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Rotted Radiator

garrettgjp Member Posts: 26
Hey all, the first of my 95-year-old radiators failed. I discovered these leaks while prepping to have my floors redone. Is this a typical location for radiators to fail? I figured I would see one fail between sections rather than at this spot.

I didn't notice the leak during the heating season, and the flooring and baseboard around it are showing signs of some slight water damage. Glad I discovered it now and especially before having the oak floors redone!


  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,732
    Kind of looks like that might have been a defect in the casting that took a while to work loose. I think i see an air vent and only one connection so this is 1 pipe steam?
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 3,327
    edited June 2
    Defective casting? Is that still under warranty? My mother's cousin would do handyman repairs after he retired from Bond Bread, He said he offered a lifetime warranty on all his repairs. "His Lifetime".

    All bets are off now ,he died in the 1980's
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,144
    Don't think I've seen pinhole leaks like that before... I think I'd try cleaning the area to bare metal and sealing with JB Weld.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • garrettgjp
    garrettgjp Member Posts: 26
    It's a 2-pipe vapor system, I was very surprised to find the leak in that spot. I figured that all my rads would exceed my lifetime! I'll get out the wire brush it and see how it looks. If you think I can patch it up with JB weld I might give it a shot, this side sits towards the wall so I don't have to worry about how it looks too much.
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 571
    I think the casting flaw hypothesis is good. Interesting that the two leaks on different sections are so similar--in the exact same location. JB Weld is your best bet. Remove all the paint and rust where you want the JBW to bond. Sand or grind it to bright metal. The hole cavity itself can't be "too big" or the tube-mix JBW will sag into it. They also make a "knead-able" JBW putty that would work in a "too large hole" situation.
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 457
    My adventures with JB Weld have never been permanent enough, hopefully you have better luck than I did. You next best option would be to just remove that section of the radiator. Splitting sections is actually much easier than you would think.

    Get some metal splitting wedges and put them on each side of the section you want to split. A couple taps with a heavy hammer and they should open right up.
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 571
    I agree that removing the bad sections would be the best option. The rad sections are rusting from the inside-out. Any JBW fix will not be permanent. I have removed freeze-broken section on three different radiators and reassembled them with success. Removing and replacing the push-nipples is a little tricky.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,732
    psb75 said:

    I think the casting flaw hypothesis is good.

    I know I suggested it but the corrosion might just be following the grain structure of the ci too.