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Mystery Radiator Leak

D107
D107 Member Posts: 1,777
edited June 2020 in Gas Heating
Found water pooling around this early 1980s Governale rad for a few and assumed it was from wife's overwatering plants nearby, but then found wet rust marks on side of rad--ABOVE the bolt, which strikes me as very unusual. Old rad walls just rusting out? This room is kept at least ten degrees colder than rest of house due to being underradiated and less insulated. Pipe connections below are bone dry. Could boiler waterways cleaning/inhibitor done last year have any role in this? (Series piping, 3 zones). Other standard CI rads in house are from the 1920s.


Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,170
    That may be a casting flaw. It's not just age -- 1980s is young for a radiator.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    D107
  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,777
    @Jamie Hall Yeah I guess if it wasn't for the leak coming from above the bolt I'd figure maybe tighten the bolt.
  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,777
    @Jamie Hall On second thought, since I just had the boiler serviced and everything's running so well and the last thing I need right now is a rad replacement--does it makes sense to try and epoxy what must be a tiny hairline breach in the rad wall?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,170
    Yes, it does -- although on hot water heat you have a fair amount of pressure. You could try to simply clean the area really really well, and make sure it is quite dry, and then try some JB Weld on it. On the other hand, if, after cleaning it up really well you can actually see a pinhole or crack, you might have better luck drilling the hole out and tapping it for some handy machine screw, and epoxying (JB Weld again) that in, using the machine screw to hold down a washer with the epoxy squished under it. Going to luck a little weird, but then so do the rust streaks...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    D107
  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,777
    @Jamie Hall Thanks. this photo for now is the closest I can get. Hard to keep it dry. I would turn the boiler off for a few hours, lowering the pressure, and perhaps if I can get my wife to keep wiping the surface--usually wet--perhaps if I can get it dry for a few seconds the jb weld will stick.

    If it comes to drilling guess boiler would have to be drained.




  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,936
    Definitely want to drain the water level down below the hole to make any kind of semi-permanent repair. Unless you use Flex Seal®, I suppose. :smiley:
    D107luketheplumber
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,170
    JB Weld won't stick unless the surface is completely dry. Even just damp -- no workie.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    D107
  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,777
    edited June 2020
    @ratio Thanks for that tip! They do say you can apply flex seal spray or tape wet--even with their 'Flex tape'. As long as it can withstand up to 20lbs pressure.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,936
    Uhhh… That was tongue-in-cheek. I'd be very leery of using that on a radiator, water, steam, or otherwise.

    That said, I suppose it couldn't hurt to check the label for operating temperature & pressure. It would certainly be faster than epoxying it, and if it holds for a season, well, who's to say that's not a repair? The last 'temporary repair' I made lasted two & a half years!

  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,777
    edited June 2020
    @ratio Yeah I suspected you were half joking, but, ultimately if it can last a year the next annual boiler maintenance I can have the guy partially drain boiler and drill a tapping in for a bolt or screw as per Jamie's suggestion--assuming the whole wall is not rusted out. I was looking at those photos and thinking perhaps there three holes--but only one is wet now.