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Frozen heater temporary repair

I bought a building that had a prior freeze up. I removed split cast radiators and hard plumbed with black pipe. I have replacements but someone installed the wrong fittings. There are no nubs for a spud wrench to grab. 
4 questions 
1 how can I remove fittings that have no spud nubs?

2 can I drill and tap into the new black pipe so as to install an air valve temporarily. My thought is that the pipe is plenty hot on the steam side but needs venting to allow steam flow.

3 are standard air valves 1/8 NPT thread? No specs are on the literature.

4 cast iron baseboard has a pin hole. The carpet was bleached from city water. Can I remove the baseboard and pressure test with air to locate the exact spot. Then clean up pinhole and use JB Weld to salvage this baseboard? 

A huge thanks from cold NH.

 Plumbers don't want to deal with this sort of thing. And I am not ready to dump thousands when a few bucks and a few hours is my temporary cure.

Comments

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,847
    I think we need to see pictures of what you got.

    Also, Steam systems don't freeze up and split radiators, are you sure you have a steam system?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    PC7060kcopp
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,165
    I agree with @KC_Jones . This does not sound like a steam system, on at least three counts: first, steam systems freezing is very rare (never say impossible, but...) since there is almost no water even in a badly pitched radiator. Second, baseboards are rare on steam systems, although they do occur. Third, oddly is that pinhole and carpet bleaching. Steam condensate may, occasionally stain a carpet or floor with rust, but it is basically distilled water and it would be rare for it to bleach.

    Pictures, please! Especially the boiler!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,350
    Is this Steam or HW?

    Your waisting our time using JB Weld? If there leaking they get replaced. 
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 508
    edited November 25
    “ 1 how can I remove fittings that have no spud nubs?”
    I use two approaches. 
    First I see if I can get my large channel lock onto the spud between the nut and radiator. 
    If that doesn’t work I cut the nut off using a oscillating saw and then use a pipe wrench. 
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,374
    edited November 25
    @funeralhome1

    What @PC7060 said about removing the spuds except I cut with an angle grinder.

    Yes you can drill the black pipe and tap it 1/8" put the vents on top.

    For the baseboard you could maybe drill and tap the pinhole and put a pipe plug in it
    funeralhome1
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,830
    What town in NH?
  • funeralhome1
    funeralhome1 Member Posts: 7
    I am in Laconia, NH
    Will have to get new pics. Won't upload here.
    I have a Weil McClain 2 pipe steam system. And yes serious freeze up. Steam traps were trapping condensation. So zero heat for multiple winters. And yes cast iron radiators froze and split. Looks like spud nubs but no. And no spud nipple as it was broke flush.


  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,419
    Is that a reducing bushing? I'd see if I could get that out. I usually fit the biggest steam valve to the radiator and reduce it on the vertical side, if possible, so the condensate doesn't get hung up in the bottom of the radiator.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    mattmia2
  • funeralhome1
    funeralhome1 Member Posts: 7
    Definitely 2 pipe steam. I had a weeping leak and JB Weld did the trick. For how long I don't know. At 1/2 psi I am less concerned with this temp fix. This system has bigger fish to fry, LOL.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,350

    I am in Laconia, NH
    Will have to get new pics. Won't upload here.
    I have a Weil McClain 2 pipe steam system. And yes serious freeze up. Steam traps were trapping condensation. So zero heat for multiple winters. And yes cast iron radiators froze and split. Looks like spud nubs but no. And no spud nipple as it was broke flush.


    Thats a Hex Nut that a nipple is screwed into. From the picture I'd say 3/4". Kinda small for steam? Carefully cut it with a Sawzall in 2 places and use a chisel to remove.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,165
    Well, I did say not impossible... although if the radiator traps were holding water, the traps were shot anyway. They should, of course, be wide open unless live steam is hitting them.

    How much of the piping is salvageable? How many of the radiators? This may be a situation where it is better to regard the old system as a complete writeoff...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • funeralhome1
    funeralhome1 Member Posts: 7
    pecmsg said:
    I am in Laconia, NH
    Will have to get new pics. Won't upload here.
    I have a Weil McClain 2 pipe steam system. And yes serious freeze up. Steam traps were trapping condensation. So zero heat for multiple winters. And yes cast iron radiators froze and split. Looks like spud nubs but no. And no spud nipple as it was broke flush.


    Thats a Hex Nut that a nipple is screwed into. From the picture I'd say 3/4". Kinda small for steam? Carefully cut it with a Sawzall in 2 places and use a chisel to remove.
    Yeah I was going to try and cut by hand gently. Chisel and run a tap through. Yes 3/4 steam, other fittings were removed easily after multiple blast of penetrating fluid. Spud wrench was slick. But on the nipples with no spud not so much.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 4,008
    The part with the lugs sheared off. For future reference, if you jam a rod or even a tight fitting spud wrench in there befor trying to use a pipe wrench on the outside it will help keep it from collapsing and shearing off.
  • funeralhome1
    funeralhome1 Member Posts: 7
    Well, I did say not impossible... although if the radiator traps were holding water, the traps were shot anyway. They should, of course, be wide open unless live steam is hitting them. How much of the piping is salvageable? How many of the radiators? This may be a situation where it is better to regard the old system as a complete writeoff...
    Much of the piping is not bad. I am hoping to replace steam traps. I have 2 cast rads to replace. Each has a fitting with no spud nubs. I baseboard was froze up. And was disconnected. I was hoping to plug and reattach. The system puts out tons of heat. However with steam traps needing attention and missing rads... its difficult to get heat in second story areas. Obviously air locks and plugged traps make a very unbalanced system. But I am making headway. 
  • funeralhome1
    funeralhome1 Member Posts: 7
    edited November 28

    yeah the fittings had nothing to begin with. Either someone had put fittings with no nubs or they sheared decades ago, thanks for the suggestions.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,165



    Well, I did say not impossible... although if the radiator traps were holding water, the traps were shot anyway. They should, of course, be wide open unless live steam is hitting them.

    How much of the piping is salvageable? How many of the radiators? This may be a situation where it is better to regard the old system as a complete writeoff...

    Much of the piping is not bad. I am hoping to replace steam traps. I have 2 cast rads to replace. Each has a fitting with no spud nubs. I baseboard was froze up. And was disconnected. I was hoping to plug and reattach. The system puts out tons of heat. However with steam traps needing attention and missing rads... its difficult to get heat in second story areas. Obviously air locks and plugged traps make a very unbalanced system. But I am making headway. 

    All that can be recovered from. Good show. Carry on, and let us help as best we can!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England