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  • Anyone working with steam radiators??

    Does anyone out there do installations of steam and hot water cast iron radiators??

    If you do, I'm looking for some new ideas in removing the old valve tailpieces and for shimming the radiator to fit the new valve.

    We have been installing more and more used radiators and it occurred to me that there must be a better way to remove the old tailpiece from the tapping that it has resided in for the last 70-80 years.
    Cutting into the brass with a chisel before using a wrench and persuader, are effective but someone must have another method that isn't as messy or time consuming. Using a sawzall or grinder is not always possible or desirable. Anyone have a better, easier or faster method?

    Also does anyone have a new method of shimming the rads? We use metal washers, bushings, pieces of copper,etc. but I'm certain someone has a better idea that would be quick and sturdy.

    Looking for new ideas!!!

  • #2
    Re: Anyone working with steam radiators??

    We do a good bit of steam work. Not a big fan of it though. Tough sledding getting those old spuds apart, huh?

    The first thing I do is spray some WD40 on the joint a day ahead of time if I have the opportunity. The spud wrench usually is ineffective at removing the old spud. Always breaks the tabs off. I just wack the nut to split it with a good sharp cold chisel about 4 " long. Once the nut is off a small pipe wrench with a helper bar turns them right out. To keep the brass from egg shaping I stuff a steel nipple up inside or my swaging tool. Once it eggs out, it becomes a fight. When they break off flush with the cast iron bushing I use a pipe extractor.

    For shimming, I usually use sheet lead pounded into tight squares. Looks like hell but it works and will last forever. If it's more than 1/2" you should change the riser nipple.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Anyone working with steam radiators??

      Thanks for the reply. We do it about the same as you, but someone must have an easier faster method.

      The only comment I have is that changing the riser nipple is usually not an option especially on the second floor.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Anyone working with steam radiators??

        i use the hard plastic toliet shims to pitch the rad. and yep the tits in the spud allways break i just bust out the 24" wrench and bite down on the ground joint to remove has always worked..

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Anyone working with steam radiators??

          Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
          We do a good bit of steam work. Not a big fan of it though. Tough sledding getting those old spuds apart, huh?

          The first thing I do is spray some WD40 on the joint a day ahead of time if I have the opportunity. The spud wrench usually is ineffective at removing the old spud. Always breaks the tabs off. I just wack the nut to split it with a good sharp cold chisel about 4 " long. Once the nut is off a small pipe wrench with a helper bar turns them right out. To keep the brass from egg shaping I stuff a steel nipple up inside or my swaging tool. Once it eggs out, it becomes a fight. When they break off flush with the cast iron bushing I use a pipe extractor.

          For shimming, I usually use sheet lead pounded into tight squares. Looks like hell but it works and will last forever. If it's more than 1/2" you should change the riser nipple.
          Dan H. would be proud! They're not all dead!
          I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Anyone working with steam radiators??

            done hundred of them. Cut off the spud flush with the radiator, Cut in with the sawzall, remove the nipple with a chisel. Takes less than 5 minutes.
            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Anyone working with steam radiators??

              Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
              We do a good bit of steam work. Not a big fan of it though. Tough sledding getting those old spuds apart, huh?

              The first thing I do is spray some WD40 on the joint a day ahead of time if I have the opportunity. The spud wrench usually is ineffective at removing the old spud. Always breaks the tabs off. I just wack the nut to split it with a good sharp cold chisel about 4 " long. Once the nut is off a small pipe wrench with a helper bar turns them right out. To keep the brass from egg shaping I stuff a steel nipple up inside or my swaging tool. Once it eggs out, it becomes a fight. When they break off flush with the cast iron bushing I use a pipe extractor.

              For shimming, I usually use sheet lead pounded into tight squares. Looks like hell but it works and will last forever. If it's more than 1/2" you should change the riser nipple.
              { NIPPLE CHANGE} What if the 1st floor is an old lath and plaster ceiling , and
              customer doesn't want it opened?
              I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Anyone working with steam radiators??

                Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                { NIPPLE CHANGE} What if the 1st floor is an old lath and plaster ceiling , and
                customer doesn't want it opened?
                I only cut holes down below if I have too.

                Open up the floor around the nipple coming up. Wrap a piece of string around the 90 in the floor and tie it off to the leg of the radiator Now stick your basin wrench down there to hold back on the 90. Be sure you have a good bite. Then back out the old nipple and install new. The string is to keep the pipe from dropping down

                The new eschusheon should cover the hole in the floor.

                It's a little tricky and a lot risky, but if you are careful it can be done with moderate success.

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