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Pdgbailey 12-30-2011 12:11 AM

Radiator Leak
I have a very old house. I have five cast iron radiators and one baseboard radiator. One of the cast iron radiators is leaking on the bottom in four places.

I would like to fix it but buying a used or new one is an option also. Any ideas on how to seal a leak on a cast iron radiator. I have tried JB Weld and different epoxies. They just slow the leak and don't seal it.

Any ideas?

Maybe welding? Or is there something I could use to seal it?

If fixing is not an option, any recommendations on where to buy one? I'm in West Virginia


Just Bill 12-30-2011 06:36 AM

The usual place for a radiator leat is at the shutoff valve. Make sure that is not what is leaking. Since radiators are made up of sections(each section adds X BTU's), the leak could be at a section joint, but that is rare, and they last for 100 yrs, easily. Doubtful that it is rusted through, but possible. If it is leaking at the joints, you might take it apart(not easy, remove long bolts or threaded rods), and clean up the joints.

I don't see your location, but there are second hand places around the country that specialize on old radiators.

Pdgbailey 12-30-2011 07:10 AM

It isnt leaking at the valve. It is leaking on four of the bottom spindles. Could be cracked or rusted. Not sure. The house was built in 1905 but not sure when radiators were installed.

I'm in northern west virginia

1910NE 12-30-2011 09:18 AM

If it is leaking in that many places, you might be better off with a replacement. As already mentioned, look for some type of architectural salvage store, preferably as close to you as possible. And make sure if you do buy a used replacement that it has been tested.

Between the weight, repair issues, and trying to find a replacement, you might be better off finding a heating guy who knows old systems and can advise regarding repair/repace. They would probably have sources for replacements as well. That's what I ended up doing with the old system in my 1910 home.

Best of luck!

TarheelTerp 12-30-2011 09:40 AM


Originally Posted by 1910NE (Post 807238)
If it is leaking in that many places, you might be better off with a replacement.


Disconnecting, splitting and then reassembling the radiator might be a worthwhile DIY project in the spring or summer. But not so much in January.

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