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Removing radiator

gutrenogutreno Member Posts: 4
I have a small room at the back of the house, not much bigger than 8 x12 feet. It's an old porch, converted into a sunroom years before I came along, and I'd like to add an entryway door to convert it into a mudroom/entryway. Problem is, there are two radiators there now (one pipe steam). When the boiler is on, it's really hot. But since there is no insulation to be found, it's cold the rest of the time.

My plan is to unscrew the pipe from the main and use a plug to cap the old T fitting. A little pipe dope on the threads and a pipe wrench and voila? Can it be that simple? I really don't think two radiators in that space have ever made any sense, it should be plenty warm (once we insulate) with just the one (these aren't small radiators, either, the same size as what's in every other room in the house.

I've also read online differing opinions on the use of teflon tape. My general sense is it shouldn't be necessary if the threads are in good shape. Is it ever a good idea?

Thanks for your help!


  • Dave in QCADave in QCA Member Posts: 1,759
    It really is that simple

    Assuming that these radiators are the same size as what is used in other rooms in your house, and that only one would be needed given the size of the room, if it were well insulated, you will probably be just fine to remove the extra radiator.  Don't throw it away, someday you may find it real handy to have an extra one on hand.

    You might find it very difficult to get the nipple to come loose out of the Tee.  I would heat the Tee up with a torch, for quite a while.  Get it good and hot before even trying to turn it out.

    Regarding teflon tape, some folks love it, and others do not.  You need to either use teflon tape or pipe dope on the threads of the plug, but not both.

    Hope this works out for you.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
  • gutrenogutreno Member Posts: 4

    for the information. I wasn't sure if removing a radiator would dictate changing settings at the boiler, or if it was a small enough change to not worry about.
  • RodRod Posts: 2,067

    You might just want to consider using TRVs. The radiators in our mud room have them and it's nice to be able to turn up the heat and thoroughly dry out any wet garments. We then set the TRVs back to a cooler temperature so the room doesn't overheat and also save fuel.

    - Rod
  • gutrenogutreno Member Posts: 4
    TRV stands for???

    Sorry, I haven't come across this abbreviation yet. What is a TRV? I like the idea of being able to control how much heat a given radiator puts out, though.
  • Big-Al_2Big-Al_2 Member Posts: 263
    edited July 2010
    Plug the vent hole.

    If all you want to do is to stop one of the radiators from heating up, you could just replace the air vent with a pipe plug.  This will trap air in the radiator, keeping the steam out.  It won't heat up much, if at all.   That way, if you change your mind, you can just put the vent back in.  (Some vents can even be disabled simply by turning them so they are upside down.)

    A TRV is a thermostatic radiator valve (vent.)  It replaces the normal air vent.  It basically has a mechanical thermostat that only lets the radiator vent open when the room needs heat.
  • gutrenogutreno Member Posts: 4

    So I have seen TRV's, thanks for the clarification. I'd like to add some to the bedrooms eventually.

    The radiator does have to be removed, though. I neglected to make clear in my original post that the new entry door would be right where one of the two radiators is currently. I just want to make sure it is safe to remove it from the system altogether (a lot of the info in The Lost Art of Steam Heat goes over my head, but I do remember calculating lengths of piping to determine total "load"; it's one radiator and about 8 feet of pipe, so my intuition tells me not to worry).
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