1. Visiting from the US? Why not try DIYnot.US instead? Click here to continue to DIYnot.US.
    Dismiss Notice

valve at top of cast iron rad is ?broken? water dribbling out

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by studfndr, 5 Sep 2021.

  1. studfndr

    studfndr

    Joined:
    5 Sep 2021
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    Canada
    A picture is worth a thousand words:

    radiator.png

    Here is my thousand words:
    • I have lived in a multi unit rental building for a number of years
    • I was painting one of the rooms slowly over the course of the past couple months.
    • I painted the radiator a month or so ago (for anyone worried about the plain latex paint and ****ty job.. I was going over several existing coats done by past tenants; I didn't ruin anything that was nice)
    • Then I covered it up while I did other stuff in the room
    • Today was *finally* the day to finish up and as I untaped the plastic sheet from the wood floor I saw this water damage under the radiator. The water couldn't evaporate due to the plastic sheet.
    • Then I took the sheet off the rad and the source is pretty obvious!
    • I've used a straw to kind of direct the water into a bucket but it's really coming out fast. There's about 400mL in a little over an hour.
    • It was not like this before as I would have noticed it at some point especially while cleaning, priming, painting.
    Questions:
    • Somehow my painting it has caused this??
      • How could painting have caused this leak?
      • This thing is in a corner and there is a wall a few inches away so I don't think I could have bumped it with a tool or anything.
      • Could I have broken it while washing? If I did that, would it be reasonable to say it was already busted?
      • I find all the rusty water coming out to be pretty suspect. But is it normal?
    • I am afraid my landlord will blame me for this as he hates spending money and gets real mad anytime anything is required. So I would like to know going in what's has transpired
      • By the way I am not looking for legal or communication advice or to be told I should move.
    • What is *supposed* to be here? I looked at the other rads in the unit and they all have different components. Is there meant to be a cap on this pipe or is something snapped off or what? I can't find any pictures online that look like the right configuration.
    • What's a likely (short/long term) solution to this?
    • If I could manage to turn that little knob can I close it? I definitely don't want the whole thing to break off by accident. Like if it's all rusty. I do not understand the anatomy of radiators.
    • The knob that's supposed to be at the bottom to let you turn off the water coming in is gone. Looks like it was sawn off flush with the large hex nut.
    I searched the web (which led me here) and the forum, and looked through the FAQs but I haven't found anyone who has this issue.
     
  2. Sponsored Links
  3. CBW

    CBW

    Joined:
    26 Sep 2019
    Messages:
    9,005
    Thanks Received:
    2,399
    Location:
    North
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    How about a photo of the bottom valves? - just to confirm you can’t turn it off. I would say it’s broken and will likely need a new radiator. As for painting it - I wouldn’t know if that has caused it to leak.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. studfndr

    studfndr

    Joined:
    5 Sep 2021
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    Canada
    wow that is so wasteful! I hope nowadays things are designed so they can be fixed.

    what do you think?

    rad.jpg

    thanks!
     
  5. picasso

    picasso

    Joined:
    8 Apr 2008
    Messages:
    10,629
    Thanks Received:
    2,666
    Location:
    Essex
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    It looks like an air vent so it could most probably be removed and retaped, is it a communal system ? as you cant turn the rad off it means either freezing it or a drain down, its nothing you have done.
     
  6. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2013
    Messages:
    4,531
    Thanks Received:
    942
    Location:
    Durham
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    And it's the landlords problem. As long as you had permission to paint the rad (wouldn't have to be explicit, have a look at your tenancy agreement) then he can't legally charge you for any work required.
    That looks like an elderly system, going anywhere near it with spanners carries high risks of things breaking so proceed cautiously.
     
  7. studfndr

    studfndr

    Joined:
    5 Sep 2021
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    Canada
    Yes it's communal. I don't have any power to manipulate anything.

    It definitely didn't freeze. I don't live in a place that's cold enough to freeze.

    What's "drain down"?

    Yes, this is my concern. Though I'm generally good to just start tinkering to fix things (I just fixed an ancient decaying, over-painted double hung sash window to work with the weights and everything!) I stay away from electrical and plumbing cause both can lead to bigger problems and I don't have the ability to turn things off in the basement to mitigate.

