I recently bought a house that has a one-pipe steam heat system. It was a
vacant bank-owned property that I bought as-is, and I will be renting the
property out. I never had steam heat before. The heating system works well
but two or three of the radiators have a very slight drip where the radiator
valve connects to the radiators. I just noticed it today when I moved the
radiator covers to paint them.
I briefly tried tightening the fittings with a pipe wrench, but that didn't
seem to work. I'm thinking the next thing I'll do is turn off the heat,
loosen the connections that are dripping, clean them to make sure there is
no grit or dirt on the threads and contact surfaces, and then tighten them
But, I am wondering..., would it also help to try adding a little bit of
pipe dope to the fittings to try to help assure that they will seal
completely? If so, is there any special type of pipe dope to use that is
better for steam heat fittings?
My hunch is that no pipe dope is required or recommended, but I thought I'd
P.S. I am going to also try posting this question at http://heatinghelp.com
which is a website that someone here suggested to me in the past. I also
bought a book there called "We Got Steam Heat!", but I am only up to page 31
so far so I don't know if this question is answered later in the book.