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1/2" copper tubing suppying cast iron radiators


Inspectorjoe
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Today I had an old six unit, 8,000 sq ft apartment building that seems to have been converted from steam to circulated hot water. A 499,000 BTU boiler is supplyng the original cast iron radiators through 1/2" copper tubing. The entire building was repiped into six zones. Each apartment has its own thermostat, controlling its own Bell & Gosset circulator.

I've never seen a conversion where they replaced all of the supply pipes. Perhaps it was because it was a one pipe system, although they don't seem to have been popular in this area, as I've never run across one.

Anyway, does anyone know if this is OK? It doesn't seem right, but a few tenants said the place was comfortable in the winter.

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Well, it's strange.

Depending on water temps and how well the building is balanced, I can imagine it working. I've found systems that were completely unique & strange, but w/tweaking, they worked great.

The proof is in eating the pudding; if the place heats evenly and everyone says it's fine, it's fine.

I'd crank up the heat, even though it's summer, and see for myself how it worked.

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Hi,

I've found that most tenants haven't got a clue about how to bleed the air out of their radiators and complain that they're miserable in the winter. Then I crack that bleeder and the radiator turns from lukewarm to about 130° and they stop complaining.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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"I'd crank up the heat, even though it's summer, and see for myself how it worked."

I'm not sure that doing that at an individual zone would have told me much, and I wasn't about to backtrack and turn up all of the thermostats in the building at the same time. Besides, they would have been turned back down by the tenants the moment I left.

"I've found that most tenants haven't got a clue about how to bleed the air out of their radiators and complain that they're miserable in the winter."

Not a clue about bleeding the radiators? The parasites that live in buildings like this don't even have a clue about cleaning. I hope the picture below isn't too gross.

"Six zones and 8,000sq feet.If that is living space sq footage they are a nice size and it is kinda nice of the landlord to give them individual control when he's footing the bill."

Nice of the landlord? It was foolish of the landlord. I can't imagine why someone would go to all of the expense of separating the building into separate zones and not install separate boilers. The boiler was only 6 years old.

I said the boiler was 499,00 BTU's. My memory is failing me. Listening to my voice notes, I found it was actually 299,000 BTU's. It's way undersized considering that the building is U-shaped with close to 75 original single pane windows AND the boiler is providing domestic hot water through an indirect water heater.

"All this despite the demon child living there whom thinks he is Picaso."

I'm sure he's graduated to tagging buildings by now.

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