The year of the invention of heating systems made of cast iron is conventionally considered to be 1855. It happened in St. Petersburg. Since then, varieties of heating devices have emerged that are made from a wide variety of metals and alloys, but the history of cast-iron heating systems is not a thing of the past. And today, manufacturers are ready to offer models of cast-iron radiators, which can be a decoration of the premises of various styles. In terms of service life, appliances for heating from other materials simply cannot compete with the very first representatives of heating systems.
Advantages and disadvantages of cast iron heating systems
One of the oldest functioning cast iron batteries has already turned 110 years old. And today, many consumers consider heating systems made of cast iron the most reliable, this is due to the characteristics and a number of obvious advantages of such products:
- battery life of cast iron reaches 50 years or more, which significantly exceeds this indicator for systems made of any modern materials;
- the ability of heating radiators to heat up to the highest possible heating temperatures (up to 150 degrees);
- the heat release in such a system is very slow, so not only air is heated, but also other objects in the room, becoming additional sources of heat;
- low chemical activity, which is an indisputable advantage in the operating conditions in the Russian heating systems;
- the possibility of mounting a cast iron radiator in systems with forced and natural circulation;
- high resistance to water hammer and ability to withstand high working pressure (up to 18 atmospheres).
Another important indicator that distinguishes cast-iron radiators from the total number of modern heating devices, is their low cost. The size of modern cast-iron heating systems and modern design allow you to choose the most suitable model for all characteristics and parameters.
The list of flaws in cast iron heaters includes:
- a large weight of the products, each section of such a battery weighs from 5 to 7 kilograms, which greatly complicates the installation and replacement of cast iron radiators;
- the use of a large volume of coolant, to fill one section of the radiator will require almost a liter of hot water (for comparison, less than half a liter is poured into the aluminum section);
- possibility of depressurization at the joints;
- unaesthetic appearance of old-style models, which often have to be covered with special decorative screens, and this reduces the performance of the device;
- the need to periodically paint the batteries;
- when removing dust from the surface, there are certain difficulties of cleaning in hard-to-reach places (between sections).
However, today manufacturers of cast-iron radiators produce models that are able to satisfy any aesthetic and design needs.
Modern models of cast iron radiators
You can find modern cast iron radiators in any specialized retail network or on the pages of online stores. Conventionally, such devices are divided into three types:
- the models of the model of past years, familiar to everyone as "accordions", today have acquired smaller dimensions, but for reasons of aesthetics almost always are closed with a decorative screen;
- modern smooth models, externally similar to aluminum analogues, are produced both in Russia and abroad;
- designer models that are able to decorate the most sophisticated interior.
The price of each type of radiator depends on the country where the devices are manufactured, the brand of the manufacturer and the characteristics of the product. In the market of heating systems, you can find models of modern cast-iron radiators manufactured in Russia, Spain, Belarus, Turkey, America, Germany, England. The range of model range is much broader than that of all other representatives of heating systems. In such a situation, the replacement of old heating systems with radiators of a new generation of cast iron makes it possible to transform the interior of a room.
Methods of installation of cast iron radiators
By the way of installation, all heating systems made of cast iron can be divided into two groups - floor and wall.
Installing a floor-mounted radiator is made in rooms where it is impossible to install a classical-style heating system that is mounted on the wall. Such a design of floor radiators is ideal for rooms with panoramic windows or buildings with glass facades. There are models whose height does not exceed 15 centimeters. Indoor floor-mounted radiators of this type are practically imperceptible and do not spoil the interior and exterior of the building. One of the reasons why it is impossible to use a radiator installed on the floor is that it will not be possible to fix a heavy cast-iron heating system on a glass wall.
Another model of cast iron floor radiators is the heating system, which is built directly into the floor. Such radiators remain invisible in the room. Heat is supplied through a decorative grille built into the floor surface. The disadvantage of this design is that its installation should be provided at the design stage of the building. At this stage it is necessary to design special niches under the floor where the cast-iron floor radiators will be mounted. In the already built building installation of such a radiator is not possible.
Wall mounted radiators
This design involves the classic way of fixing products on the wall. Given that such products have a very large weight, it is worthwhile to carefully approach the choice of fasteners. It is necessary to accurately calculate the number of sections needed and determine the weight of the battery in order to choose brackets that can withstand heavy construction. It is not recommended to install wall radiators in old wooden buildings, because the walls can not bear the heavy weight of the heating system.
Each installation system has its own characteristics and therefore it is best to entrust such works to professionals.
Works on the installation or replacement of cast iron radiators
There is a list of works that must be carried out at the preparatory stage, before installing or replacing a cast iron radiator:
- it is necessary to choose a model that is suitable for aesthetic reasons, fully complies with the parameters of the heat network, the wiring diagram and the technical characteristics of the device;
- to calculate the power that is needed for heating the room; for this, you can use special programs - calculators, which can be found on specialized websites selling heating equipment;
- the purchase of all components for the work, sometimes the necessary parts come complete with radiators;
- Discharge the water in the system and, if a replacement is made, dismantle the old batteries.
If the necessary technical knowledge is not enough, then it is best to contact a specialist who knows how to correctly calculate the power and parameters of the heating system. In addition, there are a number of common technical parameters on which the service life and quality of the heating system depends:
- when installing it is important to note that the centers of the window sill and the radiator should be the same in length;
- the width of the batteries should not be greater than the value that ranges from 50 to 75 percent of the width of the heating system;
- from the floor covering to the radiator, the gap should be no more than 12 cm, and up to the lower surface of the sill should be at least 5 cm;
- between the wall and the heating system, it is recommended to leave a space of 2 cm.
From the point of view of technology, the installation of cast iron radiators is a process that requires certain knowledge, special tools and experience of this kind of work. All installation and connection works are regulated by SNiP 3.05.01-85; therefore, it is desirable that such work be carried out by utility service specialists. It is especially important for the subsequent trouble-free operation that the connection of the cast-iron radiator should be carried out in compliance with all the necessary instructions and rules for conducting this kind of work. If the battery was installed independently, the responsibility for the consequences of emergency situations falls entirely on the owner of the heating system.
Time has shown that cast-iron heating radiators in the modern world have not lost their popularity and demand. Moreover, they gradually occupy an increasing share of the total number of systems for space heating. Possessing a set of characteristics that are very important for heating systems, in the new design they got their second life. Modern cast-iron radiators still do an excellent job with their main function, and replacing them with new models allows them to become a decoration of the room.