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Repair a leak in a cast iron radiator?

Hello all.



We have a single pipe steam system, and recently found a leak in one of the radiators. The radiator has 6 fins, and at the point where two of the fins join, water and steam are escaping.



Is there any way to attempt to repair a leak like this rather than having to replace the entire radiator? I've talked to several people and gotten split responses.

1. Use JB Weld on it

2. Don't use JB Weld because of the drastic temperature changes - use silicone

3. Don't bother fixing it - try to find a replacement



With several quotes from $1000-1500 to replace the thing, I'd much rather give a shot at repairing it to get a few more winters out of it.



Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Comments

  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,314
    If it is the nipple

    not the radiator, a new push nipple can be ordered and the radiator can be reassembled. Lots of assumptions there. Where are you and what size of radiator do you have?
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,314
    Also what pressure is your system running at?

    Some times it lessens if you get the pressure down lower.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • bts_111
    bts_111 Member Posts: 2
    Denver

    I'm in Denver, CO. This radiator is 14"x37"x9.5".



    Unfortunately, I have no idea what pressure the system runs at. We're in a condo building, and I wouldn't even know where to look on the boiler for that info.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,314
    Wow steam in Colorado!

    Replacement will be the longest term solution. and sometimes the cheapest route.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • davey
    davey Member Posts: 2
    Replace it but

    Find a used one, in the mean time rubber and a couple hose clamps tightened over the leak will stop it for now.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,877
    Or, if...

    1.  You are feeling ambitious

    2.  You can somehow really truly turn off the heat

    3.  Or can wait for spring...



    Charlie's right -- it's probably the nipple.  They tend to rust out along the bottom.  As he says, you can get a new one made.  However, I have also had pretty good luck with dissassembling the radiator (which is why you need to be ambitious and have the heat really off)(it's not as easy as it looks), taking the nipple out (which is easy, since the bottom is rusted anyway), turning it bottom side up, and reassembling the thing using red silicone in the groove between the sections (NOT on the nipple!).
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
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