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Replacement options - old style (automotive) cast iron radiator

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jbukacek55
jbukacek55 Member Posts: 3
Most of the radiators in my house are of the style shown. On one of them I was able to find a Modine sticker with patent date from the 1920s. They all have metal covers with vents (not shown).

I have a hot water system (two pipe). I am looking to replace some of them with the more standard standing cast iron radiators, mostly for aesthetics (the covers are bulky and ugly) but also to save a little space (less wide). But I am not sure how to size appropriately. Length I am limited since the pipes coming up from the floor cannot be moved, so the new cast iron radiators will need to sit between the pipes. Height I also am limited (I want them to come up to the window so about 18-22"). Width can be a variable to adjust the heat output.

For the picture shown, the radiator measures 40"x13"x2.5" LxWxH

How can I estimate the output of the existing radiators so I can buy an equivalent standing cast iron radiator? Any other concerns? I have one other standing cast iron radiator on the system (closest to the boiler in the basement).


Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,310
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    Somebody will come up with a number -- but as a rough comment, in the proper enclosure those things put out a LOT of heat.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    mattmia2
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 918
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    Cast-iron radiators hold heat for much longer than those convectors do. If you only have one heating zone you will either need to change them all, or zone the areas with cast-iron separately from those with convectors. If you don't, the rooms with cast-iron will overheat compared to the others. I have seen this happen many times. Too many contractors don't know better.

    Bburd
    mattmia2EdTheHeaterMan
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,785
    edited March 8
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    I am surprised it existed and survived .....
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    You can probably find an old modine cataloge and find the output or edr rating of those convector cabinets. Like @bburd said, mixing cast iron and convectors on the same zone will be very difficult to impossible to balance because of the different characteristics of how they heat and cool.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
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    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    mattmia2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    that is really an enormous convector element.
  • jbukacek55
    jbukacek55 Member Posts: 3
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    Hoping I can replace with this one 

    20x30x12 HxLxW


  • jbukacek55
    jbukacek55 Member Posts: 3
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    bburd said:

    Cast-iron radiators hold heat for much longer than those convectors do. If you only have one heating zone you will either need to change them all, or zone the areas with cast-iron separately from those with convectors. If you don't, the rooms with cast-iron will overheat compared to the others. I have seen this happen many times. Too many contractors don't know better.

    I am thinking this is less of a concern because the radiator in question is located in the dining room on the first floor, which is pretty wide open space. The dining room opens into the living room and kitchen (we took down a wall between kitchen and dining room from original floor plan). So it's not a closed off individual room that will overheat relative to the rest of the house.... but maybe it's still a dumb idea???
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 918
    edited March 11
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    I still wouldn't do it if I were you. I would build a nice looking cabinet around that, designed like the original cabinets in terms of airflow, but better looking, and easily removable for maintenance.

    Bburd
    reggi
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    It is probably less of an issue if the convectors are controlling the t-stat than if the t-stat were in an area with the CI radiator.