Cast Iron Radiator cleaning & installation
Temps will soon be dropping and I would appreciate referrals for radiator testing/cleaning/installation; I've collected 14 cast iron to replace the existing 1950's, inefficient, box radiators - and pulled two earlier this summer with this goal (restored walls/baseboards behind, etc).
1. Testing - understand "air" the best to learn of possible leaks/cracks. Do you plug one end then use an air compressor to "listen" for leaks? Mind you, the compressor is so noisy...good luck hearing any "hisses" from the radiator.
2. If one passes the test, understand sand blasting to remove old paint can potentially harm the joints between the fins. Is this true and should chemicals be used instead to remove older paint?
3. Most important - does anyone have a plumber or HVAC recommendation for the installation? I had a quote of approx $500 per radiator for installation, alone - and thought it a bit high (only needs to be reconnected to existing pipes). The plumber's rep also had zero experience doing so, hence I was not too confident with this co/quote.
Thanks for responses from those with the same!!!
* I had searched under cast iron radiator and posted this in a corresponding thread - though specific to Brewerytown area - so re-posting here in hopes of responses. It be chilly soon!! *
Does anyone out there have cast irons that have been serviced?!?
I've sorted out the strip/paint... but still need a plumber who can test/install. Hitting some road blocks which I find odd considering so many homes have these old radiators.
Thanks for sharing referrals!!!
Google MAS Plumbing and ask for Marc. He may be up for the job. I am currently dealing with my radiators on my own which isn't too hard, just need some elbow grease and time. To test them, if you have a compressor, you can use that and then brush soapy water on the joints to see if there is any bubbling, that way it's visual and not auditory since the compressor will be loud.
Reconnecting can be a pain depending on the components, I've had to remove the little assembly that is present on the bottom left and right with the valve on one side and the 90 elbow on the other. The issue as far as I know is older assemblies don't match the threads on newer assemblies so if you have existing nut trying to connect to a new valve for example, the threads most likely won't match so you need to replace the whole thing assembly. Also, depending on the 'play' in your pipes, the height of the valve and the pipe coming out of the floor may not match up. That makes things hard if you can't get to the pipes either from the basement or by ripping up the floor to replace the piece of pipe that is too short.
So what i've learned is, it's never as simple as it sounds (well, almost never) and if I were to do what I do fo0r myself, for someone else, I'd charge a lot too as it can get complicated. My radiators are water not steam so if you are doing steam I am not sure what could/would be different.
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