Old Radiators - Does Heating Source Matter?

Reply

  #1  
Old 10-29-13, 09:37 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Posts: 181
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Old Radiators - Does Heating Source Matter?

So we're considering buying an old house with radiators. The home used to have an oil heater, and we're considering switching to natural gas (thanks for help on the other thread!)

My wife thinks she read somewhere that if we get rid of the oil heater, we can't use the radiators anymore without adding on some sort of apparatus to adapt them. Conveniently, she doesn't know what the apparatus is, or where she read this.

I say "baloney" because it really doesn't matter what you're using to heat the water in the line - whether it's oil, gas, electric, logs, coal, or a hamster running in a wheel - the water gets hot, the pump circulates the water through the system, it returns, and the process begins again.

Who's right?
Thanks!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-29-13, 11:35 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,493
Received 33 Votes on 25 Posts
You are correct but I am not going to get into an argument with your wife. I have found over the years that arguing with women is an exercise in futility.
 
  #3  
Old 10-30-13, 04:50 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2,446
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I agree too you are absolutely right. I also agree women can be hard to deal with sometimes no offense meant and I am sure they think likewise of us. The best way to convince your wife is to let an expert convince her, either the contractor who does the work or a video online. One of the best people to explain how a heating system works is Richard Trethewy of This Old House and Ask This Old House. I bet you could find it by doing a Google search and then your wife should be convinced.
 
  #4  
Old 10-30-13, 06:14 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 904
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
The hamster wins in that case. Your wife just needs to do a little more research. If she can generate heat with the hamster, consider yourselves millionaires.
 
  #5  
Old 10-31-13, 04:03 AM
poorplmbr's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: long island ,new york
Posts: 299
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Just to be clear here, we are talking converting an oil fired HOT WATER boiler to a gas fired one, not a steam boiler to hot water right? Your existing cast iron radiators have 2 pipes connected to them?
 
  #6  
Old 10-31-13, 07:25 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Good point Poor! If this is a STEAM to HOT WATER conversion, it's comparing APPLES to GRAPEFRUIT!
 
  #7  
Old 10-31-13, 04:54 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Posts: 181
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Just to be clear here, we are talking converting an oil fired HOT WATER boiler to a gas fired one, not a steam boiler to hot water right? Your existing cast iron radiators have 2 pipes connected to them?

I really don't know. I didn't know there's two different types of radiators. I thought they just operated with hot water running through them, the same as the baseboard heat in my current place.

I'll say again that this isn't yet our place, so I can't go back and check. I can check the home inspection to see if there's better pictures of the radiator.

So, ok, I'll be stupid... if they currently use steam instead of hot water, they don't make heaters that are compatible? Does this mean that we either keep the existing oil heater, or else we have to rip out the radiators and put all new heat in the home??
 
  #8  
Old 10-31-13, 05:53 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
So, ok, I'll be stupid... if they currently use steam instead of hot water, they don't make heaters that are compatible? Does this mean that we either keep the existing oil heater, or else we have to rip out the radiators and put all new heat in the home??
Nope... won't let ya do that [be stupid]. Yer smart enough to come to the right place to find out!

Radiators can be steam OR hot water, that part you've already found out.

Steam boilers can be either gas OR oil fired. If the rads are steam, you can replace the oil fired steam boiler with a gas fired steam boiler.

In some cases, steam boilers can be converted to hot water.

If the rads are already hot water (they could be!) then you can replace the oil fired hot water boiler with a gas fired hot water boiler.

Did you look at the boiler when you were there? If so, did you happen to notice if there was a 'glass tube' vertically on the side of the boiler, maybe a foot or so long? If so, it's probably a steam system.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: