converting steam radiators to hot water

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Old 02-28-14, 06:53 PM
C
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converting steam radiators to hot water

I have read a number of different topics on this. Recently, I obtained a couple of ornate steam radiators, and would be ashamed to see them go to waste. They are 2 pipe radiators, but they are only connected across the bottom, not the top. Is there any practical way to convert these to be used in a hot water application? So far, the only way possible would require a bleeder vent being drilled and tapped into every section of the radiator. Is there another way to make these units work?

Any input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
 
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Old 02-28-14, 07:17 PM
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Chain,
The bottom connections are fine, obviously one at each end. You do not not bleed each section. One bleeder at the top of the last section on the return side is all you need.
Steam has a vent in the middle, hot water has one at the top. Plug the middle one. Some rads have both. Check the top and see if there's a plug. Remove it and put a manual bleeder and you're set to go.

Good Luck,
 
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Old 03-01-14, 06:23 AM
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Thanks for the quick reply. I would also like to be a little more specific and ask a couple more questions.

The units that I have obtained, are in fact connected across the top, but the tube appears to be much smaller. Does this tube across the top in fact allow water/steam to pass between sections, or is it simply a means of contact when putting sections together to ensure that they are straight?

The first link, is a picture of a radiator similiar to the ones that I have obtained. Notice that the connections across the top of the rad sections is significantly smaller than the bottom connection.

http://www.heatinghelp.com/images/po...e_IMG_1581.JPG

Would it still be possible to simply drill and tap a bleeder in on the end section of the radiator and have it work in a hot water system (drilling and tapping a bleeder will be a time consuming process)

Or, do the radiators in fact need to have same connections across top and bottom, similiar to this one?

http://i.stack.imgur.com/Ukvhd.jpg

your input is greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 03-01-14, 11:27 AM
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In the first pic, that,s what they call a column radiator and if it doesn't have a place for a vent it's only for steam.
The next pic, is for steam or hot water.If you look @ the top left on the same side the valve is on, you will see a plug.
Remove the plug and install a vent for hot water.

If the holes for vents aren't factory installed, the castings are very thin and I don't think you'll have any success drilling & tapping. There just isn't enough meat there. If you look at the factory installed ones you'll see that the casting was made thicker for that reason.

If yours is like the column rad with no vent access it can't be used for hot water.
 
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Old 03-02-14, 11:32 AM
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yeah, the unit that I have obtained is a column type rad with no top vent access. However, hypothetically speaking, if a person could either drill & tap a vent, or tig weld a bung to the side of the unit in which a vent then could be installed, would the unit still be able to be used?

Here in the midwest, it seems to be quite difficult to obtain these old rads. The last ones I picked up, it was a 1 hour drive to go get them.

The unit that we are currently discussing, I found at a construction site, and they were going to throw it away, so instead, of it getting thrown out, I grabbed it. With that being said, if possible and somewhat practical, it would be nice to try and save it. Let me know your thoughts.
 
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Old 03-02-14, 01:38 PM
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C,
It's hard to tell from the pic. Are the rad sections connected at the top or are they just pieces sticking out.
If the water can flow from section to section at the top, if you can install a vent on the end section before it returned I would say yes, you can use it. The sections must be connected so the water from all the sections can release the air at the end.

When you get the vent in and filled up, if you can bleed it, it will work.

Good Luck,
 
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