Restored Vintage Radiators - Somerville MA

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA

A sea of unrestored antique radiatorsRestored Vintage Radiators - Somerville MA - A1 New and Used Plumbing and Heating   I'm a big fan of steam heat.  It's a wonderful even heat that adds some moisture to the dry New England winter air. Some people have misgivings about steam heat - usually stemming from a poorly maintained system in an apartment they once rented.  When steam radiators are pitched incorrectly loud knocking can result.  It's an easily fixed problem that many a landlord fails to attend to.  As a homeowner I've never had any problems with my steam radiators that a plumber couldn't address.

And while I'm partial to steam, hot water radiators also provide a very even heat. The easiest way to tell if a radiator is for hot water or for steam is to look for a torpedo-shaped valve, about 2-3 inches high on one side of the radiator.  Find one - you've got steam heat. No valve - it's a hot water radiator.

If you're searching for a new radiator to replace a broken one, or need to add another radiator to your system, or simply want to add some real pizazz to your antique home by trading up to some truly beautiful radiators - A1 New and Used Plumbing and Heating on Prospect Street in Somerville Massachusetts is the place to go.

Newly restored antique radiatorEven if you're not in the market for an antique radiator you can't help but notice A1's office as you come into Union Square.  The shop is across the street from Dunkin Donuts and the rows of radiators lining the driveway are hard to miss.  Or perhaps you read about the shop in Yankee Magazine or saw Fran on This Old House.

Fran Fahey opened A1 New and Used Plumbing and Heating 29 years ago.  Today his huge collection of antique radiators is a treasure trove and one of the best places in the US to get restored vintage radiators.  Stroll around the jam-packed yard and you'll see beautiful, ornately decorated radiators in many sizes and shapes, more utilitarian radiators both new and old, and some very unusual,extraordinary examples as well. It's a delight for any fan of architectural salvage.

Restored radiator with a variety of finishes on the finsA1 New and Used Plumbing and Heating restores and refinishes antique hot water and steam radiators. They also carry radiator fittings and controls, radiator valves, and the antique wood knobs for the valves. Pictures here show a restored vintage radiator and another with a variety of finishes on the fins. The gorgeous detail on the radiators pops with the restored or enhanced finish.

Fahey advises homeowners to visit the shop with their plumber or contractor.  Replacing or adding a radiator is a complicated endeavor that's probably outside the scope of the DIYer. Involving your contractor or plumber will ensure that you get the right radiators for your house and heating system.

A1 New and Used Plumbing and Heating is located at 30 Prospect Street, Somerville MA 02143 and is open Tuesday - Friday from 8am to 4pm and on Saturday from 9am to 2 pm.

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Restored Vintage Radiators - Somerville MA was written by Elizabeth Bolton, a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker who works with buyers and sellers of houses and condos - old and new - in Cambridge, Somerville, and nearby towns. Read more by Liz in her real estate blog.

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Massachusetts Middlesex County Somerville
Groups:
Historic Homes
Tags:
architectural salvage
somerville ma
antique steam radiators
restored vintage radiators

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Ambassador
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Liz - a terrific local business post. I remember exactly where this place is. So funny that out here we do not worry about this sort of thing, and yet it was such a big issue with many homes I sold in the Cambridge and Somerville area. Folks here would not have any idea of the significance of these radiators.

Jeff

Jul 31, 2009 10:28 PM #1
Rainmaker
341,559
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Jeff ~ How nice to not to have to fixate on heat!! Living in an uninsulated old house I can really appreciate that. But I do love these radiators - he has such an amazing collection.

Liz

Jul 31, 2009 10:34 PM #2
Rainmaker
654,279
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

Many of the radiators are actually quite beautiful. I've always thought so, but really never see them here.  We have to add moisture in the winter the 'ugly' way - with a humidifier.  

Jul 31, 2009 11:06 PM #3
Rainmaker
341,559
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Joetta ~ They really are beautiful aren't they?  I always love when we see unusual ones in houses on tour - not that often actually. A1 Plumbing has a really impressive collection of the truly unusual ones - I start fantasizing about replacing mine with some really cool ones when I'm there.

Liz

Jul 31, 2009 11:10 PM #4
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Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Liz, when I was young in Winchester we had a cover over the radiator under the front window in the livingroom. I remember laying on it and watching the snow fall in the winter, such fond memories. I love a beautiful radiator, and when they are cleaned up and painted like the examples above, wow!

And you are right, I have heard some steam systems that would wake the dead, and just to change the pitch of the radiator does change it, but most people these days are unaware of that fact.

Great post as always Liz!

Aug 01, 2009 07:13 AM #5
Rainmaker
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Robert Hammerstein
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Liz - Great business post for the challenge... Seems funny to be talking about heat in August though no? lol Yes they can be quite pretty designs on them. Truly a lost art from bygone days... Nice post!

Aug 01, 2009 11:37 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,108,853
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

We have some older apartment buildings here that still have those types of heating systems. I can testify from personal experience that they get awfully hot.

Aug 01, 2009 04:52 PM #7
Rainmaker
460,397
Joseph D. Federico
Donahue Real Estate Co. - Dedham, MA
Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate

Liz-What an incredible shop in Somerville. Thanks for letting us know.

Aug 01, 2009 09:05 PM #8
Rainmaker
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Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Andrea ~ After I wrote this post I did recall some banging last year - have to have the plumber in before winter - it seems so very long ago now that it's hot.

Hi Robert ~ Ha!  I didn't even think of that - I guess I was focusing on radiator as art rather than heat - we've got plenty of heat right now.

Hi Jim ~ They do! Just before I moved into my house - after the new boiler was installed and I turned on the heat - I forgot to make sure no boxes were on the radiators (they make such good shelves in the off season!) and a candle I had owned for decades - my very favorite - melted. I went over to the house and was stymied at the growth on the floor (and below on the cellar floor as it turned out).  It was an owl candle - now it's exactly half an owl. 

Hi Joe ~ It's a great place to know about if you or someone you know ever has the need for radiators.

Liz

Aug 02, 2009 12:04 AM #9
Rainmaker
412,458
Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor
Teri Ellis at Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC - Mesa, AZ

Hi Elizabeth!!! When I started to read your post, I remember having seen the steam heating. But then, I started thinking of the song, Steam Heat!!! Funny, how things like that come back with just a word or two. Great post....and great that they are being reburbished. Those of us in Arizona don't typically think of steam heating....at least not in the valley. ;-)

Aug 02, 2009 01:28 PM #10
Rainmaker
341,559
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Teri ~ I'm going to have to look up that song - thank goodness for google and youtube!

Liz

Aug 02, 2009 07:43 PM #11
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Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

Liz.....those are so pretty.....who would have thought?  Very neat post!

Aug 03, 2009 10:59 AM #12
Anonymous
mark aqwa

do you sell ajustable elbows for raad insulation

Aug 11, 2010 01:15 PM #14
Anonymous
mark c

What is the average price of a radiator for hot water

Jul 10, 2014 09:23 PM #15
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Elizabeth Bolton

Cambridge MA Realtor
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