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leaky radiator valves

bitterbatter Member Posts: 8
edited April 2015 in THE MAIN WALL
A few of my radiator valves are leaking from under the handles, and i have a big wet spot under one of the valves in the basement. I want to fix the situation, because i hear the water feeder sending fresh water to the boiler every few days, which i know is not good. My question is, what s the best solution? Changing the valves? i tried to get one off, and it is tough. The radiator side came right off, but the side connected to the pipe seems to be stuck pretty good. suggestions?


    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,021
    I would try to replace the packing under the top bonnet cap that the stem passes thru. If you change the valve; after getting the body off of the riser pipe you have to remove the spud in the radiator also.
    And your new valve may be "shorter" meaning you have to "stretch" the riser pipe up to meet the new rad spud.
    If you repack, don't overtighten that bonnet cap as they are prone to splitting. ("You can always twist things off later ".....I'm constantly telling myself this :'( )
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,692
    That is a leaking packing. You can start by tightening the nut that is right under the handle and sometimes that will fix it. If that doesn't work you will have to repack the valve which can be done in place. Remove the handle then remove that top nut. Clean the inside of the nut (old packing), the valve stem and all the threads thoroughly (wire brush and scotch brite pads work well). Then get some new packing material repack the valve and tighten the nut back down. Not sure what the pros recommend for packing, but I prefer the old school graphite impregnated string type packing material which is most likely what that valve had originally. You could probably even find a youtube video for a visual.
    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: 8,576
    That is the best cure for leaking packing nuts-to keep to the same material with which they were packed in the beginning.
    Don't tighten them more than needed to stop the leaking, as the nut could be damaged, and that would cause a replacement of the valve and spud, (into the radiator).--NBC
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    Yep...I replaced one valve and it was no fun. I've since been repacking all the others in my house. I went to a plumbing supply house looking for the graphite impregnated string, they didn't have any. But an old 'heater' there gave me 10 feet off of a roll he had in his truck (for free!). Heckuva nice guy. He warned me that it was at least 20 years old but would come back to life with a little wd40, which it did.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    That "old heater" may be an important help for you in the future!--NBC