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obsolete union elbow

Have multiple Aetna radiators with single end valve with supply and return lines at the valve - uses what appears to be an obsolete union elbow design.

What is unusual is the capture of the union nut, with the split brass locking ring. Unfortunately, i took this unit to the wrong machine shop to have the cracks repaired and an incorrect process was used; the fitting still leaks and now there is no way to reverse the process.

I'm looking for a salvage yard that might have a 1" union, or a complete valve.

Open to suggestions. Thanks for the reply.


  • IronmanIronman Posts: 5,417Member
    You can still get radiator valves and Ells with unions. The problem's gonna be having to change the spuds to match the new unions.

    If you can't find them locally, has them.
    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 6,312Member
    I have seen black union elbows. I have never seen brass, doesn't mean they are not made but could be difficult to find. Sometimes these specialty parts cost $$$ and your better off using a work around with standard fittings if possible
  • nokindaplumbernokindaplumber Posts: 4Member

    Not over-the-top fancy but a higher design in its time. None of the radiators leaked and were operational when the the 700,000 BTU oil converted to gas boiler was removed. I had them all media blasted and then electrostatic painted to match the interior trim. Everything went back together great EXCEPT for (1) elbow

    Someone was overly eager to stop a leak and cracked the end by wrenching the supply line past the end of the fitting.

    Not the greatest pic, but the water valve contains the supply and return. There are no identifying marks (that I could see) on the valve.

    So of (13) radiators, I'm stuck on (1) bad elbow.
  • nokindaplumbernokindaplumber Posts: 4Member
    Thanks for the link on suppliers of radiators! While I'm not in the market for radiators (I have (3) freshly painted ones for sale that don't leak) I'm looking for just a union elbow.
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 5,417Member
    That's a Honeywell "Unique Valve". Try googling it and you may find something.
    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • delta Tdelta T Posts: 791Member
    I think that valve is a honeywell product from way back in the day, it was used on gravity heating systems, not sure how well it will work on a pumped system. It is in Dan's book Classic Hydronics somewhere. My copy is at the shop, I'll look it up on Monday unless someone beats me too it.

    Its a pretty cool valve though, if you don't want it I'll take it! I have only ever seen one of them in person and that was on a gravity system that was all original except for the conversion gas burner and the asbestos boiler wrap. Still working. Little old lady who owned the house told me that if I tried to sell her a new system she would 'kick me out faster than a llama spits'. I didn't try to sell her a new system. I just replaced the thermocouple and marveled at what she had, and how well it was working after 100 years. Her energy bills were pretty low too, combustion analysis showed 82% on a cold start, went down to about 73% once up to temperature. Kind of hard to sell the payback on that really....

    'Oh your new system can run at 95% efficiency! Though you will have to pay for it to be cleaned once a year, and the cost of the installation will set you back $$$$$, and we will need to go through and dissconect the radiators on the top floor and remove the orifices, and we may not be able to get those apart, so you may need some new radiators up there, and we can't use the existing chimney and will have to drill some holes through the side of your house....but your gas bill will be lower!'

    Some times its best to just let things be
  • delta Tdelta T Posts: 791Member
    Ironman thanks, couldn't remember the actual name!
  • nokindaplumbernokindaplumber Posts: 4Member
    OH MY G!! Don't know how my heart leapt out of my chest to see real pictures of the same valve I've been searching for the past 18 months. Unique is not full descriptor. After 95-100 years of use, a little WD40 loosened the shaft & off to the races.

    One carpenter signed the plaster behind a mantel that he installed in the "farm office"; his name was illegible but the year was 1913. The house was built with gas/electric fixtures - one or two were still in operation on the walls in the basement but were so scary I pulled them out. The house burned about 1950-1955 judging from the replacement framing members on the 3rd floor. Found charcoal joist ends in the brick wall pockets; the stairs to the 3rd floor still show deep burns from the embers that landed on the treads.

    Nothing like strong backs, nylon slings and the occasional tractor with forks to move the beasts around. All the radiators above the first floor had been removed (and nary a Unique Valve survived) but where the units remain it sure is toasty. Removed (1) unit from the central stairway and re-deployed to a room that was short a radiator. Yes, the windows are large but have zinc interlocking weather strip.

    Some of the hardest work was finding a shop that would plastic media blast each unit and then a paint shop that did electrostatic paint application. The Electrostatic paint product is more evenly applied than powder coating. Can't imagine trying to dip-strip these monsters and then rattle-can paint them.

    At least I have a brand name. That makes the asking a bit easier.

    Thanks to all who replied!!
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 5,417Member

    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,441Member
    Probably the first 3-way mixing valve....and it would not even "dead head".....causing cavitation and :) stressing gravity.
  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 1,034Member
    I had a similar situation years ago. Couldn't find a replacement no matter how hard we looked. Out of desperation one of the guys brazed the thing. Threaded it onto a spare valve while brazing it. He installed it and it worked and is still working. "Hackery?" maybe, but it did work.
    I also see from the picture that it looks like there is blue monster thread tape on the threads. Great stuff! Seems common sense to say this but more then three wraps around as it says in the directions and you can split brass.
    Hope you find a solution.
  • BH73BH73 Posts: 2Member
    I have about 10 of these in my house and was even able at one point to locate a few "spare" valves from a salvager that was about to throw them in the scrap bin. Unfortunately, even those did not have the connecting elbows. I have also been look for either a single valve with the elbows or a suitable replacement for one that we lost in a bathroom remodel where the plumber did not save the elbows when removing the radiator.

    Did you ever find a solution, substitute or supplier?
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