Proper piping for Antique Hot Water Radiators


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Old 09-14-06, 08:56 PM
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Question Proper piping for Antique Hot Water Radiators

Part of my home is heated with baseboard hot Water. I want to convert to hot water radiators. I know the difference from steam radiators is they (The radiator sections pipe thru and connect to each other on the top and bottom) I have seen hot water radiators that feed in on the bottom of one side and return out the top of the other and this seems to me the best circulation. I just picked up some beautiful fancy hot water radiators. The home that they were in had them feeding in the bottom of one side and returning out the bottom of the other side. Even though the sections connect thru each other at the top they do not have a large enough hole on the outside of the top section to pipe out a return. QUESTION? Does the water circulate better or worse if it goes in one side and back out the other side of the bottom of the radaitor as opposed to go in the bottom and out the opposet top side? If the latter is better, can the top of a cast iron radiator be drilled and tapped for a return pipe. There is a flat area there but besides the bleeder valve hole there is only another tiny hole with a factory screw in it. This really concerns me for efficiency.
 
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Old 09-15-06, 08:46 PM
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It is most common for hot water radiators to have supply and return on the bottom. Air is the enemy and it will go to the top where it can be vented and not interfere with circulation. Steam and vapor radiators had supplies at the top. As long as the radiator is open to all sections at the top. It could be supplied at the top and returned from the bottom. I can't see any reason why that wouldn't work.

Ken
 
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Old 09-16-06, 03:00 PM
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Question Proper piping for Antique Hot Water Radiators

Thanks for the information Ken. BUT? My real question is! What is the more efficient way (heat wise) to pipe a hot water radiator? In the bottom on one side and out the bottom on the other.. OR In the bottom on one side and out the top on the other?? Is one way better than the other for heat distribution?

George
 
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Old 09-16-06, 03:09 PM
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Sort of a guess. In on the bottom, out on the top. That follows the "heat/hot water rises" argument. The counterflow argument would say in on the top, out on the bottom. I think.

Most likely, it's not in and out on the bottom.

Good question.
 
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Old 09-16-06, 03:47 PM
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It won't matter which way you do it. The heat will transfer to the cast iron and then to the air. As long as the whole radiator is in one room, the difference wouldn't matter even to nasa. My preference would be to have the return on the bottom so when you drained the system, it would drain through the common returns from all radiators. You would also not have to worry about air being drawn out of the radiator and back into the system when it accumulated at the top. I hope this helps unless there is still part of the question I am not understanding.

Ken
 
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Old 09-16-06, 06:48 PM
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Radiator in/out

It isn't going to make two cents worth of difference which way it is piped as long as water flows thru it & the radiator gets hot.
 
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Old 09-18-06, 08:50 AM
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Smile Proper piping for Antique Hot Water Radiators

OK Ken and Grady Thanks! You've helped make my decision and the job of connecting these radiators easier. They were originally connected up for the water to go in on the bottom and out on the other side of the bottom so it will be easier to put them in my house that way. Ken. I like your sentence "Air is the Enemy" This is probably the point that I'll remember the most.

This will bring me to another question???????
What are the signs that there is too much air in your hot water radiator system?
Should you bleed them regularly?

George
 
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Old 09-18-06, 03:33 PM
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With radiators, the only sign is that they are not hot all the way to the top. The heat will conduct through the cast iron but not too far. If you feel the middle and it is hot and the top is cold, it could be filled with air and air does not transfer the heat well.

Ken
 
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Old 09-18-06, 07:38 PM
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Air & Bleeding

There are two schools of thought on this subject. One says to drain the expansion tank (if you have a conventional type tank) & bleed the radiators regularly. The other basically says if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Personally, I subscribe the the latter. The reason for my choice is the less fresh water you introduce into a system the longer the system will last. In an ideal world, the system is filled, all of the air is vented, & never another drop of fresh water is introduced. Each time you bleed radiators or drain an expansion tank, you introduce fresh water.
 
 

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