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What wrench to use for removing steam radiators?

Steve D_2
Steve D_2 Member Posts: 7
A crescent (adjustable)wrench will not try to squeeze the nut onto the threads, so will probably work better if the nut is stuck in place. You can also try heating the nut a little with a torch to expand it.


  • Vito Cavallo
    Vito Cavallo Member Posts: 23
    What wrench to use for removing steam radiators?

    I have an old 1905 house that has steam radiators. I would like to remove these radiators so I can refinish the wood floors. What kind of wrench do I need to loosen the radiator nut? I tried a regular pipe wrench, but the teeth dig into the soft nut and create sharp marks.

    Do they make a wrench without teeth? Can I rent this wrench?

    Thank You
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    A large monkey wrench will work as will a large Crescent-type wrench. Monkey wrenches look sort of like Stilson (pipe) wrenches, but have smooth jaws. A heavy piece of rubber or a few layers of denim in the jaws of a Stilson wrench will greatly reduce marring.

    Make certain you're turning the correct way as it's easy to confuse yourself with radiator unions and valves. The big nut you see stays "captive" on the radiator side. If connection is on the right side of the radiator pull up to loosen; if on the left side of the radiator push down to loosen.
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