Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

Leaking radiator threads

georgebailey
georgebailey Member Posts: 4
edited January 2020 in THE MAIN WALL
I recently had this steam radiator disconnected, sandblasted and powdercoated, then moved back into place. I had professional movers because it weighs a million pounds. The movers re-connected it and of course I am getting some leaking.

The few posts I've found on this forum shows that blue monster tape is helpful. Is that enough or do I need to find an O-ring as well? Any other sealant? I only want to have to move this thing once so want to make sure I get it right the first time.

Thx!







Comments

  • georgebailey
    georgebailey Member Posts: 4
    edited January 2020

    photo IMG_2174.jpeg
  • georgebailey
    georgebailey Member Posts: 4
    Trying to post photos sorry

    photo IMG_2175.jpeg
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,607
    You need to find out exactly where it is leaking. The most likely culprit is the union between the spud -- the part in the radiator -- and the valve. If that isn't very well -- dare I say perfectly? -- lined up when it is pulled together, it will leak. Another possibility is that the face of the union on the spud side may have gotten scratched -- but let's hope not. For a first try, loosen the union nut slightly (or undo it completely) and make sure that the radiator is aligned straight with the valve, and not off left or right or up or down. Then thread the union nut back on, rocking the radiator slightly as you tighten it down.

    Do NOT use any sort of sealant on either the threads -- they don't seal anything anyway -- or the union faces. Some folks have had better results with just a little dish soap smeared on the union faces to act as a lubricant when they are being pulled together.

    If retightening the union doesn't stop the problem, pull the radiaror a bit so you can see both faces of the union and check to see that there are no scratches or dirt (or paint!) on them. They must be clean and smooth.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • georgebailey
    georgebailey Member Posts: 4
    Unfortunately it looks like you were right. There appears to be powdercoat/paint on the radiator union face! See pics below .

    I suppose I could try an angle grinder with a flap wheel, but I'm not a pro and it sounds like you are implying that the tolerances are small for this kind of union - it's moved out of DIY territory perhaps.

    Thanks




  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    edited January 2020
    If you back the radiator away from the inlet valve a bit, use a little liquid/gel paint stripper or maybe acetone on that fitting and clean it off with a very fine steel wool. Needless to say you want to cover the floor so you don't drip on it. No scraping. You don't want to put scratches in that fitting. Hopefully they didn't rough it up during any sand blasting.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,607
    Three minutes with masking tape... just three minutes.

    Sigh...

    With any kind of luck, though, @Fred 's solution will work for you. I hope so.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,469
    edited January 2020
    We use a fine wire brush on the drill to clean up the mating surfaces. Also, a Scotchbrite pad. Then, a little silicon grease on them and the union threads to lubricate.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,758
    Yes clean off the the surface first . An old practice is using a small amount of plumbers grease on the contact surface and the threads . The grease fills in small imperfections and lubacates the threads .. Use small amount on the contact surface avoiding to get it into the system..
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all