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Removing and loosening painted radiator condensate trap covers

mrmackmrmack Posts: 1Member
Amazing how hard it can be to remove some radiator condensate trap covers.

Having been painted (sometimes more than once) makes it difficult to remove with out breaking your back or possibly the trap.

Any ideas on this one?


  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 4,092Member ✭✭✭
    Paint remover

    Get as much of the paint off of there a you can before you even try.  Wrenches won't fit properly on a painted surface -- or if you are using a pipe wrench, won't hold.  So get down to the original metal first (comments on the folks with the paint brushes are permitted while doing this!).

    Then you can try the usual... keeping in mind that some of the paint will have seeped into the mating surfaces, which makes a dismayingly good thread locker.  Sometimes a little heat can help a lot.

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • RJRJ Posts: 421Member ✭✭

    Get the paint off like Jamie said.  For the radiator trap I would use my pocket knife and cut the old paint around where the cap assy screws to body ( where gloves )   than use a large  socket  and breaker bar, tighten first  (clockwise)  this will help break any paint and rust loose. than loosen using large pipe wrench for backup.  For the F&T trap a lot of paint removal and rust dissolver. You may consider replacing the entire F&T trap ( picture on right ) as a lot of the rebuild kits cost almost as much as a new trap.
  • Joe VJoe V Posts: 230Member
    edited March 2014
    be mindful

    of the likelihood of lead paint.
  • GordoGordo Posts: 393Member ✭✭✭

    Makes a rebuild kit for that 00026 Warren Webster F&T trap. 

    The savings in labor for not having to re-pipe for a more modern 6-bolt F&T trap might make it worth it.

    There is a slightly boring youtube clip on how to install the Tunstall repair kit in the trap (starring yours truly).

    Remember to clean out that strainer!
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Posts: 5,617Member ✭✭✭

    What's the link to that video?

    Videos could have their own area here, and if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video will be a whole chapter!--NBC
  • GordoGordo Posts: 393Member ✭✭✭
    I Think This is the Link

    Fair warning!  I lose half of my watchers in the first minute!

    Please rate and comment!
  • lzalza Posts: 39Member
    Heat and cheaters


    For the thermostatic trap cover:

    A spud wrench or a 15" Crescent. 

    A little heat, Kroil Oil and a cheater. 

    Gordo:  I didn't know that Tunstall made rebuild kits for Warren Webster drips.  I'm assuming it includes the thermostatic element as well?
  • GordoGordo Posts: 393Member ✭✭✭
    The Tunstall Trap Repair Kits

    Tunstall makes rebuild kits for just about all Webster radiator traps.

    If they don't have a particular trap kit, if you send them the trap body, they will make one.

    They "like" getting stuff from All Steamed Up!  They almost always tell us, "You guys sure get the weird $**t, don't you?   Several of their products have "ASU" as part of their inventory control number.

    The folks at Tunstall are great to work with.

    Barnes and Jones also makes excellent trap repair kits.

    We have found that impact tools make quick work on traps (if you got the clearance). 
  • GordoGordo Posts: 393Member ✭✭✭
    Webster 00026

    At one time not long ago, State Supply had OEM parts for this trap, but they no longer do.

    We tried interesting B&J in making a kit for us, but they were fine with things just as they were, thank you.

    Tunstall at least listened politely, but told us they could not justify the development cost vs the expected market.

    All Steamed Up, Inc then started a foundry division and custom designed key parts for the trap which would allow "off the shelf" parts to be fitted into the trap.

    We used these parts to crudely rebuild a salvaged 00026T Webster and, with their permission, shipped it to Tunstall for their testing.

    The result was that Tunstall could efficiently tweak our design and market it at a profit.
  • RobGRobG Posts: 1,801Member ✭✭✭✭
    Nice Video

    Nice video, your right though, a little boring but very informative. I didn't know that the repair kits were available. Did Frank do the filming or did WW send down there own videographer? If they provided an easier washer / clip and stainless allen bolts it would definitely make for a better and easier install as you pointed out. Are they paying you guys royalties on the ASU parts?  Good stuff, thanks :)

  • GordoGordo Posts: 393Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2014
    YouTube Clip

    My son did the filming.

    We tried to edit it down to under 5 min, but lost that file after several hours of work, so we uploaded up what we had.

    Thank you for your feed back!

    No, we do not receive any kick-backs, but we do get great turn-around time from them when we call, and that is payment enough. 

    In regards to that pesky ring clip, I later had the idea to use a short length of tube, say 1/4" soft copper, to balance the clip on to insert it on the rod and that seems to nail it.
  • VA_BearVA_Bear Posts: 50Member
    Hey Gordo...

    Do you ever use any treatment on your trap hardware such as antiseize?
  • GordoGordo Posts: 393Member ✭✭✭

    Oh yes, we most definitely use anti-seize.

    I think in our trap re-build video we are shown using it on many of the gasketed surfaces and threads and unions.

    It is all part of the ethos of "make it easier for the next guy".

    We try not gob the stuff on because we are ever-mindful that the oils and greases in the anti-seize may find its way back to the boiler!
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