moving a steam rad


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Old 10-18-07, 08:02 PM
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moving a steam rad

Hello all,
I'm going to move a steam rad from one part of the room to the other. I need to know if I can replace/add on to the existing single line that comes into the rad with a copper line, or do I need to do it in black threaded pipe. Also, I was told that being that its steam, I dont have to bleed anyhting. Just to do it with the boiler off, and then turn it back on when complete and it would refill itself with steam. How accurate is this. Any info at all would help thanks.
 
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Old 10-18-07, 09:40 PM
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You may be opening a huge can of worms in moving that radiator. Steam systems, especially one-pipe systems, are VERY picky about piping arrangement. They need a gentle slope all the way back to the boiler. Too much slope can be almost as bad as not enough slope.

But if you want to try I strongly suggest that you use black steel piping and not copper.

No, you don't manually bleed steam radiators, that is the job of the automatic air vent on the radiator opposite from the steam pipe.
 
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Old 10-19-07, 05:46 AM
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moving a steam rad

Well what you're saying makes sense. I would add that part of the reason I want to move this radiator, besides the renovation of the bathroom it's in, is that the pipe from the basement comes up through the kitchen literally a foot and a half away from the nearest wall. I was scratchin my head at that one. I figure maybe some things had been moved around in the past. That's why I thought the copper would be a good way to get it where I need it. Do you think I should have a contracter in on this one, even if just for a consultation?
 
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Old 10-19-07, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by kaboom
Do you think I should have a contracter in on this one, even if just for a consultation?
Probably not a bad idea, but please make sure that you select contractors that KNOW STEAM! Good ones seem to be as rare as hen's teeth these days. If yer lucky, there's still a reasonably large 'installed base' of steam systems in your area and you'll get lucky.
 
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Old 10-19-07, 04:53 PM
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In your case it makes a great deal of sense to move the radiator. I would still use steel pipe and try to do the piping myself. As NJ states, finding a contractor with knowledge of residential steam will quite likely be difficult.

Do NOT let anyone tell that the steam will travel through piping regardless of the installation. The problems will not so much be the steam as the returning condensate.
 
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Old 10-19-07, 05:17 PM
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Piping

Originally Posted by furd
Do NOT let anyone tell that the steam will travel through piping regardless of the installation. The problems will not so much be the steam as the returning condensate.
Amen. If that piping traps condensate, you're in a heap of trouble.
 
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Old 10-19-07, 07:39 PM
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moving a steam rad

Thanks all, but now the plot thickens...
Because it's such a small bathroom, Ive thought of instead of re-using the old radaitor, I would use a good size Hydronic towel warmer in its place. This way I'd save space and still get the heat I need. Problem is, it seems like there aren't many towel warmers that are designed for steam, or are there?
 
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Old 10-19-07, 09:51 PM
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I'm not aware of such a towel heater.

You also have to remember that steam is going to be about 215 degrees vs. about 180 maximum (usually) for hot water. Especially in the cramped quarters of a bathroom I'd be leery of installing a towel warmer operating at better than 200 degrees.

There are a few other plans, none of them easy, that may work for you.
 
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Old 10-20-07, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by kaboom
Hello all,
I'm going to move a steam rad from one part of the room to the other. I need to know if I can replace/add on to the existing single line that comes into the rad with a copper line, or do I need to do it in black threaded pipe. Also, I was told that being that its steam, I dont have to bleed anyhting. Just to do it with the boiler off, and then turn it back on when complete and it would refill itself with steam. How accurate is this. Any info at all would help thanks.
Copper would be just fine for the new install and pitch your pipe 1/8 per foot.
 
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Old 10-20-07, 07:28 PM
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moving a steam rad

How about the sizing of the copper pipe? The old steel pipe on there now is maybe 1 1/2" outside diameter. So would 1" copper be large enough to replace it?
 
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Old 10-20-07, 08:31 PM
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kaboom, please tell me you aren't actually considering ignoring furd and Grady's advice...
 
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Old 10-21-07, 06:29 PM
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moving a steam rad

Well,
I think the idea of the towel warmer is out. I do have a local plumbing contractor who is experienced in steam coming to the house this week to give me an estimate on moving the radiator. I've worked with him before. In the past he has let me do some of the grunt work on a project in order to save me some money. I can sweat pipes pretty well, but if I'm in over my head he'll let me know. The thing is, just having him show up at the house cost me, but I guess better safe then sorry. How about this idea? I was trying to use the space as wisely as possible, that's why I considered the towel warmer in the first place, but how much of the effeciency of the radiator would be lost if I recessed it in the wall slightly? I know you guy's must think I'm nuts by this point, but this bath is only 5x7 and I need all the space I can get. Even thought of one of those wall mount tiolets untill I saw the price. At this point I'll take what I can get. Thanks for all the great advice guys. This is the first time I've used this site, but if you saw my house( and my bank account) you'ed know it sure aint the last.
 
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Old 10-21-07, 09:34 PM
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Recessing in the wall will work. If it is an outside wall use a high R factor foam insulation behind the radiator. Have drywall over the insulation and then an aluminum sheet metal reflector covering over the drywall.

If you are using an interior wall you may be able to eliminate the insulation but do use the aluminum sheet metal reflector.
 
 

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