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Reconnecting Radiator - Silicone Tape?

Amycat Member Posts: 4
I removed a one-pipe steam radiator from my dining room for painting and floor refinishing. Hooked it back up today, tightened the nut to the extent that the edge of the radiator started to lift up off the floor from the torque. When I fired up the boiler, the connection was leaking a little. Would silicone tape help create a good enough seal?

The nut is not cross-threaded; I tightened it with fingers initially.

I don't want to crank on the thing too much and snap the pipe.


  • What I do...

    is polish up the mating surfaces...the concave and convex part of the union... with a fine emory clothe or equivalent and then put a thin layer of pipe joint compound to aid in sealing.  This usually does the job.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Big-Al_2
    Big-Al_2 Member Posts: 263
    edited September 2010

    I've done what BoilerPro does, except that I use a little RTV silicone gasket sealer instead of pipe dope.  I put a fairly thin coat on the mating surfaces of the valve union after cleaning them with Scotch-Brite or steel wool, not on the threads of the nut.  I'd let it cure overnight before putting steam on it.  I like it better than using pipe dope because it doesn't contain any oil and it's easy to remove if you ever need to take the joint apart again.   
  • KeithC
    KeithC Member Posts: 38

    All good advice clean the mating surfaces and use a good quality pipe joint lubricant. DON"T use a hardening sealant! Use something like Hercules' REAL TUFF, or the silicone lubricant as described above. Don't overtighten - you'll just peel brass away with the wrench. Just tighten it up, get your forearms working, and let the threads to the work. Check for leaks at first steam and then after a day of heavy use.

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