Author Topic: Radiator Woe!  (Read 1089 times)

Mr Larrington

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Radiator Woe!
« on: January 08, 2019, 12:39:13 am »
I have a radiator which hasn't been turned on in æons but now wants bleeding.  Problems are:
  • The little square wossname that you apply a radiator key to has sheered off, and
  • The plug device into which it is fitted is no longer as hexagonal as the manufacturer intended, no doubt due to a previous attempt to bleed it by a ham-fisted oaf with an adjustable spanner.
The plug at the opposite end is still the right shape but is screwed in tight enow that shifting it seems beyond my puny strength, and I am not convinced that applying MOAR force in the form of a length of tube over the handle of the socket ratchety-thing or clouting same with a big hammer will achieve anything other than rounding this one off too, because it is very likely to be made of cheese.

Any suggestions welcome, especially given that said rad will soon be a bunch less accessible behind a sturdy desk covered in electronickal Apparatus.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2019, 01:11:58 am »
you could drill and retap the bleed screw itself.  Even if you have to go up a thread size and fit a bolt with an O ring (or dowty seal) to make it watertight you will still be able to use this revised fitting to bleed the rad.

The other thing you could do (provided the fitting is steel not brass, quite likely given that it has seized up in the way described) is to MIG weld something to the plug with the sheared off bleed screw in it; the combination of something to swing on/slog together  with the heat of welding may make the fitting come out rather more easily than you imagine.

[edit; if the bleed fitting is brass and has an external full hexagon that has been a bit mangled, it can (if necessary) be carefully filed to a smaller size. When trying to shift it, use a full hexagon socket (not a bi-hexagon socket) that fits well.  It is quite normal to get appreciable benefit in this regard by grinding the end of the socket square; the usual counterbore/lead in at the mouth of the socket usually robs it of engagement on shallow fittings.]

cheers

Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2019, 08:40:23 am »
Probably easiest simplest just to replace the rad.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2019, 07:13:13 pm »
Especially if it's a standard size....
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2019, 08:15:41 pm »
Personally I would go for a new rad.  There are replacement bleed screws out there but it is a minefield as these are provided by the manufacturers with the rad from new and there are loads of different models.

e.g.


https://www.bleedscrews.co.uk/finding-correct-bleed-screw/

Radiators are not particularly expensive for moderate sizes and will not take an experienced plumber very long to fit should you not be inclined to do it yourself.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2019, 12:22:00 am »
Especially if it's a standard size....

Aren't radiator sizes a bit like clothing sizes vs people sizes?  In that modern radiators have one set of values, and the gaps between the pipes where the old one used to be get another set of interleaving values...

OTOH, fitting a radiator, even with a bit of pipe extendificationising, is the sort of plumbing even I can do without fucking it up.  The hanging-on-the-wall arrangement is likely to be the challenging bit.  That would seem like a good option where the alternative is one with established corrosion and ham-fisted oaf problems.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2019, 01:54:09 am »
Especially if it's a standard size....

Aren't radiator sizes a bit like clothing sizes vs people sizes?  In that modern radiators have one set of values, and the gaps between the pipes where the old one used to be get another set of interleaving values...

OTOH, fitting a radiator, even with a bit of pipe extendificationising, is the sort of plumbing even I can do without fucking it up.  The hanging-on-the-wall arrangement is likely to be the challenging bit.  That would seem like a good option where the alternative is one with established corrosion and ham-fisted oaf problems.

I used some very simple adjusters a few years ago. As I remember it was a case of pull to length and then twist to tighten and lock. Took about 30 seconds and allowed a new radiator to replace an old room.

Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2019, 09:15:46 pm »
allowed a new radiator to replace an old room.

Tardis brand, I presume?

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2019, 10:02:38 am »
;D
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2019, 11:08:19 pm »
I was going to suggest moving house, but that type of radiator sounds like a much better solution.

Gattopardo

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Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2019, 11:47:52 pm »
Depending on the size, and cost just replace the rad.

Is it a metric or imperial size that might be a pain but not so.

I think I have a replacement plug somewhere, can dig it out for you.

Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2019, 09:12:54 am »
If you replace the rad and don't want to modify the incoming pipework you can get telescopic radiator tails which should allow sufficient adjustment to account for the different width of the old and new radiators.  You can also get rigid valve extensions which can be cut to length.  These are pretty low cost.  I've never used them but watch this thread with interest as I need to replace a downstairs rad where the pipes go under a concrete screed so I'm rather stuck with their current position.

Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2019, 01:31:24 am »
might I just mention that correct use of drill and tap is likely to be a ten minute job?  If it doesn't work, then think about replacing the rad....?

cheers

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2019, 09:51:04 am »
might I just mention that correct use of drill and tap is likely to be a ten minute job?  If it doesn't work, then think about replacing the rad....?

Though this doesn't include the two days required to clear the room to the point of the radiator being accessible and the same again for putting everything back afterwards ;D
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

PaulF

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Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2019, 10:10:50 am »
I’m surprised that nobody has suggested dusting off and nuking the site from orbit. I is the only way to be sure 😂

Standards are slipping!

Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2019, 10:15:45 am »
OTOH, fitting a radiator, even with a bit of pipe extendificationising, is the sort of plumbing even I can do ...
Kim's done much more complex stuff than I have, and I managed it once, as well. My brother came to stay, so we moved my (then young) daughter out of her room overnight. He's a building services engineer, so he took one look and said that the reason that her room was always a bit cold was that the radiator was under-sized. It's the box room, and I think Wimpey had realised that an appropriately-sized radiator would prevent a bed from fitting in as well...

My brother recommended a two-panel radiator because of not taking up wall space, and I found one of the same height and width as the original. We managed to get one of those high bunks with a desk underneath, again because of it being the box room. The two are an interference fit. I had to build the bed completely in situ, doing all the back screws first.

That was several decades ago, and I've no plans to move anything, not least because any replacement probably wouldn't fit.

Re: Radiator Woe!
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2019, 11:14:10 am »
Bit of a palava, but if you didn't want to move the desk [you might have to pull it away from the wall a foot or so.....if you can!] or change the rad..

Has the rounded hexagonal nut got enough visible metal to get a pipe wrench round it?

If so, then, making sure both rad valves are switched off, I'd drain the rad half way down [no need to empty it all] and....

i try the pipe wrench first
ii  get a blow torch on the nut and give it plenty of heat, then cool it down.....then try
iii get some freeze spray to break the seal ...and try again

and you should be able to shift that nut and put a new bleed valve in there
Garry Broad