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Steam radiator shut off valve spitting steam

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mmc239
mmc239 Member Posts: 81
How do I make the shut off valve stop spitting water. 

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  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,153
    edited October 2022
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    Tighten the packing nut

    If the packing nut is already tight, then loosen the nut all the way and lift it off the valve up to the handle. then wrap teflon tape around the valve stem about 6 times and push the packing nut back down on the threads and tighten.

    If that don't work you need a new valve.

    Edward Young Retired

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

  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,711
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    or we have to ask "what's happening at the boiler?", why is wet steam up that high?
    boiler pressure ?
    known to beat dead horses
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,840
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    Be gentle with the nut, don't really crank on it, it is easy to split them. It is better to tighten it until you feel it tighten up and back it off and repeat a couple times than to turn as hard as you can.
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 469
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    Non-pro here. I have had good success with Palmetto 5000. It is made of graphite. Get the 1/8" thick version and cut a length just long enough to wrap once around the valve stem without overlapping. Teflon tape as suggested by @EdTheHeaterMan may work fine as well. I have found the imported tapes are flimsy though and tend to disintegrate.

    https://amazon.com/gp/product/B0087UET0M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1
    EdTheHeaterManAlan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,153
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    Non-pro here. I have had good success with Palmetto 5000. It is made of graphite. Get the 1/8" thick version and cut a length just long enough to wrap once around the valve stem without overlapping. Teflon tape as suggested by @EdTheHeaterMan may work fine as well. I have found the imported tapes are flimsy though and tend to disintegrate.

    https://amazon.com/gp/product/B0087UET0M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1

    Agree with you. Getting a roll of packing gland material is the better choice, however there is a better chance that someone like @mmc239 already has Teflon tape. Save $25.00 with Tax and Shipping

    Edward Young Retired

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

  • mmc239
    mmc239 Member Posts: 81
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    Right now the nut is loose. Do I have to force it down to catch the threads? Does anyone have a video of the repair
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,153
    edited October 2022
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    If the packing nut is loose then it will leak steam and possibly water. Push it down (force is a strong word because that is old and the threads might go together easy or not os easy, but you need to use common sense) and turn it clockwise with your fingers or a spanner (open end) wrench until the threads catch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYS_6_dkkYE

    The video shows the repair with the stem and bonnet removed. You may not need to go that far. If you can get 6 wraps of teflon tape around the stem under the nut, then push the nut back on and tighten, then you are good to go.

    Edward Young Retired

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

    mmc239
  • mmc239
    mmc239 Member Posts: 81
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    Should I remove the old worn gasket before I put the graphite packing in the packing nut?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,544
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    I would. The new graphite packing should so the job very well on its own.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,840
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    Be careful with the old packing, frequently the fiber was asbestos. If you found it not threaded on you might need to close the valve some first. Turn it a turn or 2 by hand to make sure the threads caught correctly so you don't cross thread it.
  • mmc239
    mmc239 Member Posts: 81
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    Ok thanks. The old stuff is not packing. It’s a round gasket. Should I remove it?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,544
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    mmc239 said:

    Ok thanks. The old stuff is not packing. It’s a round gasket. Should I remove it?

    No, unless it is damaged. If it is damaged, you'll need to replace it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,840
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    Or if it is rubber and is crumbling or otherwise deteriorating. If you replace it with teflon string packing the teflon will never rot. You will have to fill it in stages, put some in, tighten the nut to compress it, put a little more in, tighten it gently, maybe add some a 3rd time.
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 994
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    Use fine thread wick. Wrap around stem and put pipe dope on the wick. Tighten packing and you should be all set.

    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Wal-rich-1906020-Ball-Wick