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Convector element radiator leaking

Tolik
Tolik Member Posts: 85
edited February 6 in Strictly Steam
As the subject states I have a convector radiator that is leaking from the joints. In searching for a replacement I discovered that the one i have is an odd size not sold locally (I'm in Brooklyn, NY).

Is it possible repair it by rewelding or using J-B Weld or its a lost cause?

I reached out to https://ocsind.com/ and was suggested to get the SE 422-1/2”
https://ocsind.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/15981-OCS-Catalog.Updated15-12-13-combined.pdf

The one I have is 22" end to end but it is 5" wide. The one they want to sell me is 4" wide.
I am worried that getting a smaller unit may not heat the room as well. Am I overthinking it? They also have a more expensive coper model, is that worth it?

Are there other companies I may reach out to that still make the units?

Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,475
    Steel/iron is better for steam. Is their element designed for 1 pipe steam? You may need to make a baffle out of sheet metal to fill in the space between the new element and the cabinet. How does the height and the spacing of the fins compare between the 2?
    jimna01
  • Tolik
    Tolik Member Posts: 85
    edited February 6
    @mattmia2 yes, its a one pipe system. I'm not sure what you mean about the sheet metal. Hight is the same 2". It seems that the major difference is the width. Mine is 5" and they sell 4'. The center to center length is less than one inch off as well but i don't think that will be an issue.

    This is existing (leaking) element:


    This is the cabinet:


    This is the proposed new one:


    Thank you for your reply and advice about not getting copper one.
  • TwoTones
    TwoTones Member Posts: 51
    Did you check out Governale?   They are actually based in Brooklyn.  I bought a similar steel convector for my one pipe steam that works great.  If you email them they will send you a detailed catalog with all the specs and dimensions.  They make cast iron, steel, and copper convector elements.  Looks like yours is steel so I would stick with that as I did and it works well using one pipe steam.. 
  • Tolik
    Tolik Member Posts: 85
    @TwoTones thank you I sent an email. However form what can tell they only have cast iron units. Not sure if its a good idea to put in a cast iron as all my other units are steel.

    https://governale.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Governale-full-line-lit.pdf
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 688
    It'd be less of a difference/issue than going to copper. OCS seems closer to what you removed.
    Do you have room for 6"?
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • TwoTones
    TwoTones Member Posts: 51
    edited February 6
    No they definitely have steel because I just recently bought one from them.   The manual they send you will have much more options to look at.  They have cast iron, steel, and copper.  The website only shows the cast iron…
  • TwoTones
    TwoTones Member Posts: 51
    Governale gave me the catalog but they wouldn’t let me buy it directly from them.  I had to purchase it through a supply house.   The supply house placed an order and I picked it up myself at Governale in Brooklyn… 
    mattmia2
  • Tolik
    Tolik Member Posts: 85
    @TwoTones thank you, i gave them a call and they do have steel units. Unfortunate they only have 4" and 6" wide models. The unit I took out is 5". I suppose will need to bite the bullet and get the smaller one and hope it provides sufficient heating.

    Alternatively i can get the 6" and try to cut the fins down 1/2 on each side, but may be more headache then its worth.

    Seems like no one is replying to the comment of weather its possible to salvage/repair my existing unit :(
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,475
    Where is the leak on the existing unit? Maybe an automotive radiator shop can solder it up.

