radiator spud broke - what now


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Old 06-06-06, 02:10 PM
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radiator spud broke - what now

I was trying to take out the brass radiator spud (on a cast iron rad) and in the process it broke apart leaving behind the rest inside the bushing(?). I am a novice and was attempting to follow all the previous advice on how to do this obviously difficult task. The way I did it was first was to try a spud wrench which promptly broke the tabs inside. I has used liquid wrench first. Then I took the sawzall route. Cutting the union nut and then trying several cycles of liquid wrench and the big wrench. No juice.
Then I cut three notches on the face of the spud and drove a chisel through. That seemed to work at first. Cracks appeared but when I tried to wrench it loose, a section of the spud just fell off. And then like a fool I tried to use the remaining section to wrench of again and that last piece broke off too.

So what are my options now? Do i have to scrap that rad or it can be salvaged? If I try to chisel the piece left inside will it destroy the threads on the bushing? Or is there a way to take the bushing out? Thanks folks for reading so far.

-PK
 
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Old 06-06-06, 06:39 PM
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Broken Radiator Spud

You have encountered Mr. Murphy, author of Murphy's Law. Sorry but I've been there & done that.
Here's something else to try before you scrap the rad or call in the pros. Use a hacksaw blade to cut a couple of grooves in the remaining spud no more than 1/6th the circumference of the spud apart. Then using a SMALL HAMMER & CHISEL (a cape chisel works best), try to cut out the area between the saw cuts. Try very hard not to gouge the threads of the rad. Repeat until you get it all out.
Another option is to drill it out & retap the threads in the rad.
Good luck & let me know how it goes.
 
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Old 06-06-06, 07:15 PM
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radiator spud broke

Thanks Grady for the advice. I will try that tomorrow. What is a cape chisel? Can I get that at a place like Home Depot?

Also is trying to remove the bushing itself a bad idea? Or a pro plumber will resort to it? I am asking because a bunch of the radiators have basically very stuck valves on them. Very old valves too. I presume they have not been touched for decades now. We are redoing the flooring on the second floor anyway. So my original idea was to replace all the valves. But perhaps it is better to call in the plumber to do the rest.

I started with the single rad on the third floor and already it seems like a job that I do not have the necessary skills and tools to do it. I am pretty handy otherwise, re-did the entire hot/cold plumbing, electricity, floors, tiles, etc. This one ha me totally stumped.

-PK
 
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Old 06-06-06, 08:06 PM
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Cape Chisel

A cape chisel is wedge shaped only on one side. _____\ Using your imagination on my "drawing", slope the diagonal line a bit more & shorten it & you have a cape chisel. Not likely you'll find it at a big box other than maybe Sears.
Don't feel bad. Old radiators can be quite a challenge sometimes even whipping old geezers such as myself. Before tackling the next one, throw some heat on the spud. Might help, might not. Good luck & keep me abreast of your progress.
 
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Old 06-13-06, 05:03 PM
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Solved - spud + bushing is out

I could not find a cape chisel although I did not try Sears here locally. I can find it on the web and learnt a lot. But I managed to get the bushings out with a little liquid wrench, an 18" pipe wrench, couple of friends and lot of elbow grease.
This is what we did: lay the radiator on its side - it is pretty heavy. liquid wrench and a lot of tapping with a blunt chisel and a hammer on the bushing. Then the pipe-wrench with another 1.5" old piece of pipe to make the handle longer. Anyway it worked. Hopefully we did not damage the radiator in the process.

Now it is time to attach the fitting and test it to find out.
Thanks Grady for being there during the frustrating few days.

-PK
 
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Old 06-13-06, 05:35 PM
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Smile Congrats

Way to go. Check the rad carefully around the bushing & inside the threads. Look closely for cracks. Hopefully there are none. It does my heart good to know there are still people out there willing to work & improvise rather than just throwing these old radiators away.
 
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Old 06-14-06, 09:09 AM
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One quick question

I love the radiator heat. It is multipurpose from drying towels, wet shoes, keeping some clothes warm, etc etc

Our walls are out in most places and so I can access most of the old and fat iron pipes. Is it worthwhile replacing them with 3/4" copper pipes. Each radiator has independent in/out pipes from main ring of 2" pipes in the basement. I was thinking of replacing upto the main ring from the radiators.
Is it a good idea at all? It is a 80year old house if that makes any difference. The boiler is new (3yrs, Burnham) with 1-1/4" copper pipes connected to the 2" iron pipes. No zoning.

-PK
 
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Old 06-14-06, 11:08 AM
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Replacing pipes

One good thing about iron pipes is they last a long, long time. With the radiator(s) you've disconnected you should be able to get an idea of the interior condition of the pipes. If they look good with no signs of serious rust, I'd leave them alone other than adding some insulation.
 
 

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