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Piping steam radiator to perfect height without shimming

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branimal
branimal Member Posts: 210
I have a radiator that needs to be shimmed up to achieve the correct height. I'm off by 5/16".

My setup is as follows:
1. old 1" pipe coming up thru the floor
2. new bushing 1 1/4" --> 1"
3. 1 1/4" extension
4. 90 elbow

I bought the 1 1/4" extension vs a close nipple and coupling b/c that's all my hardware store had in stock. Can a close nipple and coupling provide a lower height profile than an extension?



Comments

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
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    You could also put a reducing bushing on the radiator (looks like there might be a 1.5 -> 1.25 on there now, it could be replaced) and then have just 1" stuff which would let you get away from that reducer on the vertical
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    branimal
  • branimal
    branimal Member Posts: 210
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    Yup paul.  That’s what I’m thinking.  Local hw didn’t have 1” couplings either.  I’ll pick one up at Hd next time I’m there.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    Unless the bushing is eccentric, a reducing bushing on the radiator will allow water to pool in the bottom. Reducing the vertical is always better for drainage. Also, if you could use a 45° elbow, water won't stay in the valve body.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    delcrossvbranimal
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,540
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    @branimal no a coupling and a nipple will raise the radiator

    I think you have it as close as your going to get it.

    Your supply pipe is 1" if you changed to a 1" valve with 1" fittings being smaller you might be able to get it closer

    Your piping between two fixed points that don't change, the pipe through the floor and the height of the radiator. With only a couple of threads in between it can be tough to get it exact

    Why not stain some wood to match the floor and cut it up and use it for shims?
    branimal
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
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    Unless the bushing is eccentric, a reducing bushing on the radiator will allow water to pool in the bottom. Reducing the vertical is always better for drainage. Also, if you could use a 45° elbow, water won't stay in the valve body.

    You're not wrong theoretically but all my radiators have them without issue
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,666
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    I'd be thinking reducing street ell or reducing street 45.
    EdTheHeaterManpecmsg
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,851
    edited March 2022
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    What is below the floor in that photo? Is it the basement with easy access to install a shorter nipple thru the floor? Or is it on the second (or third) floor with a finished ceiling below it?

    Sometimes you want to fix a future floor settling problem today and not when you are much older and have a hard time getting into the tight spaces you could when you were a kid.

    A street 45° with a new floor opening, an eccentric bushing 1-1/2" to 1", and a shorter nipple thru the floor is ideal. But we all can't always get what we wish for and may just have to go with what is available.

    Nice floor

    Mr.Ed

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    pecmsg
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 856
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    I do not recall ever doing it, but I've seen many radiators that had the legs shortened. In other words the legs were say three inches long and now there two and a half inches long. I suspect a portable band saw would make it pretty easy to do.
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,851
    edited March 2022
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    I do not recall ever doing it, but I've seen many radiators that had the legs shortened. In other words the legs were say three inches long and now there two and a half inches long. I suspect a portable band saw would make it pretty easy to do.


    "No matter how many times I cut the legs on this radiator, they are still too short!"


    I think you might be going in the wrong direction Scott. I believe he wants to eliminate the shim. It will look better without them on that new floor.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 856
    edited March 2022
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    @EdTheHeaterMan , you are correct and I am mistaken.

    @branimal if you got rid of the reducing bushing on from the vertical one inch riser and convert everything to one inch it would be significantly lower (shorter). However, I suspect you don't want to do the entire job over again. Along those same lines (most will disagree with me) I see almost no need for a radiator angle stop, a regular black malleable union would do the job.
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    You're not wrong theoretically but all my radiators have them without issue

    Wait a few years. One of my radiators has started heating very slowly and making bubbling noises. I increased the pitch as far as I could, which seemed to help a little, but the steam still doesn't get far enough to close the vent before the end of the cycle. I haven't disconnected it to look at it yet, but I'm almost positive the problem is inside the radiator.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    delcrossv
  • jhewings
    jhewings Member Posts: 139
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    Maybe mark the shims at each leg then use a 1" hole saw on each shim.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    edited March 2022
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    If you have enough room, you might consider getting a marble threshhold to put under the radiator. I've done this with a couple of my radiators, and it really looks nice. It also lets the legs slide when the radiator expands without making any noise.

    Another possibility is to use radiator pedestals. These are like little cast iron foot extesions that almost look like they're part of the radiator. They'd need to be shortened to fit.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,666
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    Take the reducing bushing and extension off the riser, replace it with a reducing ell with the outlet perpendicular to the wall, screw a street ell in to that at whatever angle you need to screw it in to the radiator valve, you will need a nipple on the other end of the street ell, wither at the reducing ell or between the valve and the street ell. The length of that nipple could give you some flexibility.
  • branimal
    branimal Member Posts: 210
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    Unless the bushing is eccentric, a reducing bushing on the radiator will allow water to pool in the bottom. Reducing the vertical is always better for drainage. Also, if you could use a 45° elbow, water won't stay in the valve body.

    Initially I had it piped with a 45 elbow. This would have required large shim blocks.
  • branimal
    branimal Member Posts: 210
    edited March 2022
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    @branimal no a coupling and a nipple will raise the radiator

    I think you have it as close as your going to get it.

    Your supply pipe is 1" if you changed to a 1" valve with 1" fittings being smaller you might be able to get it closer

    Your piping between two fixed points that don't change, the pipe through the floor and the height of the radiator. With only a couple of threads in between it can be tough to get it exact

    Why not stain some wood to match the floor and cut it up and use it for shims?

