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temporarily moving radiator

ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,516Member
So, the wife wants to paint a room and wanted to just paint around the radiator.

I can't have that as its just not the way I do things so I need to move the radiator out of the way until we're doing painting.



Whats involved in this? I assume I simply throw a pipe wrench on the spud nut, spin it off and move the radiator out of the way, and reverse to reconnect it?



Do these usually come apart easily and go back together without a leak or am I asking for trouble?
Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

Comments

  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,896Member
    you can do that Chris,

    It shouldn't give you any issues. Try to use a wrench thats got flat jaws as a regular pipe wrench will usually leave marks. We use a wrench called a hook wrench that Ridgid makes.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,516Member
    Thank you

    Thank you for responding Gerry I appreciate it.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 7,356Member
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,516Member
    Spud

    What about a spud wrench?



    http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/Spud-Wrench/
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,896Member
    yup,

    that would work just great.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,349Member
    That looks like a Ford wrench.

    Ford used to include a smooth-jawed adjustable wrench like that in the tool kits for the Model T's and the "Tin Lizzies." You can sometimes find them at garage sales and such. Some of them even have the Ford logo on them. They're very popular with aircraft mechanics for some reason. Most of them are small (~10") yet surprisingly effective on large nuts.



    What I'm used to calling a spud wrench is a tool that fits inside the spud and attempts to engage the bosses and unscrew the spud from the radiator. More often than not this just breaks off the bosses.
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S
    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • BobCBobC Posts: 4,927Member
    careful

    Just a couple of caveats.



    When you reassemble things you might want to use a very light coating of joint compound on the faces of the joining bevels - not on the threads.



    Make sure the radiator lines up square to the face of the valve before you tighten things down. Don't depend on the wrench to do the squaring off.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,516Member
    Ford

    You mean like this one? :)

    One of the nicer parts of my job is I am in charge of maintaining the company model A. Of course its far from perfect but it certainly turns heads when we drive down the road.



    Sadly, we don't have the original toolkit which includes the wrench you are talking about.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,516Member
    joint compound

    I thought you were never suppose to use pipe dope \ thread compound on the face of a union? Maybe I'm mistaken?



    When I installed the unions on my gas piping and steam mains I used thread compound on the threads simply to lubricate them so I could get them tighter, easier. I didn't expect it to do any sealing.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • BobCBobC Posts: 4,927Member
    On steam systems

    I have found I sometimes get a very small steam leak when I reassemble a union and no amount of tightening seems to work. My system is 90+ years old and I've had good luck with just a light coating stopping that kind of problem. I've also heard of people using red RTV gasket material to do the same thing but I've never tried that myself.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,349Member
    edited August 2012
    I wouldn't use it.

    I'm not a plumber or heating technician, but I've been a mechanic, machinist and engineering consultant. If I have any doubts about a union joint sealing properly and can't replace it easily I clean up the threads and the thrust faces and then use a little carborundum valve lapping paste on the joint surfaces to grind down any irregularities. Just apply a thin coating, put the union together and spin it around until it feels smooth, then clean it off and check the fit with Prussian blue. You don't want to get too carried away, because the thinner the mating surface, the better the seal. That's why the two sides are machined at slightly different angles. Too much lapping increases the contact area and decreases the force to area ratio, so don't do any more than you have to.
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S
    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,349Member
    Nice!

    It looks better for its age than I do. Probably runs better too. :-)



    It's a shame, but you're not alone. Those tools were so useful, very few of them stayed in the car they came with. If you have the leather pouch and the instruction book you can sometimes find the other tools if you know how to recognize them, but you'll never find the pouch or the book if they're gone.



    I'll try to post a picture of my Ford wrench if I can remember.
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S
    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,896Member
    yes, SWEI

    we call the little hex wrench a hex wrench, and we call the bigger version of the hex wrench a hook wrench in order to differentiate it in the field..you know, so when we tell the apprentice to get the hook wrench he knows its the big one..
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,349Member
    More Wrenches

    These are some of my more interesting adjustable wrenches.



    On the left is a basic angled pipe wrench. These are really handy in tight spots when you can't get a good angle on a pipe or fitting with a standard pipe wrench.



    Second from left is a wrench I bought just because it was an oddity. The small black sticker identifies it as a Stillson wrench, but as most of you know, Stillson holds the patent on the wrench we know and love as the pipe wrench. This little oddity is a plumber wrench, patented by Johan Johansson, who is better known as the inventor of the adjustable spanner, more commonly known as the Crescent wrench.



