Before I break something...


  #1  
Old 10-26-05, 12:53 PM
Douglas in CT
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Before I break something...

Hi,
I have a single pipe, cast iron, Steam Radiator system in my 1931 house.
Two radiators need to be removed, sand-blasted and re-installed.

Single pipe from wall goes hoizontally into a ON/OFF valve and then at it's 90 degree fittng to a large Nut which connects the valve to a short pipe & nut into the bottom end of the radiator.

Problem:
Both large nuts are very tight and give me no indication of correct direction to loosen them. Looks like it will need BIG MUSCLE to undo them.

Question:
When viewed top-down and facing the end of the radiator:
Which way do I turn the large NUT?
Do I need to counteract the torque with another wrench?

Thank you.
 
  #2  
Old 10-26-05, 07:35 PM
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Radiator unions

If you look at the nuts along the pipe run, you will notice one side is closed & the other open. Usually it is the radiator side which is open. If this is the case, you would want to turn them counter-clockwise as you face the radiator. A back up wrench is always a good idea. Sometimes they need a little encouragement from a hammer or torch. Don't get too carried away because they are usually brass.
 
  #3  
Old 11-02-05, 01:59 PM
Douglas in CT
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Thank You!

Thanks to your advice, nothing was broken during the removal.

I looked to see which end of the nut was "open" and figured out the direction of turn.

The nuts would not budge while In the "cold" state.
So, by turning the heating system ON, and letting the metal heat up and then turning the system OFF, I was easily able to loosen the nuts.

The radiators are now back from the sandblaster.

After some interesting reading elsewhere, I discovered that "flat black" painted surfaces radiate more heat than any other color. So I went down to auto parts store and picked up some Hi Temp Engine spray paint for the radiators.

PS:
Those cast iron radiators are HEAVY!
 
  #4  
Old 11-02-05, 04:03 PM
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Thumbs up Douglas

You learn quickly & well. Most people would not have thought about heating the metal by turning on the system. Good Job.
Sounds like you've been visiting my friends at HeatingHelp.Com.
When it comes to steam, if I knew 1/4 of what most of them have forgotten, people around here would think I was a steam wizzard. Most homeowners would die before they would even consider painting a radiator flat black. It comes down to "Do you want efficient or pretty?" & 99.99% would go with pretty. You are one of the few smart ones.

Now you know what is meant by "heavy metal". Just wait until to tackle a boiler.
 
  #5  
Old 11-02-05, 04:24 PM
nynextek
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Flat Black

Will Flat Black Paint work the same with Baseboard Heaters? If I can ever get my front heaters working I may paint em' ! (The sheet Metal Covers that is.)
 
  #6  
Old 11-02-05, 04:42 PM
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Basebord color

Baseboard heats almost entirely by convection. The flat black is more for radiation.
 
  #7  
Old 11-03-05, 05:53 AM
Douglas in CT
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Originally Posted by Grady
Y Most homeowners would die before they would even consider painting a radiator flat black. It comes down to "Do you want efficient or pretty?" & 99.99% would go with pretty. You are one of the few smart ones.
As I like to say....
Don't call me "cheap"!
.
.
.
Call me "FRUGAL".
 
 

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