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Replacing old steam valves in radiator.

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Posted by Marty on August 26, 2008 at 13:15:33:

I own a condo with single line steam heat radiators and am was wondering how difficult it would be to change out the main on/off valve on each radiator.

The reason for this is that some of the valves don't really work becuause steam still goes into radiator after I crank down on the valve - I am assuming that he valve seat or gasket is worn.
Also, some of them leak at the stem - I tried packing them but no success.

I was wondering if it would just be better in the long run just to replace the valves (5 total).

I don't know how long the steam heat has been in teh building 50"s or before?) and can only assume that the valves are at least this old - they certainly look it.

How difficult a job is this - more specifically:
- Are the valves often seized to the threaded pipe?
- Is it possible/likely for me to crack the supply steam pipe even when gentle with the pipe wrenches?
- I know these are heave radiators, probably 200lbs plus - how hard will it be to re-connect pipe/valve/radiator assuming I can get off the valve.
- Any other tips or pitfalls?

Thanks everyone

Marty (in Boston)

(Apologies if this was answered in an earlier post - I searched and did not find anything)

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