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Leak before radiator supply valve

One pipe steam heat

I have a built in wall radiator with the supply valve underneath. During a cycle I'm seeing water drip UP and out of the pipe where the threads go into the pipe. Is that just a nipple sitting in the pipe?

Can this be fixed simply by putting a wrench on and tightening and if so, what do I actually want to grab onto to tighten? Can I grab the nut above or do I have to take that off and then try to tighten the nipple and then reconnect?

Thanks for any help you can offer

Comments

  • Johnson_Rod
    Johnson_Rod Member Posts: 31
    Pic
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    That's the spud that matches that valve. Disconnect the nut from the radiator and, if you can get that spud out without damaging the treads, wrap it with three or four wraps of teflon tape and re-install it. They usually aren't easy to get out but maybe you'll be lucky. Be careful not to apply enough pressure to egg shape that spud.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,302
    looks like that spud is threaded into a thread protector coupling or is the picture turned on a 90????
  • Johnson_Rod
    Johnson_Rod Member Posts: 31
    The picture isn't turned. Here's a zoom out. The steam pipe coming up is threaded on the inside. The leak comes out where the steam pipe meets the threaded fitting before tgat fitting actually gets to the spud nut.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    It's probably leaking because they installer couldn't get a wrench on the spud to tighten it down. the valve is actually installed backwards. There should have been a coupling on the horizontal radiator pipe and the spud installed there. That valve should have been mounted upright but there probably wasn't enough clearance under the radiator. You may be able to get a valve configured differently or, that spud just may be loose enough that if you release it from the valve you can get it out to wrap it with tape.
  • Johnson_Rod
    Johnson_Rod Member Posts: 31
    Thanks Fred. I thought it might be backwards. Is it totally functional that way? I mean, it's fully open all the time so it wouldn't really matter I guess.

    So step 1 is to loosen the spud nut to separate it from the valve, to then remove the coupling below. OR loosen the spud nut from the coupling below leaving it on the valve to them remove the coupling. Just trying to understand which way I'm turning.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    It's functional that way and like you say, on a one pipe system it should always be fully open. It's just not ideal. You want to turn the nut clockwise to loosen it and the spud counterclockwise to loosen it.
  • Chris_L
    Chris_L Member Posts: 334
    I believe this is the standard (or at least common) way for installing the valve in this type of radiator. I have a couple of them in my house and they work fine. As Fred suggested, there isn't enough room beneath the radiator to install the valve in the normal manner.

    I have to wonder whether the vertical piece going into the valve is really the spud. It doesn't look like brass to me. And none of the studs on my radiators are threaded all the way to the valve end.

    I'd suggest unscrewing the nut completely so you can see what is going on and be sure you've got a spud matched to the valve.
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    FWIW, if you can't get it tightened regularly, and I doubt it as it's very easy to egg that brass spud out, you may have to remove that convector from the wall and attack the spud with an actual spud wrench. Carefully. And do try to grab on to the fitting below the spud so nothing cracks off...

    Definitely use some kroil or pb blaster and let it work itself in before backing it out. Any rust or paint, scrape it off as best you can before applying penetrating oil and watch it go into the fitting so you know it's getting in there, and give it 5-10 minutes to work.

    If I were you, I would actually purchase a replacement valve, since you are already messing with it. This way you don't have to be too careful on egging out the spud -- matter of fact, it'll make it come out easier egged out. I'd still remove the convector, but definitely be careful on the fitting/coupling below - give it a good counter-turn and 3 points of contact with the pipe wrench or a good solid v-jaw large channel-locks. Looks like a black iron merchant coupling so it may be strong enough, but be careful as those old fittings can crack too. Ask me how I know. Makes for a great exercise in verbal self control.
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,415
    edited March 2017
    The appropriate valve would be a convector valve, made specifically for this application. The reason the current configuration is not ideal is because when the valve is shut, you can't remove the radiator because the union is downstream of the valve. With the apporiate convector valve, the union is upstream of the valve. Therefore, you could shut the valve and remove the radiator if need be for whatever reason.
    MilanD
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    > @Danny Scully said:
    > The appropriate valve would be a convector valve, made specifically for this application. The reason the current configuration is not ideal is because when the valve is shut, you can't remove the radiator because the union is downstream of the valve. With the apporiate convector valve, the union is upstream of the valve. Therefore, you could shut the valve and remove the radiator if need be for whatever reason.

    I love it when I learn something new, thanks Dan.

    There you go Rod:

    http://www.supplyhouse.com/Matco-Norca-BCV-1000-1-Female-Union-x-FIP-Steam-Angle-Convector-Valve-4650000-p