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Raisng 1 pipe steam radiator by 2"

A contractor just renovated the 2nd floor bathroom of my antique home. The floor needed extensive structural repairs which resulted in a height increase of 2" where my radiator formerly sat. He thought he could just tug on the pipe a bit but there is really no movement at all and the L on the first floor below is only 1" from the ceiling anyway. I called a local radiator salvage place that also sells parts - I posed my dilemma to them. Their solution was for me to purchase a new radiator from them and sell them mine- hmmm...something tells me this "solution" was more in his interests than mine. Isn't there a way to extend the height by 2"?  Can I simply replace the valve at the radiator connection and add a 2" extender to the pipe before replacing the valve? Does an extender exist? I am sure this problem has come up before... Thanks in advance for any advice that can be offered.


  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557
    a nipple

    I assume the pipe coming through the floor goes into the bottom of the radiator valve. Just take out the nipple that comes out of the floor and replace it with a longer one. Just make sure the radiator has a slight pitch towards the valve end.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,470
    Maybe a union and a short nipple?

    Be careful when removing old nipples, you don't want to break the elbow they screw into or damage anything down the line. If you can't get a nipple out you might be able to just use a pipe union and a short nipple to extend what you have, you'll have to experiment to see what works.

    If you do replace a radiator valve you usually have to replace the matching spud that threads into the radiator and that can be a tough job. Also new valves are usually shorter than the originals were so don't decide on the hardware till you know exactly how long a new valve is.

    I'd reuse the old valves if possible.

    good luck,

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    edited May 2012
    Raising a Radiator

    Hi- Paul & Bob have given you viable options. Paul's suggestion of just replacing the nipple with one of the correct length is probably the best approach. Bob's suggestion of adding a coupling with a short nipple might work though it maybe a bit too long. If you only need an inch more length then there is an adapter available from Mc Master Carr   http://www.mcmaster.com/#       Part # 44605K661 for an 1 1/4 " adapter.

      While you  could do the replacement yourself, you might want to have a plumber do this for you as he has the tools and experience.  You should be able to use the old valve. If you do replace the valve make sure it is for steam and as Bob mentioned you have to replace the whole valve including the piece that connects the valve to the radiator. Paul has already mentioned the need to make sure the radiator slopes toward the valve. This can be done by putting a couple of shims (the thickness of a couple of stacked quarters ($0.25) under the radiator feet on the far end of the radiator away from the valve. The slope can be very slight, just enough to "encourage" the condensate (water) to drain out the inlet pipe and back to the boiler.

    - Rod
  • Thanks

    Thanks very much for the advice. I knew it had to be easier than replacing the radiator!
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    I'll Second That!

    Bob's advice about being careful is absolutely correct. Use 2 wrenches, and minimal disturbance to the piping, or you'll chase leaks all over the house.
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