moving steam radiator


I need to move a steam radiator about six feet from its current location. This is a single pipe system with black pipe. The piping is all accessible in the basement.
I have zero experience working with iron pipe, but I'm pretty good with copper. I know that part of the boiler plumbing is copper (the manifold coming out of the boiler).
Is there any reason that I couldn't go back to a convenient joint, install a dielectric union, and finish the job in copper (with another dielectric union at the radiator end)?
OK, I just went downstairs and took a look at the boiler installation. Where the iron steam pipes connect to the copper manifold, they used copper threaded adapters with no dielectric unions. Where the condensate pipe attaches, they used compression fitting , which, I guess could be an insulator, but since the steam pipes are tied together, I'd have no way to check that.
So, is it possible that in a steam pipe, which is not under water all the time like the condensate pipe is, that you don't need dielectric isolation between iron and copper? This boiler was installed 24 years ago, and there's no visible sign of corrosion at these joints.
I am aware of the slope requirements, and I have plenty of headroom to do that. I don't want to use iron because, as I said, I have zero experience with that. I don't have threading equipment, and even though I'll measure twenty times before I cut once, I don't have much confidence that everything will line up on the first try, and that's yet another trip to the supplier to get yet another piece of pipe threaded.
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Maybe because dielectric unions don't survive all that well with steam.

If you go iron>>copper>>copper>>iron the electrolysis currents oppose one anther. No current flow, no corrosion. FWIW, cutting and threading black iron is harder work than copper, so you may want to get an estimate from a pro. But check tool rental places for a power threader/ cutter outfit. If the cost is reasonable, take it home and you could knock the job together in a couple of hours. Changing the materials in a 24year old installation that has worked perfectly all this time just doesn't seem like a good idea. The old mantra, "there are tricks in every trade" is at work here. And by the way, if you don't have a monster pipe wrench (depending on your pipe size, natch) put one on your shopping/renting list. Good luck.
Joe
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Given that the electrolysis cancels out and that copper is easier to work with than iron, AND that this is one radiator at the far end of a run, why WOULDN'T copper be a good idea?
If I was in the mood for an adventure, I'd surely rent the tools and have at it, but I really just want to get this done without spending an arm and a leg (and a month).
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Maybe because dielectric unions don't survive all that well with steam.

If you go iron>>copper>>copper>>iron the electrolysis currents oppose one anther. No current flow, no corrosion. FWIW, cutting and threading black iron is harder work than copper, so you may want to get an estimate from a pro. But check tool rental places for a power threader/ cutter outfit. If the cost is reasonable, take it home and you could knock the job together in a couple of hours. Changing the materials in a 24year old installation that has worked perfectly all this time just doesn't seem like a good idea. The old mantra, "there are tricks in every trade" is at work here. And by the way, if you don't have a monster pipe wrench (depending on your pipe size, natch) put one on your shopping/renting list. Good luck.
**********************************************************************
Couple of comments.
Agree on the not touching what works. The joints of that 24 year old pipe may not show corrosion, but once you take them apart, anything can be lurking. Don't attempt that job on a day that the heat "must" be back together. I don't know about mixing the two materials though. Working with pipe is not difficult if you have easy access to a pipe threading setup. Running 10 miles to the hardware store at every bend is not so easy. Look into borrowing or renting the equipment. Threading by hand is not all that hard up to about 1 1/2".
Condensate pipe don't corrode because they are under water al the time, they corrode from carbonic acid. Carbonic acid is formed in steam systems when carbon dioxide reacts with water to form carbonic acid
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/moving-steam-radiator-398336-.htm avantiservices wrote: rangerssuck wrote:

--------------------------------------------- Any time there are two dis-similar metals the effect exists. That is the theory, however I have seen many very old copper to steel connections that are in perfect condition...go figure! If i were doing the job I would use them after all why take a chance over something like that? I would still use steel, I mean how likely will it be that your placement will be so critical that even an half inch would matter? But that's just me and copper is high. Your slope will not need to be more than 1/8 inch over 6' and steel will do that too. Copper also transfers heat more (prior to the radiator). the installers should not have used copper on the header/dryer either! What is it 2" or so$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ------------------------------------- J.P. Avanti Services HVAC, Steam and closed loop Hydronic heating. In the service field for 25 years.
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avantiservices wrote:

Another poster that passed the homeowners hub idiot test so he could answer questions that are over a year old. Did they recruit you? I can't imagine anyone that stupid being able to use the internet.
This is not a homeowners hub thread. It is usenet:alt.home.repair. Homeowners hub steals our work without even attribution. If you can't figure out usenet maybe you could use google-groups.
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