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Tips/Tricks on Replacing Radiator Push Nipples....

So I finally removed my leaky radiator and plan to split the sections where it is leaking. To split them I will cut four wooden wedges, lie the radiator on its side and put two wedges at the top and two at the bottom. Just keep driving the wedges in until the section splits.

What I don't know yet is how to get the push nipples out once the to sections are split. Chisel and hammer? The radiator is cast iron and probably as old as the house, about 120 years old.

I've thought of buying a used radiator in unknown condition but the asking price is usually $200+ and for the cost of some push nipples ($15-30) I figure its worth a shot.

Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 11,432
    You may find that the leaking nipple is so shot that you can just collapse it, then pull it out.

    If you do resort to a chisel, use it to try to collapse the nipple. Be very careful to avoid knicking the seat in the radiator section if you can.

    Separating sections.... you can also use the type of expander used in auto repair to loosen ball joints.
    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
  • AdmiralYodaAdmiralYoda Member Posts: 66
    Thanks! Here is a newbie question... I assume there are two push nipples right? One at the top and one at the bottom? Or is the top one something else?
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 11,432
    Two. The one at the top is probably OK, though -- though no harm to getting a spare.
    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
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,618
    Don't use a chisel! I pulled mine out with a slide hammer, but it doesn't take much. They're tapered, so they just pop right out.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • AdmiralYodaAdmiralYoda Member Posts: 66
    Thanks again. I'll just gently clean it since its not leaking and just replace the bottom one.

    I'll put a little high temp automotive RTV in between the sections and cross my fingers.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 11,432
    If you put RTV in there, make sure that it doesn't get on the nipple or its seating surfaces. I've use it, though, that way, as a ring around the outside of the nipple (not touching) and inside of the outer ring cast on the radiator section. Shouldn't need it, but...
    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
  • AdmiralYodaAdmiralYoda Member Posts: 66
    Just planning for the worst. I am usually confronted by surprises and am also Captain Overkill at the same time. Just don't want to do this twice.

    If the radiator plate surfaces are in good shape I'll leave it alone. I have a feeling its been leaking for a couple decades anyways, so who knows what I'll find.
  • retiredguyretiredguy Member Posts: 99
    edited December 4
    If you need to clean the mating surfaces use only fine steel wool or crocus cloth and not a wire wheel or wire brush. If you are using new nipples or reusing the old nipples I would use grease on the mating surfaces. To remove a nipple when you can access the opposite side use a drift punch with a flat end and not a chisel or anything with an edge.
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