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Help/Advice Removing radiator

Seeking advice help on how best to remove a wall mounted radiator. Would love to remove some of the pipe and cap off. However am no expert and very concerned about how difficult it will be to break free some of these old connections. Any advice?? Is there anyway I can cut the pipe, thread and cap??

This is a remodel in a small third floor bathroom in a 120 year old home. Is a 2-pipe steam system. This small bathroom has a 1-pipe supply/return to a wall-mounted radiator. I am planning to add radiant floor heating and don't believe I need the radiator.
Is extremely small space and trying to save every inch. Existing condition was the wall-mounted radiator above a claw foot tub.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,311
    It's not really clear, but is the riser line to where that radiator was the black vertical pipe next to the cast iron drain pipe in the second picture? If so, yes you can cap it. The question would be -- where and how. You may be able to unscrew that vertical pipe from the 45 at floor level there. That would be my first choice. Then just either put a plug in that 45 or a short nipple and a cap. The trick is going to be to unscrew the pipe. Use two pipe wrenches -- one on the 45 as a backup, to keep it from turning, and the other to try to break loose the pipe.

    Another possibility would be to cut and thread that vertical -- but even if you have room to swing a threader in there, it's not as easy as it sounds, and the cut has to be perfectly square.

    Whatever else you contemplate, however, do NOT be tempted to use any form of heat to try and loosen the joint. Timber that old is dismaying flammable, and you have lots of concealed spaces. Just don't do it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
    What's wrong with leaving the radiator where it is? Those electric radiant floors sound nice, but if they fail, you have to tear up the floor to fix them..................
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
    You could also cut that fitting at the top of the riser off and replace it with a cap, cut 2 slots in it almost to the threads and split it with a cold chisel using a hammer or other heavy piece of steel or iron to back up the fitting and put a cap on it.
  • kacrejamReturns
    kacrejamReturns Member Posts: 4
    Excellent advice all. I will follow your direction and attempt to cap. I'm thinking first I will attempt to unscrew the vertical and if fails resort to breaking out the sawzall or reciprocating saw to cut slots and chisel.

    Hi Steamhead, I understand this doesn't sound correct but I honestly don't think I need any heat in this third floor bath especially after I done fully insulating. The room is extremely small and oddly arranged. I am trying to squeeze every inch of space. If i had more monies I would dormer and make this a proper sized bath.
  • Chris_L
    Chris_L Member Posts: 336
    I would leave the radiator in, especially if this bathroom has an exterior wall. Unless you have really good insulation and leave the floor heat on all the time (or live in a mild climate), the floor heat alone won't be enough on a cold morning.

    At least that's been my experience in the one room I have that only has floor heat.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
    edited March 2021
    You could also bump out and insulate the knee wall and put a recessed radiator in that space or even recess that radiator in to the space
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    Lyle {pheloa} Carter
  • kacrejamReturns
    kacrejamReturns Member Posts: 4
    Hey hap, The concept of swapping for a heated towel rack sounds Awesome but looks like only for hydronic systems. - bummer that would have been cool. btw, apparently your not far from me, I'm in Wayne.

    Also cool idea of recessing the radiator. Problem is the stack vent that sits right behind the existing wall with the horizontal slightly above existing floor level.
  • ChicagoCooperator
    ChicagoCooperator Member Posts: 354
    You could mount one of the runtal steam radiators like a towel warmer.