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Hole In Antique Radiator... Repair or Scrap??

cwaz
cwaz Member Posts: 11
Hello all,
I was given a cast iron American Radiator by a family member that was removing them from an old house. At the time of removal there was a steam system operating in the house and all the radiators were "functioning properly" (never got to see it with my own eyes though) I was hoping to salvage this one due to is intricate scroll and put it back into service at my own house. But here is the issue, as I was giving it a once over I noticed a small hole, smaller than a pencil eraser, on the exterior. (Photo Attached) I am not sure if this is an impact hole from transport or pitting.
Is this something I should epoxy and install or is this a sign of bad things to come if I install it??? Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,195
    scrap. sorry looks beautiful. I am guessing it is an end section. If you can find a matching section it can be replaced. But that is easier said then done.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,749
    If you can clean it up and epoxy over it it will be ok, but since you like the design and the epoxy will be right there. Unless you can install it with that end against the wall.
  • cwaz
    cwaz Member Posts: 11
    Thanks for your input. The section in question is on the end and will not be in the direct line of sight so i'm not overly concerned about the look. I am more concerned about the structural integrity once it is put in service. My system currently runs at approximately 2psi and I'm not sure how the epoxy will behave at 212 degees and 2psi.
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    If you can get your hands on a Belzona kit, I bet that'll work. I've used it successfully on old motorcycle cylinder heads when spark plug thread repair inserts won't hold tight...it's pricey but it works VERY well. I know I've read some threads on this site where people have had good luck with it as well.

    Shame to have to scrap that radiator.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,039
    Sorry to disagree with Charles... but it's worth trying to fix. The real question is -- is this a true hole, or is it the casting inside worse? That is -- much thinner with just this point failed? Try tapping around the hole (lightly!!!) with a ball-peen hammer. If it doesn't dent or give way, it's worth trying. Belzona's good. And pricey. JB Weld is good. In either case, I would consider -- if the metal is sound around the hole, rounding out the hole a bit with a drill for a screw. You're not going to screw it in, but you are going to plaster that screw with the epoxy and push it in.

    As to pressure -- your 2 psi shouldn't be a problem. But it should probably be less anyway...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,195
    No problem disagree with me Jamie. I have perhaps a different idea of what is fixed. JB weld will hold it for a while. It will eventually fail as the metal around the patch will follow. 1 year or 12 years is anyone's guess. I would repair it if it was in a home already and we needed to make it until a replacement was found.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,039

    No problem disagree with me Jamie. I have perhaps a different idea of what is fixed. JB weld will hold it for a while. It will eventually fail as the metal around the patch will follow. 1 year or 12 years is anyone's guess. I would repair it if it was in a home already and we needed to make it until a replacement was found.

    Quite true... depends on the time horizon! And it's the metal around the hole that bothers me, too -- that's why I suggested tapping it with a ball-peen!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,195
    Looks like a sand hole that finally let go. I see many radiators that had holes like that where they were brazed to repair the then 20 years of paint on top. A kind soul sand blasts them and they leak. I tried to save a few over the years and have been unable to find a long term answer.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Larry_52
    Larry_52 Member Posts: 181
    Brazing it should work out best. You could even file the braze to match the floral pattern. You could weld it with high nickel rod but require pre and post heat to do it right. Welding will do a number on the floral pattern and require some trick handy work to match the raised floral pattern. Epoxy would work but be my second or third choice in this case.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    Drill and tap? Mad Dog
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,195
    Larry due to the uneven wall thickness in a radiator I have found even doing pre and post heating the radiators crack. It is like trying to weld a potato chip.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    Larry_52
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    It is a shame that this radiator has a hole in it but it is shot and anything to repair it will be temporary, at best. While that radiator is beautiful, it is not rare. I have several in my house and see them all the time either on this site (Buy, Sell, Barter Tab) and on ebay. If you have your heart set on this pattern, get one that won't be a constant source of problems.
  • Kiwi
    Kiwi Member Posts: 2
    Yes, I'd try a Drill & tap with a VERY FINE threaded choice of taps.
    Then clean it off with a spirits and then try applying a dose of Epoxy.
    I came across this web page a while ago....
    http://www.oiltechtalk.com/pages/cast_iron.htm

    You might find something in it about that J.B. WELD company. It got pretty good reviews but haven't heard of it down here.
    Best wishes.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    You'd be surprised how many years you can get outta a good epoxy job...Mad Dog
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • cwaz
    cwaz Member Posts: 11
    Old thread I know, but I wanted to give you guys an update now that winter is finally upon me and the system has been up and running for about two months. As of now the JB weld is holding strong, I kept the original, less ornate radiator, just in case this one has issues down the line. I made this educated gamble based on talking with the folks at JB Weld who advised me their product "moves" with the medium, allowing expansion and contraction due to temperature changes. Only time will tell...
    kcopp