Topic Tag: radiators

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Topic Tag: radiators

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Home and Garden August 24, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Radiator Installation — Company in DC?

I’m looking for a company to install, in DC, three recently re-furbished radiators — specifically, “single-pipe steam radiators” (and apparently original to the 100-year-old building in question in Adams Morgan).

For those of you who love exhaustive detail:

1) Not looking to install, e.g., the boiler and in-wall supply piping; just need an experienced person who can:
– first, confirm that the refurbished radiators do not have leaks and will otherwise operate OK, then…
– remove existing supply piping from where it exits the floor
– install new supply piping from that exit point to where the refurbished radiators will be located
– install suitable shut-off valve, including removing spud from radiator and installing new spud to match valve
– connect radiator to shut-off valve (including using pipe dope/teflon tape on threads, etc.)
– any additional work that would be advisable/necessary/etc. for the installation

2) Note that (I believe) each of the three radiators has a different sized opening.

3) I thought about the DYI route, but having now researched the living daylights out of the topic, turns out there are a bunch of subtleties involved in sizing the pipes, their pitch, what shut-off valves to use, etc.

4) I contacted Brookland Plumbing about this, as they’ve done great work for us in the past, but they said they would not do the job because they don’t have the expertise (and recommended against hiring a plumber, as they’ve heard of other plumbers royally screwing up this sort of work). They suggested hiring someone who is certified as a steamfitter.

5) Which led me to the website of Steamfitter UA Local 602 — it does have a directory, but it lists, like, 150 companies with no indication of which do residential (vs., e.g., engineering companies, commercial HVAC systems firms, etc.)

6) Yelp and Angie’s List haven’t proven helpful in identifying a company with solid experience; I phoned several heating and cooling firms highly-rated on those sites but each one said they didn’t do residential steam systems and didn’t have alternate suggestions.

Help me, PoPville readers, you’re my only hope!

Seems to me there must be many old-yet-still-operating residential steam heating systems in DC, so I’m hoping some one (perhaps even you!) can provide guidance on who’s good (as well as anyone to avoid).

Oh, and for anyone interested in better understanding what was viewed as cutting-edge technology just over a century ago, a great guide to the physics, maintenance and history of steam heating is Dan Holohan’s The Lost Art of Steam Heating ( As shown in this video, he has a passion for the topic, combined with wit and (evidently) nearly exhaustive knowledge about what’s out there:

Seriously, if you like geeking out about how things work, it’s a fascinating topic.

THANKS for any suggestions/guidance etc. on this!!

Home and Garden November 25, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Removing Radiators for donation

So I recently made the decision to remove my radiator heat system and replace it by adding a gas furnace to my pending central air install. I was wondering if somebody could recommend a contractor to pull the entire system (radiators, pipes, boiler) from my two story house and cart it down to Community Forklift or a similar organization. Also, any general advice from somebody who has had this done would be helpful as well. Thanks!

And just to be clear I do prefer radiant heat to forced air. My radiant system would need extensive work to be functional and efficient. The whole system would need to be repiped, I would need to add a radiator to the kitchen extension and the boiler takes up a 4×3 room in my living space. Instead of spending many thousands of dollars to redo the entire system I’m cutting my losses and installing central ac/gas heat from a rooftop system.

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