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Old metal Fin type Steam radiator !?

Hi All,

I have a 2-pipe steam residential system. The house is old and the 2 rads in question are in a sunporch. I am wondering what kind of radiators these are and whether best to replace? They seem to be some kind of metal fin-type radiator?? All of the other rads are your "normal" cast iron type. Do these conduct steam heat well? Is there some kind of maintenance that should be done on these?



Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,223Member
    Those things work just fine. The only maintenance they need is to vacuum out the fins from time to time -- they do collect dust.

    And of course, make sure the trap is working!

    You do still have the front panels for the enclosures?
    Jamie

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • kacrejamkacrejam Posts: 28Member
    Jamie, Thanks for the advice. How do I make sure trap is working. Do i need to open up the trap?

    Yes, I do have the front panels for it. I had thought maybe to replace with new rads (and maybe get rid of the panels if nice new rads are bigger than the space) but sounds like I am ok.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,223Member
    Traps are easy. Get the system really running, so that the radiator is hot all the way across. Then feel -- or better, take the temperature of the outlet above the trap and below the trap. The pipe below the trap should be appreciably cooler (10 to 15 degrees is typical). If the radiator won't heat, or heats very slowly, the trap may be failed closed. If the pipe below the trap is as hot as the pipe above it, the trap is failed open.
    Jamie

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,292Member
    They'll work- but since your other radiators are cast iron, they might not work as well. Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • kacrejamkacrejam Posts: 28Member
    I am going to test the traps as you described. Thanks for the great info.

    I am in the southeast PA area near Villanova.

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,223Member
    Villanova isn't impossibly far from Baltimore. I you really have trouble, you might persuade @Steamhead to come that far...
    Jamie

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • FredFred Posts: 8,068Member
    Why are there vents on those Rads? Also, it may be an optical elusion or the way you took the picture but that second rad looks like it may be very slightly pitched back towards the supply side??
  • SteamSteam Posts: 45Member
    Fred is spot on. I've seen single pipe systems with those finned radiators. They work just fine.

    Pitch in second picture is off as Fred said.
  • Danny ScullyDanny Scully Posts: 1,219Member
    edited November 2016
    There also shouldn't be the need for vents as @Fred questioned. It may be a sign the traps have failed.
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