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Cast Iron Radiator Heat Exchangers

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Norwegian Wood, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Norwegian Wood

    Norwegian Wood New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Messages:
    28
    Loc:
    Southwest Connecticut
    I'm halfway through building my 1000 gallon water storage tank.
    With the cost of copper being what it is, I was wondering if I could use two or three reconditioned thin wall cast iron radiators as heat exchangers for the EKO loop.
    I know copper has a way higher thermal conductivity than cast iron, about 6-7 times, but I will have a much larger surface area than coil tubes, and my intuition tells me this should work just fine, at a much lower cost.
    I've seen a couple posts where this is mentioned, but apparently nobody has tried it.
    Or has someone?
    Any thoughts from the forum?
    Thanks.

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  2. bmblank

    bmblank Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    698
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I'd be concerned with air lock. Other than that they're probably fine. Maybe if they're mounted upside down airlock won't be an issue.
  3. tom in maine

    tom in maine Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    742
    Loc:
    Searsport, Maine
    They will corrode. There is also a risk of damaging your liner given the weight.
    Copper is a cheap date for a heat exchanger. Another option is to use a plate hx. You would need a second pump, but
    it might be a bit less expensive.
  4. Norwegian Wood

    Norwegian Wood New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Messages:
    28
    Loc:
    Southwest Connecticut
    Would powder coating stop them from corroding? The insides are built specifically to carry pressurized high temp water, and they last 100 years +.
    The outside I get, but I figured powder coating would buy me thirty years or so.
    I can distribute the weight using picnic cooler tops. They last forever.

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