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Radiator Valves

Mark N
Mark N Member Posts: 1,094
This is a question for the pros out there. What is your go to brand when you have to replace a radiator valve on a one pipe steam rad? Are there any American made valves out there? Some are brass, some are bronze. Do you prefer one over the other? I've seen on line Hammond, Matco-Norca, Legend, Watts, and others. All opinions are greatly appreciated.



  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,826
    I'd lean towards the bronze valves, but it really depends on the alloy.

    I'm not a pro, but I've replaced a few valves.

    The terms brass and bronze are used almost interchangeably, and they don't tell you much about the composition of a particular alloy. Unfortunately, they usually don't get more specific than that, so you kind of have to hope they used a good, corrosion-resistant alloy. There is a big trade-off between corrosion-resistance and machinability, which makes manufacturing corrosion-resistant valves more expensive, so you'd expect them to cost more, but pricing reflects factors other than cost, so caveat emptor.

    One thing I noticed immediately was that every new valve I looked at, in 1", 1 1/4" and 1 1/2", had a smaller throat size than the valve I was replacing, by about a pipe size. Whenever possible I used the next size larger valve by removing the bushing from the radiator and placing it under the valve. This is only possible if the radiator has a bushing, of course, and where it's possible to either use a shorter pipe nipple or raise the radiator by the distance added by the bushing. Not always easy, if even possible, but worth a shot if the supply pipe size is barely--or not even--adequate for the radiator's EDR.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Mark N
    Mark N Member Posts: 1,094
    Radiator Valves


    Thanks very much. I think I'm asking at the wrong time of year. Very low traffic on a heating

    website. I'm going to visit a few local plumbing suppliers. Need to get a look at what out there and compare to what I have.

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,541
    I use Legend

    I'm not a Pro either but I use Legend. I've had good luck with them and I was told by a reputable, local supply house that that company actually took over the production of these valves from Hoffman. They are identical to the old Hoffmans and the parts are interchangeable. Made in Taiwan.         
  • Fizz
    Fizz Member Posts: 547
    First you need to

    know what kind of valve you need.  Assuming you have steam you need either a packless or packed.  If you have a vapor system or vacuum you need to be specific.  Do yourself a favor,  go with quality(MEPCO, B&J, Sterlco, Marsh), make sure it's for steam or regulating valve(steam or hot water system) if you need to control amount of steam supplied to radiator in a radiator which has non-traditional steam trapping device on 2 pipe system.
  • Mark N
    Mark N Member Posts: 1,094

    My rads are 1 pipe steam rads.