steam heat, new boiler, leaking radiators

Old 01-19-06, 10:38 AM
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steam heat, new boiler, leaking radiators

I have just purchased a house with steam heat (from 1945). Shortly after we bought it (but before we moved in) the boiler boiled dry and cracked. We had a new boiler installed.

We're getting a lot of water leakage from several of the radiators. The leakage is around the union nut.

1) Is there anything about the new boiler that might make leaks more likely (say if it's too big)? (Note that water damage to the floors near the radiators suggest that there have been leaks in the past.)

2) What can we do about leaks? Should we replace the radiators? Try to tighten the nut? Take the radiator off and clean the mating surfaces? Use some kind of sealant or compound?

3) Should I decide to hire someone to do this stuff, what type of person am I looking for, and what would I expect to pay, more or less?

Old 01-19-06, 05:09 PM
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If it is leaking around the valve stem nut, try snugging the nut. If this does not help, the valves can be repacked. Packing material is available at any plumbing supply house.
Old 01-19-06, 06:55 PM
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If someone replaced the valves and did not replace the union half on the radiator, it will probably be impossible to stop the leakage. I have seen it a timr or two where the threads in the nut will thread onto the valve but the taper or shape of the union half will not mate with the other and leak like a sieve. There are other reasons why there would be so much water at the radiator inlet but if the rest of the system is working properly, lets start with the mis-matched unions.


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