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Radiator Valve Rebuild

1. I've got these valves apart and have read previous posts about valve material. I'm wondering if anyone thinks automotive exhaust manifold gasket material is a good idea. If not, is there a preferred material anyone can suggest. Rubber doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

2. School me please. Is it proper to use one pipe steam radiator valves as a means to adjust (choke off) the steam that is available to an individual radiator or are they meant to be all the open or all the way shut?

ccstelmo

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,424
    What's the matter with rubber? It's been used for years...

    On one pipe steam, the radiator valves must always be fully open when the system is operating, unless you are really sure they actually seal steam tight, in which case they can be fully closed -- but never in between. If you need to control the heat from a one pipe steam radiator, the vent (usually at the opposite end) can be changed (or some can be adjusted without changing them).
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,997
    What type of valve and where to you want to use this material? There are various synthetic "rubbers" that have good heat and water resistance properties but non-moving parts of an assembly usually do better with something a bit firmer. Mcmaster-Carr is a great source for all sorts of types and thicknesses of sheet gasket and synthetic rubber.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,424
    I might note that you mention automotive exhaust manifold gasket material. Um, no. It's designed to seal, for sure, when properly torqued down between two remarkably rigid faces. It is NOT designed for the compression to be released and then retorqued; If correctly torqued, it is always in heavy compression. it will never seal properly if re-used. Once and done. Applies to pretty much any gasket material, for that matter.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,997
    They are looking for the actual bib washer/valve disc/whatever you want to call it. The originals were probably leather. You can get teflon washers that will last forever but can be a bit difficult to get to seal. There are other washers rated for various temps, a good supplier has a chart with different sizes and temps.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,781
    Most disks are made of something like phenolic or Bakelite. I’ve only seen one made of rubber, but rubber is easier to find. 
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • ccstelmo
    ccstelmo Member Posts: 14
    Hmmm .. I'm trying to get my mind around this. What is the reason for including a radiator valve in the system if it should not be closed and it is not for modulating the steam available to the radiator?
    These are old Hammond valves produced sometime prior to 1938.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,424
    ccstelmo said:

    Hmmm .. I'm trying to get my mind around this. What is the reason for including a radiator valve in the system if it should not be closed and it is not for modulating the steam available to the radiator?
    These are old Hammond valves produced sometime prior to 1938.

    It is a good question, and if it cheers you up any it's a fairly common one. The valve is only there for maintenance -- it means you can turn the steam to that radiator off if you need to change the vent, for instance, or move it to paint the wall or something, without turning off the whole system.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,781
    If you want to decrease the output from a radiator, you can install a slower vent so it will take longer to fill with steam, or throw a rug or blanket over it, or build a wooden box or cabinet around it. Most radiator cabinets reduce the output significantly because they don’t allow air to circulate around the radiator. 
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24