Tried to remove a radiator for flushing, but the nuts attaching it to the
valves are encrusted in several layers of paint.
Chipped some off but wouldn't budge (not without it breaking something).
(And I think I turned them the right way..)
Any ideas on how to free them up? Almost resigned to just replacing the
radiator and the valves as well, but I don't want the bother of draining
down the system.
Agreed, can be a PITA. Threads may also be "glued" with dried up Boss
White. This can be softened using a normal gas torch. Try heating the
nut about as much as you would do to make a solder joint on "dry" pipe.
It won't get as hot because of the water inside, of course.
The right way is the wrong way (if you see what I mean) because the nut
unscrews from the valve towards the radiator, with a right hand thread.
It is as if you were trying to screw something into the radiator.
It does depend on the valve though... some have a traditional cone joint
where the nut is retained on the rad tail and screws onto the valve.
More recently the tails seem to simply have a protruding length of
chromed 15mm Cu pipe, and the valve in effect has a normal compression
fitting that tightens onto the pipe stub. Needless to say they undo in
the other direction.
(the new sort allow a little lateral adjustment of the valve relative to
Excellent point, I have just fitted a couple of these myself. But they
do seem to be a relatively new development. Very valid points also about
gripping valve and providing reaction force to radiator.
But to repeat earlier point, I have been pleasantly surprised how
linseed oil based sealants do soften up on heating.
The reaction force on the radiator is not one I would have considered,
until I ended up changing my whole kitchen rad rather than just the
valve as I had intended! (SWMBO's comment about "that one always was a
bit wobbly" made more sense when I realised the left lung had obviously
broken off years ago. The one remaining one objected to my manhandling!)
I'm not sure what you mean by that - the "other direction" from what?
Surely, whether it's a cone joint nut or a compression nut, they both
screw onto the valve from the rad side, and both have to be unscrewed
clockwise when looking from the valve to the rad.
Yes, come to think of it I might be talking spherical objects ;-)
They are the "other way round" in the sense that the valve notionally
fixes onto the tail, rather than the tail fixing to the valve - however
the rotation direction should be the same as you highlight. (and once
fitted the backnut is still captive on the rad due to the olive)...
You only *think* you turned them the right way? Check your thoughts
against newshound's reply!
Once have have made sure that you really know the *right* way to turn
them, you will need a spanner with a long handle in order to get
sufficient leverage. Make sure that the spanner is a tight fit, because
you don't want it to slip under load. But if that's *all* you do, you'll
find that the valve will also rotate, and will bend - or even break -
the copper pipe, with undesirable consequences. So you need to hold the
valve with something else, to stop that happening. I sometimes grip the
body of the valve with a Mole Wrench, applied from above, so that the
stem of the valve goes inside the wrench (but isn't gripped by it). I
use tape or rag on the valve body before applying the wrench, to avoid
damaging the chrome. It sometimes helps to have two people if possible -
one holding the valve and the other turning the nut.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.