Tip & How-To about Heating & Cooling
If you have a steam heating system and want to convert it to hot water or if you have a hot water system and want to go steam, you need to first find out if the radiators are compatible with the new system. If you are buying used radiators for your hot water or steam system, how do you know if they will work with your system?
The first rule to remember is that hot water will ALWAYS take two openings into the radiator. Usually they will be in the bottom, but I have hooked up radiators with the supply going into the top of the radiator and the return out the bottom. A small taping will also be needed for an air vent. This will release the air from the radiator so that it fills completely with water.
For steam it will depend on the type of steam system that you have. If you have a two pipe steam system you will need two openings and they do need to be in the bottom. For two pipe systems you will also have to fit a steam trap on the return side of the radiator. A valve on the inlet is a very good idea also. For one pipe steam systems you will need only one opening at the bottom. However you will also need to have a tapping for a small vent towards the top of the radiator to release air from the radiator. There is no trap on a one pipe steam system, but an inlet valve is still a great idea to be able to control the heat output of the radiator.
There are many styles and configurations of radiators made. Many can be used for both hot water and steam heating. Some cannot be used for one or the other. You do need to checkout the radiator to make sure that it can be used for your intended heating system.
I have already drilled and tapped radiators to make them suitable to use for the style of system that I want. Make sure if you do this that there is a space where they can be drilled and taped properly. Many radiators already have a spot for the tapings that you need.
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