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Advice on Rare Old School "Dual Flow/Bypass" Radiator Valve

Mylan Member Posts: 3
Hi all..... Here in Wheeling, WV, we have a circa 1900 house heated with what I'm guessing to be a 1950's model gravity fed American Standard hot water boiler...   About a week ago I discovered that one of the valves controlling the flow to one of the 2nd floor cast iron radiators was profusely leaking and obviously had been for a while.....  


So......   The house's 2nd floor has 6 radiators which appear to be identical in construction except for that the operational setup of two of the six have this funky looking dual flow valve where both the supply and return water services the radiator through the same orifice or if it's closed, water bypasses the radiator and loops back through.... All the other radiators in the house have the more common setup with the supply pipe entering on one side and the return coming out the other....     I have spent the last week trying to find or even figure out anything at all about this dual/bypass valve and I have come up completely empty......  Since this valve is my whole problem I'm gonna need to come up with something......     It appears that the radiators were mfgd by a company called "Federal Fero" and upon researching the internet for that company, I only found about three useless links which now leads me to believe that if I do have the name correct, I'm guessing they must have been a very small company, a very long time ago....

Anyway, I was hoping for some advice on what I should do to put that radiator back online....

 Since the service pipes come through the hardwood floor right next to each other, If no suitable "double" valve can be had, is it possible to just remove the plug on the opposite end of the radiator and then run a return pipe out of it going underneath or behind the radiator to tie in to the return stub coming out of the floor?....   I'm assuming that since the exteriors of all the radiators are the same, the insides are identical as well and that may be a back up solution; but that valve sure would make this easy....   For the life of us, we cannot figure out why in the world they would have built a house with twelve radiators yet set up only two of them with the side by side pipes.......


  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Old Dog Valves:

    That was a fairly common uncommon valve when the school was built in 1900.The radiator manufacturing company had nothing to do with the manufacturing of the valve or where and how it was used.

    Some here can probably send you to someone that might have one.

    Where is it leaking? In the stem? That is repairable. Unless it is cracked, they can usually be repaired by someone skilled at repairing old things.

    If you every watch that History Channel program "American Restoration: where the guy takes direlects and returns then to like new, some of us here could show him a thing or two. If it's leaking on the valve stem, it can be repaired. Kroil, Teflon tape (wound up) and some Teflon paste will almost always fix it. I say almost, because if the nut is cracked, you have a problem.
  • Mylan
    Mylan Member Posts: 3

    Repairing the valve stem was the original idea but the unit got wasted upon trying to remove so unfortunately the valve in the pictures is not going to be salvageable...
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,840

    That is a Honeywell Unique valve.

    Good luck finding a replacement...

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    edited February 2014
    In a pinch

    In a pinch, Use a copper tee and solder in a vane made out of copper. It has to extend through the male adaptor as far as the original. It's a pain in the a**, but if done right, it will work. You will have to remove the spud. You will not be able to shut it off unless you have enough room to squeeze in a valve. And unless you install a bypass, the valve will shut of the entire loop.

  • Mylan
    Mylan Member Posts: 3
    Much Appreciation For The Guidance

    Well thank you for the information; that was some very interesting reading... I Guess I need to do some research to start hunting down a Honeywell Unique...  I definitely would like to have a shut off for the radiator so If I can't find a "unique" and rob's fix wont allow a shutoff, would there be any operational issues if I tapped into the other side of the radiator and piped back to the existing return pipe sticking out of the floor..  I'm assuming it would work but then again I am far from a hydronics expert lol
  • gcp13
    gcp13 Member Posts: 122
    Found some info

    Came across some info

    Looks like you already figured it out
  • BH73
    BH73 Member Posts: 3
    Did you ever find a solution? Needing to find either a complete substitute for this valve or at least a substitute or replacement for the connecting elbows.