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matching steam valves and union spuds??

i have two 1 1/4" rad valves that i have to replace because i'm moving the radiators and the old valves are not going to come off in one piece and had no access to get the next thread back loose either.

one have a large C with a two concentric triangles inside and the other is a circle with and H for a brand. trying to see if i can matchn the thread and taper on the unions that remain on the radiators so i don't have to cut and chisel them out.

don't know if these brands are recognizable or if matching thread/taper valves are available but it would make life easy . . . .
thanks,
brian





Comments

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,060
    If you can get a little rise out of the pipe coming thru the floor, I would go for new valves. Most might be a 1/2" shorter than original.
    They will never match the quality of the original unless you really spend big bucks.
    But valves in one pipe steam should be just left open and for all practical purposes are merely a union in a 90 degree configuration.

    Get the sawall and chisels out IMO.
    Even the grinder on the valve where the riser pipe is connected.
    The brass cuts pretty easy, just don't touch the pipe.
    kcopp
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,276
    All I can say is... good luck. It is very very difficult to get half a union made by company A to match half by company B. The problem is that the faces of the union aren't tapers -- they are actually spherical, and are ground to match.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
    JUGHNE, i hear ya. just wondering if anybody recognized those manufacturers and whether i might be able to buy a valve that matches the union already on radiator. sawzall at the ready with fresh fine tooth blade and chisel.
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
    Jamie, thanks for that observation. i could see they aren't traditional unions and even there you get different manufacturers and no standardization. i figured it was probably a dead end, but i've never really chased it before and i got a few weeks b4 i have to reinstall so thought i'd hit the wall.
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    Before you go cutting: try scraping off the paint from be bottom of where the valve and pipe meet, really well, then squirt a few generous squirts of PB blaster (or similar penetrating oil). Tap on the fitting to help capillary action of the oil up between the threads of pipe and the valve. Get 2 very good wrenches, a cheater bar on the one handling the valve body, and give it a good yank against the second wrench that's on the pipe just below the valve body. The longer the handle the better. A gentle yank with a long wrench handle for a good lever action might free up that valve. It just might...

    But, if you are really looking to save the valve, before you cut and chisel out, think how you will cap the run you just cut.
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    edited August 2017
    And just to say it, you can get a decent valve replacements on supplyhouse.com and spend 10 bucks for a spud wrench, and save a bunch of headaches.
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
    edited August 2017
    i usually can find a cast fitting to break or steel joint in an open enough space to heat that allows me to cap or repipe but i've never had luck, PB luck or otherwise, getting valves that size off, 3/4 less problem. but 1" and up, the spud wrench always just strips out on the union stem in the radiator on the softer metal and heating the radiator can never be discrete enough not to compromise the brass of the union. I've heated radiators to take out cast or steel bushings but never a brass union neck.

    if you have had success on that size i'm impressed by your patience, tenacity etc. absolutely, the only reason i would save the valve is just to match the union already on the radiator, but a new one is affordable, if not of quite the heft and longevity of the orginal, its going to last long enough to make me look good.

    but method for removal has always been cut lightly with really sharp sawzall blade in two places about a 15 degree arc through about 2/3 of the pipe wall as close as i can get to threads without cutting much into the female side then hit it with a cold chisel until i break or bend it slightly away from the female threads in that area and the i can work my way around the rest of the fitting separating the threads. pain in the **** and then if i do damage the female threads at all i run a tap in them and use a setting type joint compound.

    on small threads, i.e. 1/2 and 3/4" have had luck with some union necks that have internal hexes rather than traditional 'tangs' for the spud wrench.

    better ideas and techniques always welcomed.
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    Fwiw, for the brass spud in the rad, again, scape off paint into threads, pb blaster, then a 2ft pipe wrench and a looong cheater bar on the spud directly (or whichever wrench can grab the spud with the nut still on there). Egg out the spud if need be, which in fact pulls off a part of those threads apart from rad, essentially crumpling the spud inside the rad threads. Had no issue doing it this way - spud will turn and back out. Needs a big enough wrench to do that first turn of the spud (the longer the handle, the better ), and of course, this means you won't be reusing the old spud. Spud wrench is more for getting a new spud into the rad. As for the valve body, if you are moving the rad and repiping it from basement up, well - you won't need to worry about it. Cut away and cap where you can in the basement, or repipe in the basement for the new run. You might not have to worry about removing the valve in the first place.

    Good luck- sounds like a fun project!
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
    you know, as i think about it, biggest problem is alwasy getting good size wrench between union and radiator. I never have one that will fit. but i guess i could get a really good quality (guaranteed) 10" out of the box at the office and then put a cheater. (i don't know what they call it cheating if everybody does it . . . )
    MilanD
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    I have a 24" aluminum cheapo with very crisp teeth, as well as one Rigid that's 18" and one 12 ", also crisp - and a 2" pipe sleeve to go over the handle, plus a variety of old 1-1/4 pipe leftover from some gas work I did (2-3-4-5 ft) . Those wrenches and pipes never fail me (with a max combined lever of about 5 feet!). Rad spuds don't stand a chance :smile:
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    Oh, and I grab on the union to valve side - the outside edge - move the nut over to the rad side as far as it'll go and grab on to what's sticking out. Bigger wrenches should do fine there.
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    good luck with trying to match the union thread. If you succeed it will have just been dumb luck in matching. Course if the valve springs a leak at that joint, you just gave an insurance company an 'out'
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

    j a_2
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    The "H" in the circle is most likely an old Hoffman valve. I've seen the triangle one before also but can't recall what brand it is?? As has been said, matching a valve to an old spud or visa-versa isn't likely to work, even with the same brand.
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,215
    If you're looking for real good valves and a reasonable price check out Marsh valves ( Aquatrol). We have used a couple hundred of these the past year. You can get them from New York Replacement Parts online. They are made West of Chicago.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
    so i don't ask for advice and not try. one up one down. the first one came out so easy i tried to recall why i get so fussed about this. the second one didn't want to hear it whatsoevayl tye

    good nipple extraction:


    bad nipple extraction:


    as

    and thus i remember that the bigger hammer theory only goes so far.

    MilanD
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    Sorry to see that my suggestion failed. I hope you were still able to get it cut and chiseled out.
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
    Sometime it's much easier if you have the ability to go work overtime at your job and pay someone with proper tooling to do at best a 30 min job...Sawzall. chisel, hammer ....
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
    milan, no worries , as soon as it started to rip off the,radiator i stopped and got the sawzall. already got one chip out, but i need to bring a,sharper edged punch for some of it that tore off really close to the iron. i expect ill have it out shortly. and the one that came out easily is the important radiator. much harder to match shape.
    MilanD
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,060
    There is a special chisel that works just for what you are doing.
    I saw one at a supply house and scarfed it right up.

    Can't remember the correct name for it though.....somebody.
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,785
    Snip down an sawzal to fit the hole .. Cut the nipple in pie slices until you start to see threads .. Collapse the nipple inward and remove .. Run an tap if you have , new nipple if you don't. ... Quick wick and pipedope on the new nipple, and your done..
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
    quick wick???
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
    Wicken is a string like looking stuff that many of has used to seal threaded joints. Not to common but it is supplied at most established supply houses...
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    the supply house may carry wicken as 'candle wicking'
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.