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Posted by joe on May 17, 2006 at 09:05:41:
In Reply to: Re: Gas Steam Boiler posted by Steve Kelleher on May 17, 2006 at 08:11:45:
Heatpro seemed to feel that a Munckin condensing boiler 80 (I forget the name of it, check below on this website) or a Trinity ti100 are good for what I am doing. I chose Trinity because it is cheaper than Munckin, and comes with an outdoor device that you must purchase separately for the Munckin.
Cast iron radiators can be reused, but there are several issues associated with reusing them:
(1) you need two connections on the cast iron radiator for hot water. If you have a one pipe steam system, then you need to remove an old plug in the radiator that's been there for about 100 years, and it is not easily removed. It may involve heating the plug until it is red hot and removing it with a wrench and pipe lever, it may involve sawing it out with a sawzall. Removal of these plugs are labor intensive
(2) your cast iron radiators may not be water tight. As in my case, I have changed my own radiator valves, and had to use a sawzall to cut the old one out. I nicked the threads of the inside of the radiator, because I really didn't care, as I knew steam pressure would not cause a leak. Those nicks may now cause leaks. If your radiator valves have ever been changed, you may have the same sort of problem.
(3) the piping will look ugly if you don't have radiator covers. you will have a pipe entering the top connection of the radiator, and leaving the bottom connection of the radiator, and there will be an airvent placed on the radiator. All this will be exposed. If covers are needed to be purchased, you might as well purchase convector covers along with convector elements.
(3) the issue of rust and scale. My system is full of rust and scale, from the cast iron radiators and the cast iron in the boiler. In order to reuse those radiators, the system must be set up and flushed several times and the water must be treated. More time.
All of the above a problems not worth it for me, with limited time. I'd just as soon upgrade.
It is worth it for me to change my radiators, but many systems reuse cast iron radiators.
There are also European type Myson radiators, but again the piping is exposed and it looks ugly to me.
The cost is about $1000.00 for about 5 convectors elements and covers.
I decided against running baseboard along the perimeter of the rooms for the following reasons (1) it interferes with placement of furniture (2) the placement interferes with the location of my electric wall outlets. I will have my lamp plugged into the wall outlet about a 1/4" above the hot baseboard. I don't feel comfortable with that
(3) Slantfin baseboard seems like a nuisance to install. There is no room inside the cabinet, its got too many parts such as end pieces, corner pieces, dummy peices, etc,
(4) the Slantfin covers seems too small for piping returns, placement of zone valves, etc, and they must be secured to the walls.
(5) Slantfin covers seem ugly to me
Assume the Slantfin elements are rated for about 600 BTU per foot. My needs are 60K BTU, which can be handled by five OCS convectors for about $1000.00. If I used Slantfin, I would need 60K/600 = 100 feet of baseboard. If it costs about $10.00 per foot for baseboard, the cost is the same as the other convectors. Even if the OCS convectors costed alittle more, its worth it to save time for installation, and to eliminate what I feel is the nuisance factor associated with them.
OCS convectors are a breeze to install. Put the cover on the floor, bend down the metal bracket pieces, place the element on the brackets, snap the front cover on the convector cover. No tools necessary. Estimated time: 5 minutes. They are very strong, heavy guage of metal cabinets: you can stand on them
OCS convectors also give you alot of flexibility. If you have a room requiring 12K BTU, you can install a 8" or 10" deep convector, in a limited amount of space. I'm putting them exactly where my cast iron radiators are.
The cost of slantfin baseboard is comparable to those convectors made by ocs industries.
The OCS convectors come in a gray color. I don't know if you have to paint them or if you can purchase them with a special color. My sister-in-law painted them with an off white semigloss paint 8 years and they look great.
If you calculate the BTU required for each room (check Heatpro's website for program), and then see which elements and cabinets you might need from osc, then write a list, and call them for a list of their suppiers to get prices.
Something else to consider: The cost of copper just quadrupled! Consider using pex tubing.
You can do some of this work yourself, if you are handy. You can install the convectors and piping, and leave the boiler installation up to your heating contractor.
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