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Steam Radiator Question

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Hello!

I had my bathroom redone a few years ago, and before the guy put the tile on the floor, he put in a new subfloor, and in the process, we then couldn't reconnect my radiator unit because the pipe coming up through the floor no longer matches the height of the radiator unit.

Long story short, we just basically turned off the the valve and don't have heat in the bathroom. But I'd like to reconnect it somehow without have to rip up the floor, etc. Do they make a radiator that you can adjust the legs so you can connect them? Basically they are off like a quarter of an inch....

Thanks for any help....

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,322
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    Never seen one with adjustable legs... but, is there any give in the riser? Can you pull it up that quarter inch or so? That's unlikely to cause a problem.

    Or you could get the valve off the riser (careful! Don't allow the riser to unscrew from the coupling beneath!) and see if your local plumbing supply house has a male to female coupling the right size and raise the radiator... or raise it further with a close nipple and a coupling...

    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,540
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    @jimpags

    There are several ways to reconnect the radiator. But with only a 1/4 inch or so see if you can pull the pipe up. Some wood blocks and a pry bar if you can pry it up then cut a pcc of wood to put between the floor and the valve to hold it up until you get it reconnected

    There are other ways if that doesn't work but it will complicate things
  • jimpags
    jimpags Member Posts: 4
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    It is pretty solid and I don't think it will be able to be raised up, unfortunately...
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,540
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    @jimpags

    can you post a picture of the radiator and its location/ More than one waw to skin a cat
    BobC
  • jimpags
    jimpags Member Posts: 4
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    yes, will do tomorrow, thanks!
  • jimpags
    jimpags Member Posts: 4
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    ok, here are a few photos. Excuse the mess, this is the portion that is under the radiator cover. You can see the distance I mentioned and the fact that the guy who did the floor grouted everything right up to the pipe, so there is no give there. A few years back, I had the bright idea of taking out some of the tile so the legs of the radiator might fight in them so I could make the connection, but I abandoned that idea...
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
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    I think you'd want to carefully chisel out that grout around the riser regardless. Once you do that, you may find you can lift it.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,322
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    to which I would add -- if you don't chisel out that extra grout, it's going to make quite the racket when the heat goes on and off and you'll not be a bit happy.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ethicalpaul
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
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    I've seen 3 solutions:
    1. loosen the grout around the riser and try to pull it up like ethicalpaul suggests.
    2. remove the tiles under the feet of the radiator to lower it
    3. get one of these on the riser and raise the radiator on blocks.

    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    BobCjimpags
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,540
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    I agree with the above chip out the grout and the pipe will probably pull up. If it doesn't pull up get an extension coupling, you may have to order it on line not every place has them.

    The extension coupling will probably make the pipe too high for the radiator then you cut shims out of wood or tile to shim the rad up. Make sure the rad is pitched back towards the pipe.

    Do you have access to the pipe from below? or is this the second floor?

    If you unscrew the valve off the pipe the pipe could drop down the hole
    jimpags
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 659
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    Have no experience with cast iron steam radiators, but if the radiator's feet aren't hollow, it might be possible to cut off that 1/4" from the bottom of each foot, thus lowering the connection to match.

    An angle grinder could get this done without too much trouble.

    Anybody think this might be a solution?
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,540
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    @Pumpguy

    Cutting the legs has been discussed here before I think. Seems like they should be solid if he only needs 1/4" or so.

    I think once the grout is removed the pipe will move. They shouldn't have grouted in tight for expansion anyhow
    jimpags