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Radiator Repair

I have a customer that moved out of their house. Long story short the heat went off and several radiators cracked. I was able to repair the plumbing and heating pipes. I just capped off the cracked radiators for now.

My question is, is it possible to take these apart and replace the cracked sections with one from a different one? I think that we could save a few of them if we could do this. I am sure someone could do it, but how hard is it? Can you pull it back together with the rods or does it need pressed with something else?

Years ago I worked with someone that did this with cast iron baseboard but these are the big old radiators.

If we can repair a few of them and need to get one or two more, does someone still sell these?



  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    If the rads have those connecting rods it's definitely possible to repair--either by replacing the broken sections or even JB Weld on small cracks. BTW, I've had perfect success repairing such cracks with JB Weld when they are NOT on a natural "seam" in the molding; zero success when they are.

    Hardwood (like oak--forget spruce/pine/fir) wedges cut along the length of the grain are very useful to separate. With a long lever (like the handle of a 36" pipe wrench) you can separate them with a quick, firm jerk once you get the knack.

    If attempting a repair with JB Weld, clean the surface very well--remove all paint/rust, abrade and clean with a fast-evaporating solvent.

    Usually enough play to pull 2-4 separated areas together with the rods. If you have to do more, just use fully threaded rods. While technically not necessary, I use a light bead of pure silicon around the high part (near the center) of the nipples when putting back together.
  • Bill Jirik,
    Bill Jirik, Member Posts: 54
    Radiator repair

    If the end sections are ok and the radiators have threaded tie rods, you can remove the tie rods and seperate the sections with a hydraulic port-power, you might have to heat an individual section once disassembled with a torch at the push nipple and then pull out the push nipple with a slide hammer, then reassemble the good sections leaving out the bad ones, seal the push nipples with silicone rubber sealant, end result a usable radiator just short the bad sections.
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