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RI Dave
Raise height of radiator pipe

I have one pipe steam radiators. I recently removed one of them to install laminate flooring which raised the level of my kitchen floor slightly. My radiator of course does not now line up with the steam pipe. I thought I could just unscrew the top of the incoming pipe a turn or two to get them to match up, but it does not budge. Is this feasible? I can put more force and use a longer lever but I don't want to break the pipe.

The alternative would be to cut holes for the radiator legs, but that would defeat the purpose of putting in a nice new floor.

Re: Raise height of radiator pipe

A photo or two would be helpful.

If you've turned off the heat & need to turn it back on for the night, you can keep the on/ off valve closed & turn the heat back on.

Add some penetrating oil like WD-40, Liquid Wrench, Rust Buster, etc., and let it stand for a few hours or overnight.

Slip a length of steel pipe over the handle of the wrench for better leverage, turn off the heat, & try again to loosen the pipe.

The greater leverage you get with the length of steel pipe over the wrench will make it much, much easier to budge the pipe, especially if you can soften the joints with the penetrating oil.

Take a wire brush or metal file to the joints to remove any crud before you apply the penetrating oil, so it will have a better chance of reaching the pipe threads.

Do you have access to the UNDERSIDE (in the basement??) of the pipe you're trying to loosen??

If you do, also put some penetrating oil on the sub-floor joint (in the basement??) & try to loosen THAT joint as well, if this will help raise the connector high enough to get it back onto the radiator.

There are different pre-threaded PIPE NIPPLE sizes & lengths available at HD/Lowes or heating supply houses that may make it easier for you to get more height more easily so you can re-connect the rad.

Re: Raise height of radiator pipe

the chances of you loosening a steam riser is between slim and none. if u have access underneath the floor you can break the elbow and replace it, but the better solution is to use two 45 or 2 22.5 degree fittings to offset the pipe slightly higher. the drawback is the radiator will be slightly shifted to one side and you will need to remove the valve union to add the fittings. a cheat fix is if you can remove a hanger from below and raise the whole riser slightly, but be carefull you dont want to crack a fitting!


Re: Raise height of radiator pipe

First of all don't cut the legs on the radiator,if it is an old cast radiator, they are hollow cast and the legs may be hollow. Next if you have access under the floor check to see if the pipe is mounted with a rigid hanger screwed into the floor joists. If it is disconnect the hanger and screw it a little deeper into the joist that should raise the pipe enough.

Re: Raise height of radiator pipe

I did sugest the hanger option along with the fitting removal. however its been my experience that it is extremely difficult to un thread steam pipes without damaging a pipe, fitting, or body. sorry you don't agree, but im only trying to help.


RI Dave
Re: Raise height of radiator pipe

In the end I was able to jostle the pipe around, up top and then push it up a little in the basement, just enough so that it had some give to it and I could re-connect it. It really did not need to go up much at all. If it had needed to be raised any higher this would not have worked.

Thanks for all the comments.

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