Leaking Steam Radiator HELP!

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    • #274269
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      I am not very plumber literate but I have a rapid leak when I turn the radiator on. It comes from the coupling between the inlet valve and the actual radiator. I tried to put a higher shim under the opposite side but that only made it worse. Is it corroded? Maybe? Can that be sealed up with anything? Help- a snowstorm is on its way! Thank you.

    • #289473

      You have a leak so the possibility of corrosion is high. Lifting the radiator made the leak worsw, so there is a crack underneath. The radiator valve must be shut, the radiator drained and the pipe repaired. Then water needs to be added to the sealed system.

    • #289474

      Since you stated it “leaks when you turn your radiator on” I will presume it is a steam system as a hot water system is under constant pressure EVEN with the shut off valves closed.( this is to prevent freeze ups)
      What you are describing is the SPUD Nipple inside the radiator connection to the half union is leaking, VERY common problem hopefully repaired by just getting a large pipe wrench and tightening this union GENTLY until the condensate leak stops.

      In the worst case you can crack (partially open this radiator valve) and allow it to just maintain temperature with a small pan under it.

      Unfortunately most of the plumbers I know like myself are taking off Fri-Tue as NY will be under snow any way why bother going out?

      A lot of times these brass fittings do loosen themselves especially in the beginning of the heating season as the coefficient of expansion per degree is not the same for this brass fitting as the cast Iron radiator it is connected to.
      Try calling a local master plumber as we can give you temporary heat EVEN from most cracked radiators if this is indeed the case.

      Some of my “temporary” repairs are still in effect 15 years later.

      Have a great New Year and good luck

    • #289475

      Ah, yes, Milady. Now that you have the words to describe what to tell the plumber when he comes off vacation, whip the pipe wrenches from your sewing cabinet and proceed to apprentice in steam repair. I did see a TV advert where you can buy a can of Leak Stop 2000 to spray on anything to seal such drips.

    • #289476

      O’Connor:
      Help! Hve you ever had to repair anything after the customer used a tube of silicone on all the joints to stop a leak. Or how about the tire repair shops after someone has used a can of Fix-a-Flat. Do not recommend “spraying” anything to repair a leak. It doesn’t usually work and often makes a little job into a major repair or replacement.

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