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Reassembling a steam radiator

I have disassembled a steam radiator to shorten it for installation. It was easy to bang apart the vents. There are no rods holding the unit together. My question is:
the tapered nipples fit snugly enough but the last three vents want to fall away.
Is there some kind of sealant or "liquid steal" I can use on the nipples to secure the unit to its original tightness>


  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,852
    edited December 2022
    Pictures needed

    There needs to be a mechanical way to hold a push nipple in place. I have never experienced any type of adhesive for that purpose.

    Others with more experience may have ideas

    Edward Young Retired

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

  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,210
    edited December 2022
    The old Steam Only (pre - mid 1920s) STEAM radiators had only one set of nipples which were on the bottom. Those radiators were held together with threaded nipples. The sections were tapped and had to be screwed together using the threaded nipples to hold them together. Today they are impossible to get apart unless you force them usually pulling the iron threads out of the sections.

    Newer Steam or Hot Water (after mid 1920s) radiators were usually equipped with two sets of push nipples - top and bottom. These were smooth tapered "slip nipples". These section were secured with threaded tension rods.

    If your radiator had no rods securing the sections and only has one row of nipples, you broke it.

    And no, don't think I have more experience than TheHeaterMan.