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hot water heat radiator leak

The 30 column hot water heat radiator in my dining room has developed a leak on the TOP of one of the columns...I've tried metal patch without luck...any adice is welcome...thanks

Re: hot water heat radiator leak

This would depend on the type of damage to the radiator---heating rad leaks are often caused by a rust crack in the cast iron section that would be very difficult to repair.

Some have had success with Propoxy 2000--which is an epoxy (Home Depot), or a 2-part putty epoxy, but it's questionable how long the patch would last.

Another option is to check the Yellow Pages under "Welders" to see if anyone in your area does this work.

A heating contractor that works with rads, has the tools to remove the damaged section & press-fit the remaining sections back together.

It's usually easiest to pick up a used rad at a junk yard, used plumbing supply house, demoliion company, or a salvage company---many older houses are demolished or the heating system updated & used rads are usually widely available for a low cost---the big problem is that they weigh 600 lbs & can cause personal injury to move if you're not careful.

Always air-test a used rad before buying---block up the passages & use a bicycle pump with a pressure gauge to get 20 psi & see if the pressure holds for 5-10 minutes.

Another possibility is to install a section of high output baseboard in that part of the room & toss out the rad.

Compute the btu/hour output of the present rad by assigning 170 btu/hr for each sq.ft. of rad, then multiply by the # of rad sections.

Thus, a 30 section rad 1/2' wide and 1.5' high = .5 X 1.5 = .75 sq.ft X 30 sections = 22.5 sq.ft. X 170 = 3825 btu/hour output for this rad (adjust the numbers after you measure your own rad).

Another option: a 5' section of high output baseboard (plumbing supply houses) at 800 btu/ft = 800 X 5 = 4000 btu/hr output--the baseboard is light as a feather & very easy to work with, but won't give you the same type of heat as will a cast iron rad.

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