Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Pipe improperly pitched @ 1 radiator( in wall)

Options
Hello,

I recently had a new boiler installed( one pipe system), and am getting horrible banging and gurgling noises out of 1 radiator. This was not a problem before, because the old boiler was so bad it couldn't move enough air/ steam to get to this radiator.

After some troubleshooting I discovered one of the pipes leading to this radiator is pitched badly away from the boiler so the condensate is building up in the lines.

This radiator is on the second story, so I cut open the ceiling of my first floor to see if I could get force the vertical pipe( which runs to the improperly pitched horizontal pipe) further into my basement( where it attaches to the main) I can't get any significant play..

I figure maybe the 102 year old house must have settled??

What can I do to remedy this prob? I was thinking of cutting the pipe at the mainin the basement and shortening it an inch or two, but don't really have the tools..

I would be very happy to get some input. Thanks

Comments

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    Options
    Raise the radiator

    Have you considered raising the radiator (put 1 inch blocks under the legs) to give you the pitch you need?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,428
    Options
    That's what I'd do...

    Raise the radiator.  If I couldn't do that for some reason, I'd see if I could shorten what I presume is another vertical piece from badly pitched horizontal up to the radiator valve.  That would be a lot easier than shortening the riser from the basement.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Nackl87
    Nackl87 Member Posts: 12
    edited February 2014
    Options
    Tried that....

    Yeah, I tried raising the radiator. Its kind of hard to explain, but basically the pipe is on the sub floor, so I cant pull it up any more, or at least enough to get the pipe pitched correctly

       My sister is a plumber, and she is suggesting we cut the vertical pipe that runs to the main, cut an inch or two out, and use a ( supposedly steam rated) coupler to join the pipe back together. the coupler doesn't utilize threads, its like a clamp with rubber in between.  

       Pulling the pipe up on the radiator end is out of the question, way I see it at least.
  • Nackl87
    Nackl87 Member Posts: 12
    Options
    here are some pics

    These pics are from the ceiling of my living room. The radiator in question is upstairs.

         The LH pipe is a horizontal that leads to a short vert that connects to the radiator.

      The RH pipe is the problem, it leads to a vertical pipe that connects to the main in the basement.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    Options
    Look again?

    I don't think I'd use any coupling other than a threaded steel one for a steam pipe in a wall or ceiling. I suspect the vertical pipe running up the wall probably has a steel coupler in it somewhere anyway to give it the necessary length to reach the second floor (especially if it's an old home with high ceilings). As a last resort, if you cut it in the basement, can you run it out at the elbow in the ceiling and pull the vertical down into the basement, find that coupling and replace that section of pipe with a shorter one? Hopefully you have some horizontal pipe in the basement before it takes off vertically. If so, you can replace that section with two pieces of pipe with a union in to allow you to reconnect all ends. Seems like a LOT of work for one radiator. Is there no way to notch the sub floor to give you three quarters of an inch? Would that be enough?
  • Nackl87
    Nackl87 Member Posts: 12
    Options
    I thought

    I though about trying to notch the subfloor, but i don't think it will get me enough play. The bubble is pinned in the torpedo level.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    Options
    Wow

    It looks like you will have to make adjustments in the basement. I've never seen steam pipes (or any plumbing for that matter) run right up against the sub-flooring
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,428
    Options
    Well, there are indeed

    Dresser couplings which are rated for steam.  They aren't all that common... but they do exist.  I'm not really keen on that sort of thing, but looking at the spaces you have to play with there one just might be the simplest way to solve the problem.



    I'm sure your sister is aware of this, but Dresser and similar couplings can't take push or pull forces at all.  So if you do go that route, you will want to securely hold the pipes in position.



    Sawzall time?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Nackl87
    Nackl87 Member Posts: 12
    Options
    Ahhhh, the OL' sawzall!!

    I think it is sawzall time....

        I don't really like the idea of this type of fitting either, though It will be by far the easiest way to solve the issue.

        It seems to me that it would work better on a vertical pipe, because you  wouldn't have the potential sag.

      While I usually hate the " its good enough" type fixes, in this case it may be my best option. This is actually my moms home( I'm 26 and live here also), and she is planning on moving in a year or two. After we just spent a bunch of money into the boiler, we cant afford to pay some one to come do this right, and it would be an overwhelming project to pull the pipes out of the wall and do the "right fix".
  • Chris_L
    Chris_L Member Posts: 336
    Options
    Wouldn't reccomend a Dresser-type fitting

    The plumber who had owned my house used one of these when redoing a bathroom about 6 years before I bought the house many years ago. It failed a couple years later--and it wasn't a small leak.  I discovered it when the heat stopped after the low-water cutout did its job (no automatic water feeder on this boiler).



    Fortunately it was easily accessible in the basement.  I had it replaced with a union--which should have been used in the first place.  Would strongly recommend you find a way to use a threaded connection. 
  • Dave_154
    Dave_154 Member Posts: 25
    Options
    Compression Fitting

    Sounds like you're talking about the same type of fitting that was used to replace a leaky 1-pipe steam riser in my house. It lasted for 10 years before leaking again. JStar came to replace with black pipe, surprised it lasted that long.
  • Nackl87
    Nackl87 Member Posts: 12
    Options
    done!

    So i decided to go ahead and give this fitting a try.

        I underdstand it is not the ideal option, but it was D.I.Y. freindly. (aka cheap)

          Boiler has cycled 3-4 times and all works good, wound up taking about 1 1/2" out of the pipe.

        I plan on installing an access panel where the hole in the wall is, so i can check on it, or make future repairs if need be..... Maybe hang a picture over it or something..

      Thanks for the input..
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    Options
    Hope it Lasts!

    Let's hope it gives you many years of service with out leaking!