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Common Household Remedies Request

The annual steam radiator request!

Definitely not the valve, it's properly packed and properly tight. And I don't want to go the kludge route or put a pan under it!

Anybody have any idea what a used (one pipe, 11 tube) radiator should cost? $100? Any tips? Naturally, I want a used Victorian one, not one of those [snifff] European-style wall mount types in designer colors. Radiators should be silver, embossed with flowery patterns, and have feet, by gawd!

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Submitted by lambert on

But steam, not hot water. I guess I just don't understand the point of hot water, why pump all that heavy liquid when steam just fills up the pipes?!

Submitted by hipparchia on

on steam v hot water, you might sympathize with this then i don't know if the radiators in my grandparents' house were steam or hot water, but they were wonderful, for their heat, though not for their beauty. i had no idea until i found that website that radiators came in any form other than just plain utilitarian pipes.

he's got books too i'm a fan of old houses and their trappings, so this one sounds interesting not that we have any radiators here in florida, but if i ever move back to cold country...

meanwhile if you don't want to buy any books, there's this article and a forum too

posting a notice at the laundromat sounds like a good suggestion, and maybe you have other establishments in your town [post office? grocery store? library?] that have community bulletin boards where you can put up 'radiator wanted' notices and look for 'radiator for sale' notices.

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Submitted by Bryan on

The hot water systems I have had in military barracks and European apartments were the source of hot water for the sinks and showers/baths as well as the heat and the water moved by convection, not local pumping, making it less than hot on the upper floors.

The higher temperature of the steam requires more fuel, and is more of a scalding/burn risk. Steam is normally used in large structures like schools and factories with the 'radiators' inside the forced air system.

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Submitted by Andre on

I picked one up up the street where they were getting a new system. It is big old one and I almost broke my back getting it into the truck. They wer glad to get rid of it. It was for my basement and it works well - a really big area it heats. Two ideas: go to the local laundromat and put up a sign asking if anybody has a radiator they're trying to get rid of. The other option is to call some of the local plumbers and asking if they have one (or two) radiators they might be wanting to get rid of. From a new heating install. The thing is these radiators are a dime a dozen if you know where to look. I remmember seeing somewhere a thirty foot pile of them in a dump - I guess a symbol of this once great country, when we did things well. As for steam versus hot water, the savings is obvious: you have to get water up to 212 with steam and only 120 with hot water. And quite obviously, if you want to heat a room to 70, then 120 should be quite sufficient (with some quantitative footnotes, like it takes longer to heat that room with 120). So you use less fule to get it to 120 than to 212. The good thing is you can use your radiators for a retrofit to hot water. They just get closed off. No steam to release. I did it here and it works very well.

Submitted by lambert on

... so water is not on without replacing all the pipes, and that is most definitely not on. And hot water is cooler than steam, so I'm going to have to replace all the radiators. I think I'll stick with what I've got....

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Submitted by Andre on

What does this mean: ",,,water is cooler than steam, so I'm going to have to replace all the radiators."? I used all but one of my original radiators when I went from steam to hot water. The radiators are water tight, so when you go with hot water all you have to do with them is plug the hole where the steam valve had been. You're right about one pipe though, but if you went with two pipes you could set up separate zones, which affords great ability to save energy by shutting down zones when any zones (room or rooms) are not is use. I went with six zones, and this is a small house.