Foam/sealant next to radiator?

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Old 03-11-12, 07:51 AM
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Foam/sealant next to radiator?

Hi folks -
I have a 1930's cape with "convector" style steam radiators that are built into the exterior walls in pockets about 4" deep. The pockets are lined with metal, looks like galvanized steel or similar. There are gaps around the edges of the metal lining and the finished walls -- the walls are plaster+lath and everything is a pretty loose fit, the gaps range from 1/8 to 1/2 inch or so. I'm thinking it would make sense to seal those gaps but not sure what to use. It will all be covered by the convector cover, so appearance is not an issue.
The regular spray foam can says to avoid temperatures above 240 degrees - so is it OK to use that here? Should I use the fire-rated version? Or should I try to make the gaps smaller by fastening the liner to the walls a little better and then use high temperature caulk?

Thanks!
 
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Old 03-11-12, 10:17 AM
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These are hot water convectors, right? Typical hot water systems don't use water higher than 180. None will be using anything close to 240. Those temperatures would be right against the pipe. You are talking about areas far away from there. You have nothing to worry about.
 
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Old 03-11-12, 12:22 PM
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They're steam convectors. I know 212 < 240 and the foam likely won't even get to 212 because it's not directly on the radiator, but I've heard about foams shrinking or off-gassing when they get hot. Just not sure how sensitive the standard spray foam is to elevated temperatures, and if it will really be safe and durable next to the radiator. Sounds like it should be OK.
 
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