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.

Any tips how I can service the shut-off valve?

agurkas
agurkas Member Posts: 238
So I have finally figured out what is causing all that ruckus in my daughter's room - shut-off valve has a disc that is loose.

I tried opening the serviceable part (after watching some youtube videos how to do it), but it is just stuck. Even a substantial size wrench would not cut it. Any tips how I can take it apart without fracturing the pipe below?

Comments

  • lza
    lza Member Posts: 40
    Agurkas,

    What is the noise you are hearing?

    Is the valve normally fully open, or only partway open? If its only cracked open, it can cause noise. Otherwise, the disc never really becomes "loose."

  • agurkas
    agurkas Member Posts: 238
    It won't fully open and it jiggles. I had video around here and it was suggested that was the problem. When I disconnected the radiator again and looked inside, it is about 1/3 way down, won't go up, and jiggles.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    A couple of good channel locks should make quick work of it. You can wrap a rag around the stem nut to keep from marring it.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,540
    It's the bonnet that you need to unscrew. Channel locks won't do that. That Bonnet can be almost impossible to get loose. Is that valve always left open? If so, you might have better luck taking the radiator loose and breaking that disc and pulling it out through the valve opening. If you need to close that valve, taking it off so you can get it on a vise and get some leverage is about the only other option.
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    Try some heat on it?
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,572
    An open-ended wrench tapped with a hammer should get it loose. The bonnet, and the body are both brass, and so no rust to contend with. The light hammer blows are like the operation of an impact wrench.--NBC
    agurkas
  • agurkas
    agurkas Member Posts: 238

    An open-ended wrench tapped with a hammer should get it loose. The bonnet, and the body are both brass, and so no rust to contend with. The light hammer blows are like the operation of an impact wrench.--NBC

    Worked like charm. Made some ruckus, then grabbed 24" wrench, and thing twisted off easy peasy.

    Was able to tighten things up... but then ran a camera down the pipe and discovered large part of the pipe with a lot of water trapped. Looks like I will be telling wifey, that I am going to have to open the ceiling in the kitchen to fix the pipe pitch issue.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    I'd be thinking LOOOOOOOG and hard about cutting holes in any ceilings unless you are absolutely positive that what you are trying to do will fix a problem.

    That could be an expensive, annoying and non-productive effort, sure to cause a WOW. Wrath Of Wife when she looks at the ceiling patch that didn't solve the problem.

    Fix the valve first. Get it operating properly. See what happens. You didn't say that the pipe was pounding.

    Disconnect the valve from the radiator. Can you lift the pipe and valve up at all? If you can. raise the radiator with spacers. Try that. But the LAST thing you ever want to do is cut an exploratory hole in a perfectly good finished ceiling.
    RobG
  • agurkas
    agurkas Member Posts: 238
    I fixed the valve (was able to tighten the disk). Radiator won't go any higher. I tried to use car jack and it won't go any higher. It could be becauae it is going straight into elbow right below the hardwood.

    BTW, when I fired up the boiler without the valve on, once steam hit, pipe started spitting out major amount of rusty cold water. So now I understand where the sound that is like blowing air through a straw into glass of water is coming from.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,351
    That's a great way to understand the perils of bad pitch coupled with wet steam. As many will say it can wreak havoc on a steam system. I guess before you there have been several knuckleheads in that house.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • agurkas
    agurkas Member Posts: 238
    KC_Jones,
    I just get this vibe that focus of previous owners was not on infrastructure of the house. They sure paid to get the utilities underground, landscaping, big living room... but the vents weren't touched for decade plus, forced air system is a frankenstein of cheap parts, sump pump system is a hack job, and some of the electrical work is outright dumb.

    I have the opposite focus. I want my infrastructure working well, before I do anything else.

    That all said, correcting the pitch of that pipe is going to be PITA. I really hate patching those walls, since they are mostly "rock lathe". I guess that is what you get from walls put up in the 50s.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,351
    I feel your pain. My house was owned by a hack that flips houses. He only lived there for 2 years and put in 3 new bathrooms and a new kitchen and was running a full time business besides that...so you can imagine his attention to detail! He redid all the plumbing and hacked and I mean ruined the electrical. I only bought it because he had put so much new stuff in the house. It wasn't until I moved in that I realized how bad some stuff was. I rewired the entire house in the first month I was there. It was a true museum of electrical history and not in a good way! He just wanted to make money on the house. I knew this going in, but of course it is always worse than you realize. The plumbing was a spaghetti mix of CPVC copper and a few pieces of pex as well. I do enjoy the work especially the restoration of the old woodwork and making the house beautiful again. I don't like fixing other peoples messes, but it sometimes comes with the territory. Good luck in your journey and remember you aren't alone!
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • agurkas
    agurkas Member Posts: 238
    Sounds like we bought houses from same type of people.
    I actually found lead paint on my wood trim, so I have ripped all of the trim off and recreating it (fortunately trim in the Capes is numb skull simple).
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,351
    I have been stripping all mine, it's much more affordable than having a bunch of new trim milled. I also hate to throw away all that old wood. Yeah I am sure every town has more than a few hacks in it. Maybe they are related?! lol
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • agurkas
    agurkas Member Posts: 238
    I stripped only doors. But even with a really good Swedish-made IR heater, it is still 6 hours per door.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,351
    I use a heat gun, I have used the IR thing and didn't like it. I think they are a bit slower. It is time consuming, but like I said I have a hard time throwing the wood away. The old pine in my house is very expensive to replace and no modern equivalent for that old growth wood. Also in order to match my trim and really doors I would have to have everything custom made...that would cost me a mint. I view my time as free contrary to what a lot of people think.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • ChicagoCooperator
    ChicagoCooperator Member Posts: 327
    I feel your pain - both of you - I've stripped enough woodwork. So glad my current place has hardly any painted and it's minimal for the era. But then I have to paint steel windows....
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,351
    Since we are completely off the original topic. I had a good friend bought an old 1920's era house. Still had all the original trim and gorgeous finish on the wood. It was really a pretty interior. I went over one day and they had painted over ever single piece of trim in the whole house. I almost had a heart attack. I am pretty passionate about wood and I do paint wood (paint grade wood), but they had all this nice oak trim and floors. I looked at them and I am like if you want painted trim why did you even buy this house? I got crickets they didn't understand. They also asked me hey can I paint this furniture...it was Mahogany. I said no, I will take it and buy you a new one out of pine. Please please don't paint the Mahogany.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,572
    If you can't raise up the top of the pipe (radiator end), then maybe you can pull down the lower end in order to straighten out the horizontal pitch. A shorter piece down below may get this done.--NBC
  • agurkas
    agurkas Member Posts: 238
    What I have done is widen the hole in the floor, so the 90 degree elbow right below it can go up by 1 inch (mach I could get it to move). Gurgling sound is still there, but it is much less severe. Hammer is also mostly gone.

    I bet if all new insulation drys up the steam, problem might be reduced to just minor annoyance.