    The wrench in the middle is my Ford wrench. This particular wrench was made by the Moore Drop Forging Company of Springfield Mass. They made a lot of these and a lot of pipe wrenches. You can tell this particular one was made for a Model T or A toolkit because it has the drain plug wrench on the end of the handle.



    Next to the Ford wrench is a little 8" Trimo pipe wrench from the Trimont Mfg. Co. of Roxbury Mass. You'll see a lot of these for sale as "rare," "vintage," or "antique" wrenches. They are not. I bought this one at a discount store when I was in my teens. The really old ones look quite different. I will say that it has been a damn good wrench though.



    Finally we come to the Ridgid "RapidGrip." This is a great wrench for grabbing pipes you can barely reach with one hand, and it bites like a little bulldog. It also has a little thumb tab you can press to make it let go. I love this thing! I wish they were made in more sizes. This one's only 10", but the short handle makes it useful in tight spaces. You just need to eat your Wheaties.
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S
    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 7,356Member
    hex/hook

    Makes perfect sense now that I see the larger one.  I have to say that my Ridgid hex wrench has seen a LOT of use.
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member
    Unions:

    That may work for you. It hasn't always worked for me in the past, so I don't do that.

    You are dealing with an old union face. There will be no "lapping" with valve lapping compound unless you remove the spud from the radiator. Something that makes my neck sweat just thinking about the bad possible consequences it can be.

    I have noticed that the old dead guys almost always doped the union faces. So, I remove all the dried paste from the faces. I brush out the union nut threads. male and female as best as I can. I like it to be clean and spotless. I then, use Rectorseal #5 on both faces of the union and lightly on the male threads of the union nut and the shoulder that the nut will ride on. I would use Never-Seize but #5 works as well for me and isn't as messy. I use #5 on the union for the same reason I use grease, never-seize or #5 for the same reason I use Never Seize on nuts and bolts. If something needs to be tightened to 100 Ft. # of torque, and at the end, you need to overcome 20# of resistance, you only tightened it to 80#. I've gone back to things I did over 40 years ago and they still come apart easily. I used to do work in a power plant. The maintenance guys there had Never-Seize by the case. They slathered everything because they had to get it apart for service and repairs.

    When I re-install a radiator, the union is slathered up. I slide the radiator in place and carefully connect the union. I get it snug with a big pair of pliers. I then move the end of opposite end of the radiator and check to see if the union nut is loose. I tighten it. When it doesn't tighten with the pliers, I use a pipe wrench for the final tightening. I can't remember when I last had a leak.

    A few days ago, I was asked to help a guy disconnect a big 3" trash pump. The guy couldn't get a 3" union apart. I asked him if he whacked the flats of the union with a 4# hammer. He claimed he did but I didn't see the hammer. He said he couldn't get it apart. I got my two 3' pipe wrenches, ( he only had one) whacked the heck out of the flats and with the two wrenches, it immediately came apart. No lubricant on the union nut. For me, that makes a difference. Maybe not for others but it works well for me.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,516Member
    heat

    When I removed my old boiler and had to pull the header apart I couldn't get the two unions loose no matter how hard I tried. I then heated them with with a torch and pounded on them with a hammer, they essentially became loose enough you could spin them by hand if they weren't so hot.



    Not sure if this is good practice on unions you want to reuse...
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,516Member
    edited September 2012
    Spud

    The Ridgid Spud wrench has finally arrived.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 7,356Member
    so

    How does work with those circuit boards?
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,516Member
    PCBs

    Works really well if you get angry..... :)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,516Member
    reinstalling

    So I put the radiator back, lined up the connection as best I could by eye, applied a small amount of megaloc to the threads of the connection to help lube them and tightened the nut using the 12" Ridgid spud wrench.



    My question is, just how tight should I go?  I'm around 300lbs and leaned pretty good on the wrench but I don't want to risk breaking something.  
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,668Member
    Radiator

    Get it snug. Tighten as needed, if it leaks. Don't want to break that nut and start all over!
  • Eric ScheidlerEric Scheidler Posts: 54Member
    Too late for this project, but . . .

    . . . I've had a lot of luck painting behind radiators. I'm a stickler on doing things right -- especially when it comes to painting (used to work for a high-end contractor).



    With a cut-off paint brush (most of the handle cut off) for cutting in and a "hot dog" roller (much smaller circumference than a standard roller) for rolling, I've gotten good coverage behind all my radiators.



    Something to keep in mind next time you've got a painting job with a radiator in the way.



    -- Eric
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,516Member
    painting

    Thanks for the info, however in this situation it had to be moved regardless.  It had 80 year old wallpaper behind it which needed to be removed and the plaster repaired. 



    I had never heard of a hot dog roller before, are they common?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
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