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Laying down wall-hung cast radiator to access the wall behind.

Tom Hopkins
Tom Hopkins Member Posts: 545
Hi folks,

Our home has a 1929 gravity HW system. I want to access the wall behind this radiator to remove the wallpaper.

Many years ago, when we first remodeled this bathroom, It seems that our contractor simply loosened the unions, removed the washers that holds the radiator in the vertical position and laid the radiator down to the horizontal position. Then they tightened up the unions again. Am I remembering this right? Of course one would want to block the top of the radiator when it's laid down.

Thanks in advance, Tom H. Bismarck ND.



Comments

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,141
    If there is room to use the unions as a Hinge to make that happen, then go for it. it can't hurt anything to lay a radiator on its side. You may want to reduce the water pressure in the boiler during the time your unions are loose.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    PC7060
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,318
    IIWM, I would put plywood on the floor for protection and lay an old car tire down to catch the rad in case it gets away from you. It is heavier than it looks.
    Might want to drain the water down below the unions.

    Good time to check the integrity of the wall fasteners.
  • Tom Hopkins
    Tom Hopkins Member Posts: 545
    Good advice. Thanks. I really like the tire idea. I hadn't thought of dropping the pressure either.
  • Tom Hopkins
    Tom Hopkins Member Posts: 545
    edited May 4
    Thanks again folks. One very used Metzler 888 motorcycle tire and a few 2 by blocks is all it took. It went smoothly. Now on to the rest of that wonderful 1990's wallpaper.


    mattmia2JUGHNEpecmsgPC7060
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,318
    Did you drop the pressure or lower the water level in the system?
  • Tom Hopkins
    Tom Hopkins Member Posts: 545
    JUGHNE said:

    Did you drop the pressure or lower the water level in the system?

    I dropped the water pressure on top of the boiler to where I think I had just had the weight of the water in the system. I only removed about a gallon - gallon and a half. I had a little water leak out when I loosened the unions but it was manageable. The radiator I lowered is on the main level of a smallish two story home so I didn't want to drain a lot of water. I brought the pressure back up and bled all the radiators when I was done. I also turned of the control power to the boiler.
    PC7060
  • LynnLennox
    LynnLennox Member Posts: 23
    edited May 13
    I live in an 1858 steam-heated house which I bought in 1983. Over the years, I've closed the steam valve and disconnected the radiators (one pipe system) and "walked" them away from the wall to paint. I guess I could also use this method, but since I'm usually working alone, I'm thinking I would not be able to ease one of these things down to the floor, safely. Also, using my method, it means I have to struggle with lining the radiator up and getting the nut back on properly with no leaks. I will be painting a couple of rooms again this fall and I may just try a small paint roller with a long handle. I'm gettin' old!
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,993
    I love that you stated the brand and model of the motorcycle tire :lol:
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Tom Hopkins
    Tom Hopkins Member Posts: 545
    Goodness, It looks like this thread got some new life after that heatinghelp.com email that went out this morning. I've used a slim paint roller to paint behind some of my other radiators over the years. It usually works pretty well. Thankfully, this was the only one in our house with wallpaper to deal with. I should be ready to raise it up again in a few days. We need our main floor bathroom toilet back in service too.
  • Tom Hopkins
    Tom Hopkins Member Posts: 545
    Also, There are supports at the bottom of the wall bracket that take the weight of the radiator and allow it to pivot down. I wonder if it wasn't common practice to pipe these in initially in the down position then pivot them up during installation. It would probably facilitate leveling them out and getting them in the right position.
  • Dean_7
    Dean_7 Member Posts: 192
    It wound appear that installing them horizontally and then pivoting them up and tightening all of the connections makes sense and the people that originally installed these were all about sense and had it down to a science.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,008
    Undoubtedly hooked in the bottom brackets and tipped them up. Since it was a new install probably didn't make up the piping until after it was in place.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,318
    I agree with Matt, that would seem the easiest.

    For rads with legs, one or 2 pipe, laying down would be nearly impossible because of the legs which would cause or want to raise the risers. IMO
    mattmia2Canucker
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