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Steam riser doesn't match up with radiator height


I'm a new home owner and new to steam heat - I'm reading the books and trying to learn as much as I can.

I noticed what sounded like water dripping in a wall on my first floor, and discovered it was coming from a riser in the wall to a 2nd-floor radiator. I disconnected the radiator and found a good amount of condensate in it - it's not draining. This is a one-pipe system. I then deduced the reason it wasn't draining properly was because the pitch was off - we have new wood floors and I'm guess that's responsible. It's also likely responsible for the fact the riser connection does not match up with the radiator, it's off by about 1/2-inch. See the attached picture.

Forcing the connection doesn't seem like an option - at best that'd put me back to where I started. Any ideas on the best solution? Thanks!


  • TomM
    TomM Posts: 233

    option 1)  crowbar.  enough said.  (done this)


    option 2)  grind down the feet of the radiator.  but they may be hollow.  watch out.  (never have done this)


    option 3)  hole saw out your new floor where the radiator feet go.  your wife will definitely disapprove.  (done this)


    option 4)  you can go to different valve manufacturer websites, and look at the prints to see if any valves are slightly taller (longer) than the ones you have now.  they are not all the same sizes.  (done this before with good results).  Don't forget that you will also have to change the nipple inside the radiator because they are valve specific.






    the other guys can probably reference other valve manufacturers for you.  Watts, Armstrong, HD china special, etc.
    beautiful Conshohocken PA
  • lutorm
    lutorm Member Posts: 78
    I have the same problem

    ...with one of my radiators, only whoever mounted it used enough force to make the connection. Only there's no swing joint on the riser, so that meant the entire steam main in the basement was lifted enough to make it flat, and that entire weight must now be resting on the radiator because it's stuck like a rock to the floor. I'd redo it but I figure once the radiator connection comes off there's no going back so I'm hesitant.

    I guess this is why there are supposed to be swing joints on the risers, huh?
  • haaljo
    haaljo Member Posts: 112
    Couldn't you just buy an extension nipple for the pipe?

    Even a coupling would do the trick.
  • Roadking
    Roadking Member Posts: 7

    Definitely use an extension nipple (looks like a coupling with one side female the other side male). This should raise the pipe by about 1" to 1-1/2". If the pipe ends up being too high you can shim the radiator feet to bring it to the correct height for the extension (or to provide the correct pitch). Small couplings or short rings cut from 3/4" or 1" pipe make great shims for the radiator feet.
  • DavidT
    DavidT Member Posts: 2
    extension goes where?

    And just to be clear, the extension nipple needs to be inserted before the valve? I.e. riser -> extension nipple -> valve -> radiator?

  • Roadking
    Roadking Member Posts: 7
    extension nipple

    The nipple goes between the pipe and the valve. The female side of the extension nipple screws onto the top of the pipe, and the valve screws onto the male side of the nipple. The valve will probably end up about 1/2" to 1" too high, but it's easy to shim up the radiator to meet the valve.
  • Marcus Mead_4
    Marcus Mead_4 Member Posts: 53
    Perhaps a street elbow?

    Could he use a street elbow to turn the valve 90 degrees and raise it a little at the same time? 

    That worked once for me, when I had the same problem.

    I never knew about the 1" extension coupling thing mentioned earlier...
This discussion has been closed.