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  1. #1
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    Jul 2008
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    Question Moving old iron radiator pipes. Need advice.

    Alright, so this forum has been very helpful thus far with my question on a drum trap... Now I have one last issue. I am removing a wall from my kitchen. Turns out the wall I am removing has old cast iron lines that run to the rads on the second floor.

    The gallery of images can be seen here:

    imgur.com/a/XooIH

    The expansion tank line should be pretty straight forward... I can saw it out and reline in back to the basement where I can relocate it to a drain. Not really worried about that one...

    It is the outlet line from the boiler that I am concerned about.

    1. The 90 degree elbow and the T joint are corroded.
    2. What is the easiest way to remove?
    3. Should I just cut both lines off the 90 elbow and T and start fresh from that point back to the basement?
    4. Once in the basement should I use a union to retie back to the system?


    If I need to unscrew the left over line if I do have to cut how can I loosen them easily? hammer? torch (safely of course!)?

    Once I have rerouted these lines I can finish my electrical and get this buttoned up... but when I saw this line here I kind of got a little pissed to say the least. I hate messing with 80 year old pipe if I don't have to... but in this case I have no choice.

    Thoughts? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: Moving old iron radiator pipes. Need advice.

    jderosa3:

    The standard way of moving pipes in this case for a hot water system is to relocate the expansion tank to the basement by draining & cutting out the old ET in the attic & abandoning the line; an updated ET known as an Extrol 30 pressurized tank (approx $30) with internal neoprene bladder (12 psi) is installed near the boiler, connecting to main supply pipe with black steel pipe, or copper if you prefer; these newer ETs won't "waterlog" & are much less trouble than the old unit; include a standard shutoff before the ET so that it can be easily replaced in the event of future failure without need to drain the system; Google ""Amtrol Extrol 30 expansion tank installation" to get to their website & view piping diagram of how the ET is connected at main supply line near boiler.

    The supply/return steel piping to the 2nd floor rad can be cut out & 2 lengths of PEX tubing (or copper) with proper connectors can be used (in the same narrow wall cavity) to run the hot water supply/returns from the rad to the cellar to reconnect to the boiler.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 04-14-2012 at 07:24 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Moving old iron radiator pipes. Need advice.

    Dobbs,

    Thank you for the feedback. In fact you made my life a lot easier. I will remove the old expansion take located on the second floor... and by doing this will eliminate have to relocate the old expansion tank outlet pipe (can be fully removed).

    Also I will cut off and cap the line that I now discovered returns to the expansion tank...

    I will only be be using one iron-pex connection to move the one radiator line over to a wall that will be staying in place.

    I will purchase the Amtrol 30 tank and place it in the basement per your advice... all this makes a lot more sense now.

    I have never since being in this home for 5 years saw the expansion tank let out... so I assume everything is running smooth.

    Thank you very much for your time. Very much appreciated! I did not know that I could use PEX for the hot lines like this.

    I have no need to replace all the iron in the house, but this will make relocating easy as pie!

  4. #4
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    Feb 2008
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    175

    Default Re: Moving old iron radiator pipes. Need advice.

    jderosa3:

    Couldn't find diagram for Extrol ET-30 setup; the Watts ET-30 expansion tank is identical (buy the tank that costs less); the tank should be attached to the near-boiler main supply line as noted in the Watts diagram with the additional components of a float vent (#17), a standard full-port shut-off valve (#19), the Extrol-30/Watts ET-30, and an air scoop; total cost approx $70-$100; the purpose of this 4-component "rig" is to a) absorb any expanded water during boiler heat-up; b) remove air from the boiler water via the air scoop; c) expel the air from the system via the float vent; d) provide a shut-off valve so that the ET can be conveniently serviced & replaced in the event of future failure/problems without having to drain the entire boiler system.

    Use 3/4" white teflon tape to lightly wrap the threads of the ET & other components to avoid water leaks.

    You may already have some of these components on your boiler piping, such as an air scoop, or air vent, these existing components can remain in place & used with any additional parts you need.

    Best bet is to go to the Yellow Pages under "Heating Supplies/Parts" for local heating supplier in your area, the counterman will finger-tight "assemble" the 4 components at the counter to show you how they connect to one another.

    http://media.wattswater.com/PG-HHS.pdf
    Last edited by Dobbs; 04-14-2012 at 04:51 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Moving old iron radiator pipes. Need advice.

    Dobbs,

    Again thank you for this... actually this home is not equip with the additional components you mentioned:

    • Float Vent
    • Air Scoop


    I will get these and the ET from a local supply house and have them show how to set these up in my home system.

    Again, you have been a big help. Thank you very much.

    What is the easiest way to loosen a stuck iron pipe... I want to unscrew the pipe where I cut to add a PEX connection to the 90-degree iron pipe adapter. Bit of a pain... afraid I'm going to break it...

  6. #6
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    Feb 2008
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    175

    Default Re: Moving old iron radiator pipes. Need advice.

    jderosa3:

    Perhaps several of our plumbing/piping experts on this forum like John & others can chime in to provide tips on connecting from cast iron/steel piping to PEX or copper; yes, it is very easy to end up cracking this type of pipe when servicing & the threads of such pipes usually rust shut over the years, making it impossible to open a threaded joint; another option is to talk with the counterman of a local supply house for help & ideas.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 04-15-2012 at 11:03 AM.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2008
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    Default Re: Moving old iron radiator pipes. Need advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    jderosa3:

    Perhaps several of our plumbing/piping experts on this forum like John & others can chime in to provide tips on connecting from cast iron/steel piping to PEX or copper; yes, it is very easy to end up cracking this type of pipe when servicing & the threads of such pipes usually rust shut over the years, making it impossible to open a threaded joint; another option is to talk with the counterman of a local supply house for help & ideas.
    I made it to my local plumbing supply house today to find that they do not sell PEX for heating applications by the foot. I would need to buy a 400ft roll.

    Obviously I could not go that route. Instead they suggested the use of a 3/4" compression coupler for the pipe. I was concerned about this eventually leaking, but they ensured me this is common when getting inside an older home and is the best way to fix this. Just cut the pipe and adapt the rest. I should be fine.

    You were a huge help with the expansion take as I had no idea I needed those other items. Now that I have them on hand I believe I can complete the job. Thanks again.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Moving old iron radiator pipes. Need advice.

    I got everything moved and working fine! Thank for all the advice and help!

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