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Radiator Valve - Repacking

Hi All,

I am going to try and repack a couple of radiator valves which are leaking - system is 1920's (hot water).

With the valves shown in the picture, is it possible to repack without draining the system? If so, I'm assuming this needs to be done with the valve fully open? I can relieve the ~12psi a little by draining some water but want to avoid the other 400 litres if possible :)



  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,648Member
    How much is 400 Litres...just kidding, but I do blame Jimmy Carter for not being able to follow thru with getting us on the Metric System...I even learned the songs when I was a kid, grrrr...

    Is it just leaking at the packing nut? I'd drain it so I can pull the whole valve and check if there are any other issues, then wrap with lamp wick or your favorite packing and put it back together.
    Column rads should be an easy refill/bleed. Maybe a little tricky with a steel expansion tank if you don't have the proper shut off valve, but a good time to add one and an Airtrol fitting if you don't have one, for future ease of maintenance.
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Posts: 8,031Member
    edited September 2019
    I think you can try it without draining. Close the auto fill, and drain just enough water out to reduce the pressure to zero.
    Close the radiator valves, and remove the handles. Remove the packing nut, and wrap some graphite string around the stem. Finally carefully screw the nut back on, making sure it is not cross threaded, then open the auto fill valve and verify the system pressure.
    Don’t forget to open the radiator valves, after replacing the handles!
    If you have the old style expansion tank, it might be well to drain that out while the system is at no pressure.—NBC
  • peterb01peterb01 Posts: 11Member
    Hi all,

    Things went pretty well.

    Drained a couple of gallons to reduce the pressure to a few psi. Then removed the packing nut with the valve in the fully open position, removed the old packing and cleaned the nut and threads with a wire brush. Added ~20" of graphite thread (9 turns) , hand tightened, then a further 1/2 turn with a wrench.

    I had a shopvac and some rags on standby in case of serious leaks but it was easily manageable.

    Thanks to all for inputs!
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,648Member
    Thanks for posting back.
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