    So I only want to do any fiddling if I am very, very certain of what to do. Not even close as it stands. :)
     
  8. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2013
    Messages:
    4,531
    Thanks Received:
    942
    Location:
    Durham
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Artificially freezing pipes is one way to allow one to mend an element in a large system that would be expensive or disruptive to drain. I'll repeat- not your problem to fix, get the landlord on the job soon as possible. That's one of the joys of paying rent- all those big jobs are Someone Else's Problem
     
  9. polesapart

    polesapart

    Joined:
    27 May 2011
    Messages:
    1,361
    Thanks Received:
    350
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    No way.

    But could have made it more visible!
     
  10. Sponsored Links
  11. Terrywookfit

    Terrywookfit

    Joined:
    19 Jul 2007
    Messages:
    5,769
    Thanks Received:
    1,095
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    FFS its only an air vent.
    Bung in vent and f/e and new 1/8 or 1/4 vent.
    It looks very similar to the cheap and nasty auto vents.
     
  12. Madrab

    Madrab

    Joined:
    4 Oct 2012
    Messages:
    8,227
    Thanks Received:
    2,347
    Location:
    East Renfrewshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    You have an old thumb wheel bleed vent there. It should never have been painted over by any of the tenants. Is the water coming out of the little spout, if so it may just need to thumb wheel tightened but with all the paint on it, it may not turn.

    It will need all that paint chipped off around the thread, ideally using a heat gun or nitromorse (or other paint stripper) and a wire brush and then see if it will turn. If not then it's a new bleed valve but that has it's own issues trying to get the old one out of the cast.

    Again though, this is your landlords problem and if the radiator looked like that before then you adding a layer of paint shouldn't have caused the problem.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. studfndr

    studfndr

    Joined:
    5 Sep 2021
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    Canada
    Madrab!!! It worked! oh my gosh thaaaank you. I did not actually even need to address the 90 layers of paint, though maybe I will do so now that I see how it works.

    Calling my landlord and having him pay a guy to come out to fix a problem with such an easy solution might even have been more trouble than if I had broken something.

    I guess maybe I turned it while cleaning. Or it was a bit open already but painted closed, but the paint softened when repainted.

    Anyway thanks so much to everyone who helped me solve this problem caused, it seems, substantially by my fear of plumbing.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

    Joined:
    9 Apr 2010
    Messages:
    13,082
    Thanks Received:
    2,016
    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    What would you of done if it snapped off and water started pouring out?

    What do you think your landlord would of said?

    Andy
     
  15. studfndr

    studfndr

    Joined:
    5 Sep 2021
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    Canada
    Well I think in order for metal to snap off with real gentle touch, it would have to be awfully corroded, ya? Like I didn't use tools or put any oomph into it at all.

    But had that happened, I would have first figured out how to collect the water and I already had everything to do that available. Then I would have called the landlord and maybe the neighbor to help if the water was really fast. I could pour it out the window that's 1 meter away so for a while it would be manageable.

    Then while hopefully someone was on the way to turn off the water downstairs, I would have taken a picture of the broken off bit and its home in case that was ever required. And I would have just said I bumped it or something which would be plausible in such an extreme state of disintegration. I had sort of assumed from the look of it that it would be seized and not move without a lot of force. Had I gotten out the channellock pliers and given a good turn, a break might be cleaner, without significant corrosion, and there could be marks on the broken bit so it would be pretty obvious what happened and difficult to claim otherwise. I don't know what kind of metal is under there and it could be soft enough that even a perfectly sound unit could be damaged by excessive force.

    It's also weird that a knob, not used in many years if ever, practically mummified in paint, would loosen itself. So I have to admit I didn't consider too much down that road before. The rust makes it look terrible but I think that must be from just one little spot, soon washed away, because the water that collected in the bucket was perfectly clear.

    incorrect?
     
  16. Hugh Jaleak

    Hugh Jaleak

    Joined:
    3 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    7,383
    Thanks Received:
    1,736
    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Issue is, these things in Radiators are more often than not, made of brass, which is then screwed into the radiator. Brass is very soft, and if old and seized, (bit like some of us), doesn't take much to break. On this occasion it's good to see it's worked, but you may not be so lucky a second time!
     
    • Like Like x 2
Loading...

Share This Page