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Catalog of steam radiator valves "heights"?

I'm having a new floor installed right now which will raise the finished floor by 3/4". As such, I'm going to have to adjust my steam radiator valves up 3/4" so they seat with the radiator spud correctly. My risers don't have much give, and while I know there is a trick (e.g. two 45 degree street black pipe elbows), my wife will not permit that (she doesn't like the way it looks). I could also try an extension fitting, but my understanding is that those add a significant amount of height (at least 1" or more).

This got me thinking - different steam radiator valves vary in height across manufacturers. By "height", I'm referring the distance from the bottom of the inlet to the bottom of the spud. If there was enough variance, perhaps I could switch my current valve to a different brand that sits 3/4" higher off the ground. The only problem is that the "height" dimension is not published as part of specifications on each valve, so it's hard to know for sure.

Has anyone else done this successfully? If so, is there a spreadsheet somewhere that catalogs the various heights of all the different steam radiator valves that are out there?

Comments

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,354
    Have you tried disconnecting the radiators in question and pulling up on the pipe to see if you have a bit of play to get the 3/4" difference? Sometimes there is enough play in the pipes to do this. And since you are going up, not down you will increase any pitch back to the main which shouldn't hurt functionality. I had new carpet installed in one of my rooms and had this same situation. I was able to get enough play in the pipe to reconnect it. @ChrisJ had this same issue recently and he had to redo some pipe work to avoid all the "bandaid" type solutions. As far as dimensions maybe someone else has an idea for you. I just looked a bit and you are correct I don't see that data listed. A bit off topic since this is a heating website, but have you thought of just refinishing the original floors?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Sethamin
    Sethamin Member Posts: 58
    We did refinish the original floor (which is really a very old pine subfloor) and lived with it for almost a year, but we recently decided that it just wasn't working for us. The gaps were enormous and it was impossible to keep clean.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,901
    I'm going through something similar, but I decided to bite the bullet and just repipe what I needed changed and install a new valve on it at the same time. I doubt a different valve will gain you 3/4". I agree, I don't like the added elbows or cutting radiator legs.

    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
  • Sethamin
    Sethamin Member Posts: 58
    That's a reasonable way to go, but how do you remove the that riser pipe to replace it? My 24 inch wrench and a cheater bar doesn't even begin to budge it.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,901
    Sethamin said:

    That's a reasonable way to go, but how do you remove the that riser pipe to replace it? My 24 inch wrench and a cheater bar doesn't even begin to budge it.

    This depends.
    Do you have easy access to the pipe where it screws into the fitting? If so cut the pipe off around 1/2" from the fitting and then use a cold chisel and a hammer and basically cave the pipe in on it self (picture the end of the pipe looking like pac-man when you're done). When you do this it pulls the threads away from the fitting and will spin right out usually by hand depending on how much you crush it. Some guys like to cut into the pipe inside the fitting stopping before they get to the threads but I never really trusted my self doing this.

    Another option is to do what I did and cut a groove into the fitting using an angle grinder, stopping before you get to the threads and then crack it using a cold chisel. It will then spin off of one of the pipes leaving good threads to install a new fitting on. I assume you can also use a hacksaw or a sawzall on the fitting. I drove the chisel into the fitting over the pipe I wasn't keeping and got it to split all the way across. This way I had no chance of damaging the pipe I wanted to keep.

    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
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,901
    edited October 2014
    By the way, this sounds hard but it took me 20 minutes to bust that pipe apart after working a 12 hour day and it wasn't difficult. I chose this way because I couldn't get to the 90 ell under the radiator easily and it's only a 25" runout.

    If you can post some pictures and we can give some ideas.
    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
  • Sethamin
    Sethamin Member Posts: 58
    This work is being done on the ground floor, so I do have access to the fittings underneath from the basement. I can post pictures when I get home.

    According to Dan's book, though, the easiest way to crack open a cast iron fitting is to use two sledgehammers (hold one behind, and hit the fitting with the other). I haven't tried this, but wouldn't that be easier than what you outlined above?
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,381
    When dealing with very old pipes the problem can be developing the right technique BEFORE destroying the pipes the fittings are attached to.

    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
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,901
    Sethamin said:

    This work is being done on the ground floor, so I do have access to the fittings underneath from the basement. I can post pictures when I get home.

    According to Dan's book, though, the easiest way to crack open a cast iron fitting is to use two sledgehammers (hold one behind, and hit the fitting with the other). I haven't tried this, but wouldn't that be easier than what you outlined above?

    I don't know,
    I felt the way I did it was safer overall for both me and the pipe I wanted to keep.

    I haven't tried literally cracking one open yet. I suppose I could try with the one I removed once I get some time.
    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
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,354
    Sethamin said:

    This work is being done on the ground floor, so I do have access to the fittings underneath from the basement. I can post pictures when I get home.

    According to Dan's book, though, the easiest way to crack open a cast iron fitting is to use two sledgehammers (hold one behind, and hit the fitting with the other). I haven't tried this, but wouldn't that be easier than what you outlined above?

    Dan is correct, but he is also referring to people who do this for a living and know what is going on. I have tried the cracking technique and gotten it to work, but there really is something to it. You have to know how hard where time it so the sledge hits just such and angle...in other words years of practice. I say I did it and spent like an hour doing it because I didn't really know what I was doing just theory. When I recently did my boiler I did the cut and cold chisel method in like 5 minutes...it takes less experience. As Bob said if you don't know what is going on you can destroy a lot more than just the fitting while trying to learn. The cut and cold chisel method works well for us amateurs.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15