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Used vs. New Hot Water Radiators?

My contrator is replacing some old hotwater baseboard with radiators in my 1929 farmhouse. (Opens up the wall space for bookshelves). Any thoughts on new vs. used radiators? If you'd suggest used, should they be sandblasted (they'll be covered, so it doesn't make too much difference aesthetically).

Just for entertainment: my deal is that the contractor will install all new component, but he has installed some nasty looking used ones. I'm open minded though, since the old stuff is often much better than the new, esp. when it comes to this sort of thing. Any tests/questions to ask about the old ones?

What do you think TOH? Thanks.

Re: Used vs. New Hot Water Radiators?

I would recommend comparing the price difference between new & old---in nearly all cases you would save tons of money on buying used---the reason is that new cast iron rads are a specialty item, which drives the cost up---used rads have been pulled from a demolished house or been replaced by a new heating system---they are thus heavy items "in the way" in the salvage yard, or used plumbing supply co.

I would recommend sandblasting & repainting, since a thin coat of rust is common on old rads---the contractor should also check for leaks & do an air pressure test before buying & installation.

Even with sandblasting, you should do much better in price & they'll work just as good as the new ones.

Cast iron rads are an excellent way to heat a home---I know you'll be impressed with their performance---they hold & exude the heat 10 times longer than baseboard.

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