Why are radiators made of cast iron

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dpb wrote: ...

...
And, the word was "very" which is even less incriminating of any real problem...
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willshak erroneously stated. It's _steam heat_ that's (potentially) dangerous.
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Doug Miller wrote the following:

In my very first message I said STEAM radiators. I never said HOT WATER radiators, but somehow you seem to have missed that. "I was brought up in homes with STEAM radiators in NYC". Then, in my response to you. where you somehow read STEAM as HOT WATER, I said "STEAM" was the main heating source for many homes and buildings". Yet you still contend that I am talking about HOT WATER. Do you deny that a STEAM radiator, which you have obviously have never seen or heard of, can get much hotter than a HOT WATER radiator? http://images.google.com/images?q=steam%20radiators&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi or http://tinyurl.com/yb5uzcm Your turn to try to save face again, Go.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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No, I didn't miss that. You apparently missed the fact that the whole thread was about cast iron radiators, though, not "steam radiators". [Hint: check the title of the thread.]

I never contended that you're talking about hot water. Quite the contrary, in fact, as you appear to have been completely ignorant of the existence of hot water systems -- you stated that cast iron radiators are dangerously hot. That's not true. Radiators _in steam systems_ are dangerously hot, regardless of what they're made of. Cast iron radiators _in hot water systems_ are *not* dangerously hot.

Of course it can. Do you deny that a cast iron radiator in a hot water system is nowhere nearly as hot as a cast iron radiator in a steam system? And can you figure out that the dangerous temperatures are the result of the use of _steam_, not the material that the radiator is made from?
Sheesh.
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willshak wrote:

Instead of beating around the bush, steam under pressure is much hotter than water in a hydronic system.
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Most steam systems are not under (significant) pressure; certainly not domestic steam systems.
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snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Oh thank Gawd it's you to save us again! I thought steam, at just a couple pounds of presure will get hotter than the boiling point of water, you know, 212F+. And you know that hydronic systems have water in them that seldom goes above 160F, and somehow your mind tells you that 160F is just as dangerous as 212F+. How do you do it? You are todays Einstein!
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I see you're illiterate, as well as being stupid as a stump.

Bullshit. Most are set for 180F to 200F. The higher the temperature the higher the efficiency.

Of course you're a liar, too.

With you as a reference, I can see how you would come to that conclusion.
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They may be set at 180, but the actual temperature downstream is much less and declines as it goes.
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Not much less at the first radiator - certainly not 20F lower. Ideally there is no loss inbetween the furnace and the first radiator (wasted heat). Obviously the water is going to cool as it winds through the loop.
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On Mar 11, 4:16am, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

Afraid not. Lower temperature systems have a higher efficiency. BTW, there are no efficient heating systems in America.
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wrote:

Wrong. In this case, the gas fire is hotter than the loop. You want the loop to be as hot as possible to minimize the heat lost in the heat exchanger. Heat pumps operate at a lower temperature for similar reasons (lower delta-T).

Now you're just being stupid.
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On Mar 11, 11:08pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

The hall marks of efficiency are the three T's. Time, turbulence and Temperature difference. The lower the temperature of the heating medium (ie water in this case), the greater the energy transferred from the burning fuel to that medium. For an excercise, explain the other two T's.
I had a look round the last time I was in America. Appalling. You are thirty years behind European standards.
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You are showing your ignorance here. The temperature of steam depends on it's pressure. That pressure can be above or below atmospheric pressure. If it is sub-atmospheric the temperature can be as low as 120degF. If it is at amospheric pressure the temperature is 212degF. The upper limit can be as high as you like.
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How many steam heating systems are you aware of that operate at, or below, atmospheric pressure? Please cite specific examples.
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On Mar 11, 10:00pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

I ran a huge sytem personally before I retired. Steam raised was used to generate electricity. The exhaust steam from the turbines was used for heating with direct steam radiators. The pressure in them was 0.6 bar (absolute) ie -8psi in your parlance.
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harry wrote:

I thought we were talking about a one pipe system? Maybe that was another thread, maybe not??
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There are such things as one pipe steam heating sytems where the steam pipe is run to fall back from the radiators to the steam boiler. The condensate runs in the opposite direction to the steam flow (in the same pipe) back to the boiler. I think they were popular in America at one time I think. It's a simple sytem but control is poor and noises are often generated. The steam pressure is low, the boiler is usually cast iron and extremely inefficient.
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harry wrote:

Yes, that's what I'm talking about. With steam coming out some of the radiators. It's always above atmospheric pressure, not much, I think 2 to 5 pounds. Pipes clang away. I worked at a place that had that heat about 25 years ago and while I was there he had a new boiler installed. The old boiler was very inefficient, originally coal converted to oil. The new boiler was about 1/4 the size and paid for itself in about 3 years.
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willshak wrote:

they didn't have to mess with having a boiler. Probably still do in the older parts of town. I'm sure individual stand-alone houses had their own little boilers.
-- aem sends...
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