    Thanks Ed. Is there a chart the lists heights of black pipe fittings? I always do a dry run to see how things fit. With cast iron plumbing pipes there are charts where you can get a good idea on how things will measure out.

    Regarding the shims, yeah I might end up doing just that. I did that for another radiator. Cut some matching hardwood flooring scraps to size and rounded over the edges. Stain and poly. Hopefully they won't even be noticed.

    Here are the shims I made (1 1/16" thick) for another radiator. I still have to stain and poly the routed edges.



  • branimal
    branimal Member Posts: 210
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    What is below the floor in that photo? Is it the basement with easy access to install a shorter nipple thru the floor? Or is it on the second (or third) floor with a finished ceiling below it?

    Sometimes you want to fix a future floor settling problem today and not when you are much older and have a hard time getting into the tight spaces you could when you were a kid.

    A street 45° with a new floor opening, an eccentric bushing 1-1/2" to 1", and a shorter nipple thru the floor is ideal. But we all can't always get what we wish for and may just have to go with what is available.

    Nice floor

    Mr.Ed

    Below this is the 2nd floor apartment. I will be renovating that next. So maybe I'll repipe it then. A 45* would be ideal. I thought laying my valve on its side would cause water pooling in the valve body and hence hammering. But no problems yet. Today should be a cold day in NYC so I'll see how she holds up.
  • branimal
    branimal Member Posts: 210
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    mattmia2 said:

    Take the reducing bushing and extension off the riser, replace it with a reducing ell with the outlet perpendicular to the wall, screw a street ell in to that at whatever angle you need to screw it in to the radiator valve, you will need a nipple on the other end of the street ell, wither at the reducing ell or between the valve and the street ell. The length of that nipple could give you some flexibility.

    Interesting idea. I do have a reducing elbow in my parts box. Just need to get a street elbow.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    Pipe fittings vary a lot from one manufacturer to the next. You need to use trial and error.

    I think the radiator with the two blocks under the feet would look great on a piece of marble threshhold. You definitely want something under those feet or else they'll ruin that flooring.

    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    branimal
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    For comparison, here's one of my radiators on a marble slab. This one is set into the tilework, but I think it would look nice on top of a hardwood floor too.

    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    branimaldelcrossvwlgann
  • branimal
    branimal Member Posts: 210
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    Pipe fittings vary a lot from one manufacturer to the next. You need to use trial and error.

    I think the radiator with the two blocks under the feet would look great on a piece of marble threshhold. You definitely want something under those feet or else they'll ruin that flooring.

    Is the flooring you posted laminate or LVP? Would that sort damage occur to 3/4" thick white oak floors? I was under the impression that the hardness of oak floors would resist depressions from radiators.

    This is the largest radiator I have and it's been sitting on the floor for 3 days with no damage so far. Maybe that changes over time. I got lucky on the pipe height for this rad - it was a perfect fit.




  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    branimal said:

    Is the flooring you posted laminate or LVP? Would that sort damage occur to 3/4" thick white oak floors? I was under the impression that the hardness of oak floors would resist depressions from radiators.

    It must be vinyl, but it wasn't supposed to do that. I'm sure the damage to solid hardwood flooring would look different, but I wouldn't trust it not to do any damage. Eventually I plan to put marble slabs under all of my radiators.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    branimal
  • branimal
    branimal Member Posts: 210
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    mattmia2 said:
    Take the reducing bushing and extension off the riser, replace it with a reducing ell with the outlet perpendicular to the wall, screw a street ell in to that at whatever angle you need to screw it in to the radiator valve, you will need a nipple on the other end of the street ell, wither at the reducing ell or between the valve and the street ell. The length of that nipple could give you some flexibility.
    You upped my rad installation playbook!!!!  Worked out perfectly.  I’m guessing the pitch off the valve will give the condensate enough speed to evacuate the regular 90 elbow.
    mattmia2
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,478
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    Radiators move as they heat up because the iron expands. It's not a lot for the average radiator but over the years solid oak floors will see damage from the back and forth movement,

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    Hap_Hazzardethicalpaul
  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 512
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    You chose a great wood and I wouldn't worry and go overboard as the
    White Oak Hardwood is strong with a tight grain
    It gets a Janka rating of 1360, it comes harder than the Red Oak. 
    I'd even let it be and see what it looks like in a season...If you cover the floor no one will see it now or later anyway.. you might as well get the benefits of the wood and the premium price you paid and show it off..
    Just my 2¢ ✌️
    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
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    What's the Janka rating of cast iron?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    mattmia2Hap_Hazzardreggi
  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 512
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    What's the Janka rating of cast iron?
    It wouldn't be a Janka rating... Cast iron varies in by  different scales hardness...
    but you already knew this. 😶

    Brinell hardness will scale the hardness of materials by the penetration depth of an indenter, which means we need to punch a small pit on the surface of the metal castings.

    The Rockwell hardness determines the hardness by measuring the depth of penetration of an indenter under a large load compared to the penetration made by a preload.

    The Vickers hardness has the same basic principle as with all common measures of hardness, is to observe the questioned material's ability to resist plastic deformation from a standard source.

    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
    delcrossv
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,666
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    If the issue is that is slides around and cuts in to the floor as it slides you could put pieces of moderately thick synthetic rubber of plastic sheet under the feet.