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Bronze pipe adapter

nlongworth2 Member Posts: 13

Hello all,

I have two pipe steam. I recently had a radiator sandblasted and repainted. When taking it off of the system, the return side had a 1/2" NPT male to female fitting to extend the reach of the return to the steam trap. Almost seemed like the pipes were placed just a little too far apart (the age of the radiator makes it likely it is original). This fitting was bronze and it was damaged when removing it from the radiator.

I'm having trouble finding a replacement. The prime buy link below shows a brass version of what I need. Local hardware stores only have it in brass as well. My understanding is brass cannot be used in steam systems. I've also looked at other designs like the cast iron one in the McMaster Carr link below but the body is too long.

Any ideas?



mattmia2Mad Dog_2


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,442

    Somebody? Anybody? What is the rationale behind not using brass in a steam system? I can't see why not…

    And a bronze fitting is going to be pretty well unobtainable.

    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Mad Dog_2
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 2,010

    No reason that I know of, not to use brass. Shut off valves are always brass. Pigtails are brass. Drain valves are brass..

  • Waher
    Waher Member Posts: 253
    edited May 9

    brass steam radiator valves are common

    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,076

    Can you post a picture of the damaged fitting? Does a magnet stick to it?

  • nlongworth2
    nlongworth2 Member Posts: 13

    Damaged fitting is no longer around. It was cracked from overtightening of the softer metal.

    My understanding of brass is the water can de-zinc the material leaving a very porous and brittle metal. Maybe at low pressure not a big deal?

  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 748
    edited May 10

    Only if the water is really acidic- and then you'd have other issues. . Brass is fine.

    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,110

    You got Bad Information. Brass & Bronze have been used on steam systems since it's inception. The Old US Navy ship engine rooms were loaded with them. Mad Dog

  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,110

    You can use black malleable fittings, Cast Black fittings, brass or even copper (last choice) if it's the only way to get it together. Mad Dog

  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 988

    Someone gave you bad info. radiator valves and thermostatic traps are both made from brass.

    Mad Dog_2