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How to buy correct radiator valve?

nmquirknmquirk Member Posts: 17
edited August 12 in Strictly Steam
I'm looking to replace 2 radiator valves. I used a caliper to measure the in-feed pipe (coming up from the floor), the pipes were slightly different, one was 1 6/8 inch diameter, the other was 1 7/8 inch diameter. The difference could be in the pipes having been painted a couple times by the prior owners. I was hoping someone could provide a link to a valve that would fit these pipes. Also, given these are probably the original pipes, are there any potential issues that may come from me swapping out the old for the new?


  • AcleraAclera Member Posts: 2
    edited August 13
    Sounds like you have 1 1/4" and 1 1/2" pipes, so you would choose a radiator valve based on that size.. Here is a chart to show the relationship between nominal pipe size and actual pipe outer diameter:

    Why do you want to replace the valves though? Are they leaking? Leaks can often be fixed without needing to replace the valve. I've never tried to replace one personally, but from what I've read on here, it seems like something to be avoided if at all possible.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 6,598
    And are these for steam or hot water? They're different. And are they directly attached to radiators? If they are, you should be aware that the radiator valve is matched to the spud in the radiator, and if you replace one you pretty well have to replace the other.

    As @Aclera mentioned, they are almost always repairable, and if they are, that is much the best way to go.

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • nmquirknmquirk Member Posts: 17
    Thank you for the feedback. To answer the question of why, it comes down to the condition of the valves. They aren't leaking, I've repacked all of the nuts with graphite packing. The radiator valve in the living no longer has the handle on it. I'd guess people moving furniture around hit it one too many times. If ever I need to close or turn the valve I need to use a wrench. So it looks bad, but functions fine. The one in the kitchen although it looks newer based on the design, just looks worse than some of the original ones in the bedrooms. In short, it's mostly for aesthetics but also maintenance.
  • AcleraAclera Member Posts: 2
    For the valve with a missing handle, you should be able to find original-ish handles on eBay or generic replacement handles at a plumbing supply store, that should save you from a total valve replacement.

    Any chance you could post some pictures of the valves? The ones you like, and the ones you don't like? Someone who's seen more of these things should be able to steer you in the right direction with that.
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