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Spud Removal Tips?

Hi guys, I'm going to change a couple radiator valves and will have to replace the matching spud that goes into the radiator. Any tips on making removal any easier? Heat, penetrating oil, anything?

I haven't attempted removal yet but I am anticipating a fight. The valves are pretty old and I imagine the spud isn't going to want to budge. I'll cut and chisel it out if I have to, I'm just hoping to maximize my chances of success.

And is one spud wrench better than others?


  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,782
    Hi, Here's a good start from 2005: https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/comment/897383#Comment_897383

    Yours, Larry
  • offdutytech
    offdutytech Member Posts: 90

    Here are the tools that I use when replacing a spud if it won't back out. Honestly most of the time I just skip right to cutting them out for customers. We did 20 of them the other week. I use a carbide sawzal blade that I modify to fit inside 3/4 pipe. Simply use a angle grinder to make a slimmer profile on the blade. I use a port band to cut the spud just behind the union. I just feel it's more gentle on old pipes rather than the sawzal vibrating the heck out of them.  Once the radiator is free and clear of the valve. Use the sawzal to slice the inside of the spud. Keep checking to make sure you don't go too deep into the brass, but just enough so that you don't go all the way to the radiator threads. I find that once I can cut the first piece of the pie out, I can use a cape chisel to slowly back out the brass spud. I use the angle needle nose to get in and remove small cut pieces so they don't fall into the radiator. If the radiator is on tile floor it comes completely out and removed to a safe area where you won't damage tile if you need to chisel a bit more. I just carry a scrap piece of plywood on my service van to protect the floors if I need to remove a radiator along with heavy drop cloths

  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 535
    Thanks guys!  My radiators are 75-100 years old so I'm counting on cutting them out.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,096
    first try cutting the nut off the spud. Then jamb something inside the spud so it won't collapse. Put a wrench on it and crank it out.

    Most of the time it will come out without chiseling or slicing the spud
  • Dan_NJ
    Dan_NJ Member Posts: 216
    Gordo had a great video of some leverage techniques and a modified tool or two he used for spud removal in general. If I have time later I'll see if I can find a link.
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,278
    I always try the spud wrench first, once in a great while I am surprised by it unscrewing.

    But most of the time it breaks off the internal nubs that will then let you drive a smaller pipe inside to prevent collapsing the spud as ED said above.

    But first cut the end of the spud off to get the nut out of the way. Leave the spud as long as possible, just cut the union face off.
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 642
    Not much to add here, but so many people think its a quick and easy job. We've done many and sometimes is easier to simply filet out the old components as compared to busing out one of our four foot pipe wrenches. I agree with @offdutytech 100%.
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 535
    Thanks again everyone!  While we are on the subject...any thoughts on removing the old valve from the pipe?

    Was planning on but a good size wrench on the pipe and an even bigger one on the valve.  Then give ithe'll???

    Would hate to crush or twist the pipe.  That would not be an easy fix.
  • offdutytech
    offdutytech Member Posts: 90
    Have an array of pipe wrenches with you. A second set of hands can be helpful to help you back up the pipe. On the chance that you oval the pipe just have a plan in place if you need to cut and thread pipe. 
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 681
    If you are going to use a spud wrench on the spuds, also use a 6" Ridgid pipe wrench with a cheater pipe, of course, on the nipple part. Turn both at the same time being careful with the spud wrench since the internal tits are fragile and may break off. If this does not work, cut off the union nut as others have said, stick something inside the protruding spud to keep it from crushing and use a pipe wrench to remove the spud. If the spud end breaks off as it sometimes does, then you will have to slit the nipple in 2 places and use chisels to remove the broken piece. Have a can of Expando handy in case you cut too far into the rad threads. I always used a manual saw like a drywall saw that can be purchased at almost any home builders store so I did not ruin a good radiator. Having a skilled person do this work may save lots of $$$. The guys on this site have done this many. many times, so don't be afraid to use one of them. Oh yes, always use a good pair of work gloves to save your knuckles and hands. My 2 cents.