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Burnham "Electric Steam Radiator"


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What do you suppose is the point? An electric baseboard heater would produce heat at 100% efficiency. You can even get "hydronic" ones filled with oil. Why generate steam for one location? 

Unless, of course, you could make it hiss, spit, or make klunk, klunk, klunk noises. Then it would be authentic. 

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4 hours ago, Jim Katen said:

What do you suppose is the point? An electric baseboard heater would produce heat at 100% efficiency. You can even get "hydronic" ones filled with oil. Why generate steam for one location? 

Unless, of course, you could make it hiss, spit, or make klunk, klunk, klunk noises. Then it would be authentic. 

If that is an old cloth covered rubber cord it may hiss and spit when you plug it in.

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I suspect the steam is just in the name. You wouldn't want steam in there with no place to go.

You can check something like that with your DMM. Measure the resistance between the prongs of the plug, Make sure the switch is on. Almost zero or zero resistance, it's shorted. Infinite resistance, it's burned out.

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20 hours ago, John Kogel said:

I suspect the steam is just in the name. You wouldn't want steam in there with no place to go.

You can check something like that with your DMM. Measure the resistance between the prongs of the plug, Make sure the switch is on. Almost zero or zero resistance, it's shorted. Infinite resistance, it's burned out.

I don't know if it makes steam or not, but if it did, the steam would go into the radiator the same as it would in a regular steam system. There'd be an air vent that would let out the air and snap shut when the steam hit it. 

I've never had luck identifying heating elements with a DMM. They always read zero for me - even when they're fine. What am I missing? 

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With no expansion tank, if designed to make steam, I don't think it would meet safety standards of even the 1930's but that's just a guess.

If there's a PRV it would need a discharge pipe or it would blast steam into the living space.

 

There's resistance in an electric heating element. You'd need to have your meter on the lower scale..

This 750 Watt heater has an R of 75 ohms.

 

heater.jpg

Edited by John Kogel
added pic to prove I'm right this one time. ;>)
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It shouldn't blow steam at all. The steam should remain contained in the radiator, condense inside it, and run back into the heating chamber via gravity. I imagine that you'd occasionally replace the water, but probably not all that often. 

The more I read that ad, the more I want one. 

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I'm guessing the steam /water mass serves as a heat repository. Slows cooling in the room when it cycles off. Iron body helps with that.

The add says the coil is good for 15-20 years. If it was stored empty, maybe the thing survived?

But geeez, $57 in 1948.... If the radiator didn't whistle, the buyer sure did seeing the price.

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