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Cast Iron Radiators Reinstall

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brett288
brett288 Member Posts: 8
Came to this house to help replace a busted broken cast iron radiator. They were shortening a wall up on the other side of the house so they are taking a 2’ section to replace the blown out section. My question is do I need a sealant on the faces of these radiators before I bolt them back together? Also I haven’t disturbed the sleeve or ferrule in the broken radiator but I need to move one to other two foot section to mate up. Anybody messed with these and have some insight ? Thanks!


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  • brett288
    brett288 Member Posts: 8
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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,640
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    The theory is that those tapered (very slightly) nipples just push together and seal. That's the theory. I'd try it first by cleaning the nipple very thoroughly, and the mating surface of the opening -- no abrasives, please -- and pushing them together firmly. Very firmly. They should hold pressure. If they don't, a very very thin layer of Neverseize or the like may do it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    brett288
  • brett288
    brett288 Member Posts: 8
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    The theory is that those tapered (very slightly) nipples just push together and seal. That's the theory. I'd try it first by cleaning the nipple very thoroughly, and the mating surface of the opening -- no abrasives, please -- and pushing them together firmly. Very firmly. They should hold pressure. If they don't, a very very thin layer of Neverseize or the like may do it.
    Awesome thanks! Any advice on getting the sleeve out of the radiator? Maybe a slide hammer? 
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,640
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    brett288 said:



    The theory is that those tapered (very slightly) nipples just push together and seal. That's the theory. I'd try it first by cleaning the nipple very thoroughly, and the mating surface of the opening -- no abrasives, please -- and pushing them together firmly. Very firmly. They should hold pressure. If they don't, a very very thin layer of Neverseize or the like may do it.

    Awesome thanks! Any advice on getting the sleeve out of the radiator? Maybe a slide hammer? 

    Honestly I've never had to do that. A slide hammer might do it... from the inside back, of course.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • JimP
    JimP Member Posts: 87
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    Normally I twist the old push nipple out with a pipe wrench. That will damage the nipple but since I always use a new nipple this removal method works okay. I clean the interior surface of the old baseboard with abrasive cloth. There’s often a ridge of residual material at the inside end of the old nipple. I try to get the surface clean and smooth. I use joint compound to lubricate the surface between the nipple and cast iron. I’d recommend that you have the special tool to pull the two baseboard sections together.
    The cast iron baseboard is a little fragile at the area of the push nipples. I have had them crack (very rare) at that point (that’s why I remove any ridge or scale before I pull them onto the new nipple).
    This is a different approach than Jamie Hall but it works for me.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,835
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    CI baseboard is usually "baseray" by Burnham or baseboard by Weil mcLain
  • JimP
    JimP Member Posts: 87
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    Weil McLain and Burnham each have their own 3/4” push nipples. Burnham ( what you have) is the most common. Crane makes baseboard that’s somewhat common. American Standard has baseboard that’s less common. American Standard and Weil McLain are similar but different (heavy duty!). I think American Standard is the best quality followed by Weil McLain ( two sizes), then Crane (well designed and easy to work with), and Burnham. I’ve come across four different sizes or styles of older Burnham baseboard.