand in them.

    Pressurize the things before installing them and remove, seal and reinstall all the plugs, or they will leak. Be gentle tightening them or you will pull the threads right out; this ain't grandpa's cast iron.

    Burnham made their radiators in both US, when their foundry wasn't producing boilers and had the capacity, and other times in China. There was a marked difference in the quality. I don't know if they still manufacture radiators in both places. They were always honest if you asked. We always did and got the American ones. They were like gold to us compared with the others.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
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    Craigslist. Forget that modern junk
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Long Beach Ed
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,210
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    Many areas have "plumbing junkyards" that collect this type of stuff and sell them. There was one particular shop on Long Island that served up radiators of every sort for years. They sold the business and the new owners hauled them off for scrap. He soon found out that the used radiators were three-quarters of the old guy's business and really the only reason anyone ever bothered with them.
  • KarlW
    KarlW Member Posts: 108
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    I have a 2-year old Castrad because I wanted a low profile radiator to capture more space. I’d gladly use them again if I were in the market.

    It is nice and works well - certainly no worse than the rest of my house, if not better.

    But, as others mention the used route is likely better if money is a concern and architecture isn’t.