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Fix leaky pipe on old Corto rad

northernsoul
northernsoul Member Posts: 134
Hi there
Noticed a small drip at base of rad at fill pipe. It's slow,, but I want to fix it so I don't have to turn off the radiator

They are original Corto cast iron rads from the 30s I believe

Looking to see if I can fix myself or do I need to call someone in ?

Thanks

Comments

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    Looks like the nipple between the valve and the radiator needs to be replaced. You may be able to do it yourself but you probably ought to wait till the weather breaks. You may need a right/left threaded nipple??
  • northernsoul
    northernsoul Member Posts: 134
    > @Fred said:
    > Looks like the nipple between the valve and the radiator needs to be replaced. You may be able to do it yourself but you probably ought to wait till the weather breaks. You may need a right/left threaded nipple??

    Thank you - will the system refill water automatically or do I need to do it?
    Should I shut this rad off for now is the slow drip not an emergency?

    We only have another month or two left of heating so guess the fix can wait till spring
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    Can't answer that question. Does the system have a water feeder on it that is left open? One of the HW Pro's on here will have to address if shutting the radiator valve off will do any good or how that might affect heating/water flow.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,349
    Shutting the valve won't do any good- the water will enter thru the return connection.

    Yes, that is a right/left nipple. Probably best to replace the entire valve with one that has a union nut connection.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    delta T
  • northernsoul
    northernsoul Member Posts: 134
    > @Steamhead said:
    > Shutting the valve won't do any good- the water will enter thru the return connection.
    >
    > Yes, that is a right/left nipple. Probably best to replace the entire valve with one that has a union nut connection.

    Thank you - do you think it's fine to leave as is (with a pan under it) until it warms up outsideand we can turn off the system ?
    It's only dripping maybe a half an once every few hours
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,765
    The return nipple might be left/right also?
    But if you replace the valve you would have a union and be able to leave the return pipe as is.
    You might have to get an extension for the valve spud though.
  • northernsoul
    northernsoul Member Posts: 134
    > @JUGHNE said:
    > The return nipple might be left/right also?
    > But if you replace the valve you would have a union and be able to leave the return pipe as is.
    > You might have to get an extension for the valve spud though.

    Thanks- I'm going to assume putting a new valve and connectors isn't cheap
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    @northernsoul , depending on what you call "isn't cheap" it shouldn't break the bank. In any case, it needs to be done before next heating season.
  • northernsoul
    northernsoul Member Posts: 134
    > @Fred said:
    > @northernsoul , depending on what you call "isn't cheap" it shouldn't break the bank. In any case, it needs to be done before next heating season.

    Thanks I was more trying to figure out how big a job it would be to replace the valve - like does the rad have to be moved to switch it, or the flooring cut etc.
  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 713
    The floor should be fine. The unions will make the lines in and out a little longer
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518

    > @Fred said:

    > @northernsoul , depending on what you call "isn't cheap" it shouldn't break the bank. In any case, it needs to be done before next heating season.



    Thanks I was more trying to figure out how big a job it would be to replace the valve - like does the rad have to be moved to switch it, or the flooring cut etc.

    If it were me, I don't think I would change the valve. It looks to me like you have enough room between the valve and the radiator to cut that nipple, try to turn each half out (after getting all the paint off of the ends that screw into the radiator and valve). I would then use a short or close nipple on each end with a union in the middle and connect it back together. You can probably do that yourself when the weather breaks and you don't have to rush to get the heat back on. You will have to drain the water out of the system first and the system will have to be bleed after you refill it, but that will be the case if you do it or have a Pro come in to do it. If you are leary about bleeding the air out, you can always get a Pro in to do it for you or you can have them to the whole job but I don't see a need to have to move the radiator or cut any flooring.
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,444
    Fred's idea is easiest if there is enough room for two close nipples an a union.

    But even if there is, I expect when you try to turn the nipple out it will egg. It will likely need to be cut out. Which means the radiator will have to be disconnected completely to do so.

    Looks like you might need someone trained in the art...
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 870
    my advice would be to get a pro if you uncomfortable with this, this is one of those jobs that can turn into a nightmare if you don't know the tricks and the things to avoid. You don't want to shear that nipple off in the rad and have a really hard time taking it out. Try the find a contractor link on this site.
  • northernsoul
    northernsoul Member Posts: 134
    > @delta T said:
    > my advice would be to get a pro if you uncomfortable with this, this is one of those jobs that can turn into a nightmare if you don't know the tricks and the things to avoid. You don't want to shear that nipple off in the rad and have a really hard time taking it out. Try the find a contractor link on this site.

    Thanks -
    Would it help if I at least first tried to tighten the nipple with a wrench? Or is likely going to do nothing and might cause more issues ?
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,334
    Likely do nothing and cause more issues. Where are you located?
    Canucker
  • northernsoul
    northernsoul Member Posts: 134
    Located in Ontario
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    That leak is likely a thin spot on the threaded section, of that nipple, that has rusted through. Wait until you can spend some time replacing it or have someone replace it for you.