Cast iron radiator advice

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For a radiator that size you average electric 500 watt element would not heat it effectively and it would certainly not heat your room. The heatloss from the rad would be about 2kw so you would need to stick a 2kw element in it. These require a minimum 2" boss which you don't have
Forget this one it is not really feasable. If you do decide to give it a go put a safety valve (even a spring loaded one) on the top :idea:
To pick up on boilermans post, can you not remember the old oil filled electric radiators from the 70's 80's. That is why they were oil filled.
 
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.... They ususally contain a specialist OIL rather than water, which if you remember school science lessons, CANNOT BE COMPRESSED....

Oil, and most other liquids are incompressible. I suspect oil is chosen as a liquid with a relatively low coefficient of expansion, and a high enough boiling point that it is unlikely to generate excessively high pressures in a well designed system.

You would probably need a large air gap for the fluid to expand into as it is heated, calculated in proportion to the fluid capacity and the maximum temperature it is ever likely to reach. That may be a problem for a radiator designed as part of a central heating system, as horizontal circulation usually relies on a single waterway at the top and bottom of the rad. Oil filled radiators usually have several horizontal channels within the panel area to maintain efficient circulation with a large expansion gap at the top of the radiator.

Immersion heaters up to 3KW with 1" NPT threads are available. They are usually intended for industrial applications, aquariums / fish ponds, swimming pools or spa heaters.

Whether such a device would be SAFE to use, I will leave to your judgement.

If you do decide to go ahead, I hope your design will include provisions for thermostatic control, an overheat cutout, and temperature and pressure relief valves arranged to vent (possibly boiling oil) in a safe manner.
 
M

Mtb154

Guys, I only asked if it was possible to do , and if so what would I need, never knew or even considered it could explode, will have to reconsider my plans. Just wanted some advice, that's all. Don't think I will bother on this site again, boilerman 2, ur a knob
 
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im considering filling an old cast iron rad i found with petrol, then lighting a small fire underneath to heat it. do you all think its a cracking idea? if you dont your all ar2e holes.
 
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To the OP If you don't like my advice then frankly dont ask a professional the question

anyway I do feel i gave you good advice and I think i can live with you calling me a Knob!! what I think of people like You i will keep to myself :rolleyes:
 
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I think they're filled with mineral oil, which is a clear liquid, a by-product of petrol refining. It is best known as as baby oil, with scent in it, but is also used in large transformers and switchgear.

You could leave an airgap above the oil to accomodate the expansion of the oil when hot.
 
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That was an interesting link from Onetap.

When I first worked for the BBC, we had to overhaul the large transformers used in the transmitters, the kind you need a ladder to climb down into. We also had to regularly test the insulation value by applying an increasing HT voltage to a test jig with electrodes 5 mm apart to see the voltage at which it broke down.

Whilst one might say that was not of much use it really was. When I was working in the Gulf, Malik, the engineer in charge of the MF and short wave transmitter came to me for help as one of the transformers was overheating. He had no idea what to do.

I got him to open the lid with about 32 bolts and lift the transformer part way out of the casing. That enabled me to see that the on load tap changer contacts had been arcing after always being in the same position. We were able to clean the contacts and reassemble the transformer.

One thing I learnt from that link was that mineral oil should not be used for massage although it did not say why. But olive oil is just as good and probably a little more slippery.

Tony
 
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Any advice would be appreciated, Dave

If the posts above reflect your appreciation, you sound like a man of some gravitas and education.

As in Rab C Nesbitt.
 
M

mysteryman

There was a lot of guesswork in the above.

Electrically heated oil-filled radiators are OK. They have special oil in them.

An electric heating element in a heated towel rail is OK as long as it remains connected to a central heating system for venting purposes. The element is very low powered anyway.

Just don't create a bomb!
 
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An electric heating element in a heated towel rail is OK as long as it remains connected to a central heating system for venting purposes. The element is very low powered anyway.

Just don't create a bomb!

I think that is the key that even when covered with towels the electrically heated towel rail will only get gently warm and nowhere near boiling.

Whilst it should be left with a rad valve open they could always be closed by accident.

But the rad volume will increase as it warms up so the available space for the water will also increase.

In reality most rad valves will mostly leak slightly too unless they are turned off very firmly.

Tony
 
M

Mtb154

Any advice would be appreciated, Dave

If the posts above reflect your appreciation, you sound like a man of some gravitas and education.

As in Rab C Nesbitt.


I do appreciate the info given, I just don't need someone telling me my question is the most riddiculous idea they have ever heard of, it seemed quite feasable to me, but I am not a plumber
 

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