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Steam Radiator Leak - SEE PIC please HELP

ramik80ramik80 Member Posts: 10
Hello guys, first time on here need some help. This valve is sideways.... Is it a standard? Or do I need a specific one? Any advice on how to even start to remove this thing, any help would be much appreciated.

Comments

  • Intplm.Intplm. Member Posts: 1,191
    ramik80. That appears to be a "standard" brass globe valve. Can't quite tell the size from your pic. but it is probably a 1-inch angle valve.
    As for how to replace it? The "flats" or nut on the right side of the valve body where the leak is. That is a ground joint or union joint. But unless the valve truly needs to be replaced you might just need to tighten it at that point.
    If a common 14 or 18 inch pipe wrench doesn't work/fit. Try using a chain wrench. Chain wrenches can fit in close quarters as your picture shows.
    BUT FIRST.!! Turn your boiler off!!! and do your repairs with a cold radiator. Stay safe.
    If tightening doesn't work, try coating the face of the union nut with pipe thread compound. You will. of course have to take the union nut apart completely to expose the face.
    Now. I'm not sure from the picture but a think you tighten the nut by tightening in a downward motion toward the floor . Not toward the radiator . Turn the boiler off and work with a cooled radiator. good luck. Stay safe.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,403
    Another tip -- try rocking the radiator just a bit as you tighten the union nut. You don't really need to reef on it, but it does need to be tight.

    Some folks do use pipe dope on unions. I don't; just a smear of dish detergent should be enough to let it slide together, which is what you want it to do. If it still leaks after trying to tighten in, take it apart completely and check and make sure the mating faces of the union are really clean and smooth.
    Br. Jamie, osb

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

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • ramik80ramik80 Member Posts: 10
    Thank you for the replies. I will update soon.
  • ramik80ramik80 Member Posts: 10
    Please confirm do I need to turn down or up to get this thing loose ? Thanks
  • ratioratio Member Posts: 2,562
    You'll need to identify which side of the union is threaded. You may be able to see a little of the thread showing, also the threaded side of the big nut of the union will have a slightly larger diameter than the non-threaded side. (Here's a section drawing that shows how a union is put together.) Once you know which end is threaded, you'll need to turn the nut counter clockwise, looking into the non-threaded end (from the right in the linked picture).
  • ramik80ramik80 Member Posts: 10
    edited October 2018

    ok so I was able to open the big nut by putting some dish detergent (shocked but it worked) as you can see from the picture attached. Now the valve is loose from the pipe but i cant turn the valve to loosen it because that other pipe attached to the actual radiator is too close to it... (which way should i turn the valve by the way to loosen it from the bottom pipe attached left or right?) ... Any advise will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,193
    I think you can fix the valve you have by following Jaimie’s instructions. If you get a new valve, the measurements could be different, making things VERY hard to line up. The spud which comes out of the radiator will only mate with the old valve, so with a valve replacement, that will have to be removed/replaced as well to mate up with the new valve. If you thought things were difficult up to now-just wait!
    Examine the union faces very carefully, and make sure they are clean, and lubricate with liquid soap. As you tighten the Union nut, rock the radiator a bit to enable it to seat.—NBC
  • ramik80ramik80 Member Posts: 10
    SO are you just saying for me to lubricate with liquid soap and reattach all the old components and see if it leaks after that?
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,193
    Yes
  • ramik80ramik80 Member Posts: 10
    ok will do that and update as soon as heat goes on ... thanks.
  • ramik80ramik80 Member Posts: 10
    just in case i need to open the valve which way am i turning? thanks
  • Intplm.Intplm. Member Posts: 1,191
    ramik80. Are you sure you want to replace this entire valve? Remember, I gave some advice on using pipe dope/pipe joint compound on the face of the union nut. Force it into the entire gap with a brush provided with the can when you go get the stuff. Try to move the radiator to widen the gap. This will save you a hole lot of trouble, and 9 times out of 10 fixes the problem. So think about it. Do you really need to change the valve??
    I've been doing this a very long time and my first choice under the circumstances you have given, would be to not change the valve.
  • Intplm.Intplm. Member Posts: 1,191
    Ok Just read the liquid soap lube idea. A good idea. I hope that it works. If it doesn't work or doesn't last go to plan "B". Pipe joint compound.
    As to Opening the valve question. Put your hand on the valve handle. Counter clockwise to open, clockwise to close.
    Or. "Lefty loosey righty tighty."
  • ramik80ramik80 Member Posts: 10
    Thank you Intplm, the soap lube didn’t stop the leak... so I ordered ( Rectorseal 23631 1/4 Pint Brush Top T Plus 2 Pipe Thread Sealant ) I will apply it hopefully it stops the leak. ... by the way the valve itself leaks on the other side as well ... please see pic attached ... you see the little white dot on bottom ... that’s actually a water drop .. will the sealent help to seal that area if I apply there as well?
  • ramik80ramik80 Member Posts: 10
    edited October 2018
    Regarding removing the valve ... it’s still attached to the pipe that leads to the basement. If I want to completely remove the valve which way am I turning ... left or right? I tried to turn it both ways last night but it didn’t move... so I went ahead and ordered an 18 inch wrench from amazon ...
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,403
    First, on the union -- do not apply any sort of sealant to the threads of the union. You are welcome to try a sealant, applied very thin, to the mating faces of the union -- but never to the threads. Before you try such measures, though, make absolutely sure that the union mates properly -- no angular or horizontal or vertical misalignment. Unions are not meant to take up misalignment.

    On drip from the valve stem area. That's probably a packing problem. You might be able to cure it by taking up a bit on the packing nut, but you may need to take the packing nut off and repack it.

    On trying to take the valve off the pipe. You need two big wrenches, not one. You will want to turn the valve counterclockwise looking down on it from the top. However, you must -- absolutely must -- have a backing wrench on the pipe when you try it, to keep the pipe from turning. Otherwise, you stand a very good chance of loosening some other threaded joint further down the pipe, creating a worse problem.
    Br. Jamie, osb

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

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • Danny ScullyDanny Scully Member Posts: 1,263
    You need a new valve @ramik80...it’s a convector valve. If you can’t get it to line up, call a professional, we do it everyday.
  • ramik80ramik80 Member Posts: 10
    Hi Danny, how much should i expect to pay for this new valve replacement? I don't want to get bambuzzled if you know what i mean. Thanks again!
  • Danny ScullyDanny Scully Member Posts: 1,263
    edited October 2018
    We don’t discuss pricing here. Moreso, there is no specific price you should expect. Every contractor has different operating costs so it’s really not fair to say. You should be most concerned with a competent contractor. Someone that will be there for you in 10-20 years from now, not someone who’s gone tomorrow. Where are you located?
  • Intplm.Intplm. Member Posts: 1,191
    Ramik80...If all the things you have tried failed. It just might be time to call a pro.
    The packing gland is leaking , as Jamie Hall states. You can tighten that . Its at the base of the stem.
    Good luck. If the good advice you have received here doesn't work.........It might be time to "punt".
  • Intplm.Intplm. Member Posts: 1,191
    That leak? Point to it with a pencil.And take a picture pinpointing the leak. I gave it a second look and it might be leaking at the area where the valve body comes apart. That's a tough one for the inexperienced.
    Many of things are hard to convey in writing. You've done well so far.
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