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Radiator valve connection becoming loose?

ChrisJ
ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,863
edited January 2017 in Strictly Steam
So far I've had this happen twice.
The spud nut on the radiator apparently, becomes loose and starts dripping, or, sizzling and then stopping once it's hot.

The two radiators it happened to are ones I didn't touch but I know someone else had recently. Recently being in the past 5+ years.

Is this caused by the nut not being torqued properly, or is it a common issue in general?

As far as I can tell, none of the others have become loose and the few I've removed and reinstalled are also fine.

The two that leaked, one was the upstairs bathroom and decided to start sizzling after we had lived here for 5 years. It was loose. Tonight, the downstairs bathroom rad started dripping on the floor. Same thing, loose spud nut.

It just seems odd they didn't leak for years and all of a sudden.....
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

Comments

  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,572
    Ghosts?--NBC
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    Yep. We had it too. But, we do have a ghost. Confirmed.
  • hvacfreak2
    hvacfreak2 Member Posts: 500
    I'm going with piping expansion / flexing. The entire piping system is heating and cooling on every cycle and it's going to move somewhere. Radiator connections would be a point that the maximum torque of this movement could be applied. Place a reference mark on the piping and see if it progresses over time. If you happen to notice your mark has moved 180 degrees from the night before ( with no pipe wrench marks ) call Ghostbusters.
    hvacfreak

    Mechanical Enthusiast

    Burnham MST 396 , 60 oz gauge , Tigerloop , Firomatic Check Valve , Mcdonnell Miller 67 lwco , Danfoss RA2k TRV's

    Easyio FG20 Controller

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,863
    Yeah but maybe the ghosts are hacks and use a pipe wrench therefore leave marks? ;)
    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
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,797
    Never tightened enough in the first place. I'd back them out, re-tape and re-dope and then wrench them back in.
    Steve Minnich
    Gordy
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,537
    edited January 2017
    Both bathrooms hmm. Are they in the vicinity of toilet, or shower. Maybe used as a helping hand now, and then.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,863

    Never tightened enough in the first place. I'd back them out, re-tape and re-dope and then wrench them back in.

    @Stephen Minnich Sorry, the spuds themselves are fine. It's the nuts on the union part that ended up loose.

    They are two I know were tampered with, because the previous owner had the main bathroom redone sometime in the 2000s, and the downstairs one because a plumber replaced that runout in 2011.



    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: 13,863
    Gordy said:

    Both bathrooms hmm. Are they in the vicinity of toilet, or shower. Maybe used as a helping hand now, and then.

    Huh?
    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
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,537
    Huh?

    Don't put it past people to use an object not meant as a grab bar in close proximity to catch themselves, or help themselves up.

    Get it now? Several times could losen the nut.
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,797
    Put teflon dope on the male thread of the union, not so much for sealing but for lubricating. Wrench it tight with 2 appropriately sized wrenches.
    Steve Minnich
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,572
    Dish washing soap is the best lubricant for the union faces.--NBC
    MilanD
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,540
    Put a little "Pressure" on it. >:)
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,863

    Put teflon dope on the male thread of the union, not so much for sealing but for lubricating. Wrench it tight with 2 appropriately sized wrenches.

    Ah,
    I generally just put a dab of Megaloc on it to lubricate it.
    I use my 12" Ridgid spud wrench and a 3lb deadblow for final tightening. I don't go crazy on it, but a few blows as a 12" wrench is a bit tiny.

    So far, none of mine have loosened up that I know of.

    @Gordy Generally when people grab steam pipes without thinking they won't do it again. You know, the whole, sometimes 212F, sometimes cold, thing....

    You can tap a 212F pipe quickly, but by no means can you grab onto it without a lot of pain.

    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
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,540
    I had one rad do that, in a bedroom. Same rad did it a couple times over the course of a couple years. What I found was that I could see light under the legs nearest the union. I think that was allowing that coupling to sag slightly over time and drip. I was able to put a very thin shim under those two legs and it's been about five years now. Still fine.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,537
    ChrisJ said:

    Put teflon dope on the male thread of the union, not so much for sealing but for lubricating. Wrench it tight with 2 appropriately sized wrenches.

    Ah,
    I generally just put a dab of Megaloc on it to lubricate it.
    I use my 12" Ridgid spud wrench and a 3lb deadblow for final tightening. I don't go crazy on it, but a few blows as a 12" wrench is a bit tiny.

    So far, none of mine have loosened up that I know of.

    @Gordy Generally when people grab steam pipes without thinking they won't do it again. You know, the whole, sometimes 212F, sometimes cold, thing....

    You can tap a 212F pipe quickly, but by no means can you grab onto it without a lot of pain.


    Uhmm, you run your heat in the summer? No wonder you need such a big AC system
    MilanDCanucker
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,537
    The fix is simple. Seems you're trying to theorize why it losened.
    ChrisJMilanD
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,863
    Gordy said:

    ChrisJ said:

    Put teflon dope on the male thread of the union, not so much for sealing but for lubricating. Wrench it tight with 2 appropriately sized wrenches.

    Ah,
    I generally just put a dab of Megaloc on it to lubricate it.
    I use my 12" Ridgid spud wrench and a 3lb deadblow for final tightening. I don't go crazy on it, but a few blows as a 12" wrench is a bit tiny.

    So far, none of mine have loosened up that I know of.

    @Gordy Generally when people grab steam pipes without thinking they won't do it again. You know, the whole, sometimes 212F, sometimes cold, thing....

    You can tap a 212F pipe quickly, but by no means can you grab onto it without a lot of pain.


    Uhmm, you run your heat in the summer? No wonder you need such a big AC system
    Well,
    Everyone is so concerned about humidity, running the heat with it yields fantastic results in humid weather.
    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
    Gordy
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,278
    Putting a little "wiggle" on the rad as you tighten the union nut helps. I use slicktite Laco Teflon paste on union threads.
    Also a big boy wrench at least 18" long helps.

    Most steam leaks like this are caused by running at too high a pressure. >:)
    MilanDGordy
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    JUGHNE said:



    Most steam leaks like this are caused by running at too high a pressure. >:)

    LOL!
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,863
    JUGHNE said:

    Putting a little "wiggle" on the rad as you tighten the union nut helps. I use slicktite Laco Teflon paste on union threads.
    Also a big boy wrench at least 18" long helps.

    Most steam leaks like this are caused by running at too high a pressure. >:)

    Sigh.
    Guess I'll go down and remove another burner tube. :)
    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