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Thread: Removing rust bolts from steam boiler

  1. #1

    Default Removing rust bolts from steam boiler

    I have a cast iron steam boiler to heat my home. the stam has been leaking from a metal plate on the side of the boiler held on by 6 metal bolts. Two of the bolts appear to be rusted. What is the best way to remove these bolts without damaging the cast iron boiler? Should I run the boiler before attempting to remove the bolts? Will the heated boiler expand allowing easier removal of the bolts? Thank you for your immediate response.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default bolts

    Use a lot of penetrating oil, PB Blaster, and whatever else you can find. IF you are lucky the bolts will not break off, but I would not count on it. You might be better off using a "nut cracker" to break the nuts and then rethread the bolts before installing new nuts.

  3. #3
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Marin Co. Ca.

    Default Use A Candle

    Heat the nuts and let the wax flow into the threads

  4. #4


    Thanks for your replies. there are no nuts. The bolts are screwed into the cast iron boiler. Would heat help? Does cast iron expand?

  5. #5

    Default Bolt Extractor

    Irwin makes a set of bolt extractors that you can buy at most hardware stores. I would soak the bolts in PB blaster overnite, then use the extractors.
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  6. #6
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
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    Talking good luck on that project

    just the thought of trying to get bolts
    screwed into an old boiler out almost brings
    shivers to my spine.....

    if it is anything like the last time I tried to
    get MUFFLER bolts out of the body of a car,

    I ended up going to MIDAS and letting them

    BURN them out with the welding torch..

    good luck, you are gonna need it.

    my guess is if they dont come out wou will have to
    cut off the heads of the bolts,
    then drill them out and re-tap the holes

    Now THAT is a fun time...
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 05-03-2007 at 02:56 PM.


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