    Is the clearance in the cabinet such that 6" wide won't fit? Without knowing the specs of the existing element it is just a guess of if the 4" element has more or less edr.
    TwoTonesCLamb
  • Tolik
    Tolik Member Posts: 85
    @mattmia2 the leak is form the solider points
    hmm... perhaps you're right, I could try to take it to an auto shop. They may look at me weird but w/e :smile:
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,475
    Well a shop that specializes in radiator repair. if they still exist if aluminum/plastic radiators haven't put them out of business.
  • TwoTones
    TwoTones Member Posts: 51
    @Tolik for what it’s worth, I actually had the same problem.  My old convector element was 5.5” wide and that was all you could fit in my cabinet so I had to get the 4” double tube as well.  My old convector had more height and 4 slimmer tubes in addition to being wider.  The smaller element heats faster and cools faster than the old element.  I was worried it wouldn’t be enough but it has worked out good for me.  It is actually in the room with the  thermostat and I have no over heating problems in the rest of the house which is surprising.    
       It worked for me, but there are so many heat loss variables in each persons house.  I also have a new window above the convector, not sure if it would have kept up as well with the old leaky window.  You can also make a sheet metal baffle to close the gap in the cabinet and make it more efficient as someone said above.  Also the radiator shop idea is a good one because I would have tried to save the old element if I thought of that…. 
      
        
        
  • guzzinerd
    guzzinerd Member Posts: 228
    I replaced a convector with a small cast rad and TRV, works and looks way better.  Trap is in the crawlspace, which is 5' high in my building.




    Bryant 245-8 2-pipe steam in a 1930s 6-unit 1-story apt building in the NM mountains.  26 radiators heating up 3800sqf.
    delcrossvdabrakeman
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,188
    edited February 12
    Use whatever fits in the cabinet. It will be fine. We use the Governale ones all the time. Your leaker has earned its retirement. The life of the steel ones seems to be about 60 years.
    TwoTones
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,475
    that was a piece of fin tube baseboard, not a convector.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,618
    mattmia2 said:

    that was a piece of fin tube baseboard, not a convector.

    Look close at the molding and the outline on the wall. That baseboard was a lame attempt at replacing a Convector.

    The Cast Iron looks 150% better. Now just paint the pipes to match the radiator.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    guzzinerdmattmia2
  • guzzinerd
    guzzinerd Member Posts: 228
    edited February 11
    that was a piece of fin tube baseboard, not a convector.
    Look close at the molding and the outline on the wall. That baseboard was a lame attempt at replacing a Convector. The Cast Iron looks 150% better. Now just paint the pipes to match the radiator.
    Yes, the previous owners paid thousands to replace 4 old convectors with these baseboard units.  I was lucky to find the Cortos to get decent heat in those rooms again.
    Bryant 245-8 2-pipe steam in a 1930s 6-unit 1-story apt building in the NM mountains.  26 radiators heating up 3800sqf.
  • TwoTones
    TwoTones Member Posts: 51
    That fin tube job was pretty terrible and ugly.  Glad the radiator worked out.  Food for thought, when replacing a radiator or convector you should prob base it on the actual EDR of the old radiator or the actual EDR needed.  
    That said I would just get the 4” governale and call it a day… 
  • guzzinerd
    guzzinerd Member Posts: 228
    The EDR on the small Cortos was very close to the original cast convectors, plus they were all the only rads in livings rooms with large vintage windows.  Besides happy tenants, the boiler is a lot happier as well.  Calls for heat shut down are by the thermostat at just over 0.5 psi now.
    Bryant 245-8 2-pipe steam in a 1930s 6-unit 1-story apt building in the NM mountains.  26 radiators heating up 3800sqf.
  • Grallert
    Grallert Member Posts: 638
    mattmia2 said:

    that was a piece of fin tube baseboard, not a convector.

    Fintube is a convector, No?
    Miss Hall's School service mechanic, greenhouse manager,teacher and dog walker
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,475
    No, not really though i can see how one could argue that. They could have replaced it with a new convector cabinet however. I assume those convectors were a misguided attempt at "modernization" in the first place.
  • guzzinerd
    guzzinerd Member Posts: 228
    edited February 13
    Originally, one of these 1930 convectors was in that spot, then it was tossed out at some point and replaced with the fin tube.. which put out very little heat.   

    I love the Cortos but if I ever run into one of these I'll be putting it back in so that they match all of the others.


    Bryant 245-8 2-pipe steam in a 1930s 6-unit 1-story apt building in the NM mountains.  26 radiators heating up 3800sqf.
    BobCmattmia2