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VIDEO: Steve Maxwell on why refurbished cast-iron rads are making a comeback

Cast-iron rads, refurbished and ready to easily install, are cost-effective, environmentally responsible, and physically beauttful. Why did we ever fall out of love with them?


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January 26, 2015 by Steve Payne

Steve Maxwell has sent us an excellent feature article about refurbished cast iron rads. It will appear in our next print issue of Canadian Contractor. Sorry to tease you with that, and not have it up online yet, but here’s a video in which Steve tells us why an old idea in home heating is about as cutting edge as it ever was…

Cast iron radiators aren’t something most people think about when considering a new heating system, but cast iron radiators have a lot going for them. They may be an old idea, but they still make sense because people will always love snuggling up to something warm on cold days. And who doesn’t like to dry mitts, hats and coats quickly and well? Reclaimed iron rads are available from specialty refurbishing shops for new construction and old. The shop I chose to buy from for my project is in a place called St-Jean Port-Joli, Quebec, Canada. Click here to go to my website and see the video  – Steve Maxwell


Steve Payne

Steve Payne

Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
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3 Comments » for VIDEO: Steve Maxwell on why refurbished cast-iron rads are making a comeback
  1. Greg says:

    Why have consumers rejected cast iron radiators? Simple: insurance.
    You can also thank a popular home reno show in the USA that graphically demonstrated the massive damage caused when the show host’s home rads failed during cold weather.

    • Steve Maxwell says:

      Hi Greg,
      Thanks for your note.

      I’ve never heard of any significant insurance premium increase for homes with rads, since the risk of water leaks from rads isn’t any higher than with infloor hydronic systems or leaks from regular water supply lines if they freeze and leak. But I’ll check with some iron rad heating guys I know and see if they know of any increased insurance rates.

      In my experience consumers haven’t rejected iron rads so much as forgotten that they exist. Forced-air systems are faster and cheaper to install, so they’ve been popular ever since the post-war building boom took off in the early 50s. Popular, but not nearly as comfortable.

      Anyway, I’ll check about that insurance thing and get back to you.

      Bye for now and thanks for commenting!

      Steve

    • Tom Hickey says:

      I can say with 100% certainty that there is no insurance surcharge for cast iron radiators. Where the confusion may come is that insurers will often ask if a heating system has been updated. The concern here is around old hidden copper pipe etc; in walls that is eroding and needs to be replaced, or old furnaces, oil tanks etcl that need to be replaced. The nice thing about cast iron rads is that they are quite visible and if they develop a leak, you know right away. No more risk to these freezing than any other pipe in your home if the heat goes out.

      I’ve been replacing and installing these in my home. They are a much better heating source than forced air, IMO. (Not a contractor – I’m an insurance broker 🙂 )