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Thread: Alternate Valve for Radiator?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default Alternate Valve for Radiator?

    I'm adding two Burnham Baseray cast iron baseboard radiators to my basement. I've run the piping out of the framed walls since floor is of course concrete.

    The plumbing supply houses here only have right angle radiator valves (intended for piping up through floor) and the valve enclosure is not deep enough to mount it in a horizontal position.

    Any reason why I cannot use an alternate "regular" valve to make it fit? If so what type is best? Gate, stop, ball?

    Any advice appreciated. Thanks... Phil

  2. #2
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    Default valve pics

    Hmm, maybe the picture will explain it better.

    The grey valve encloure on the left is not deep enough to fit the radiator valve in a horizontal position.

    Since I can't locate a straight radiator valve, my plan is to sweat a cast 90 onto the stub, then a union and the regular valve.

    It's a regular gate valve in the pic, and unless someone has a reason not to do that, or a better alternative, that is tomorrow morning's project! Phil
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  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Marlin336's Avatar
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    I can't think of any reason not to use a regular valve but that doesn't mean their isn't one. I'd wait for a definite answer from one of the other guys.

    If you do go this route one thing you do not want is direct contact between the cast iron and copper. I'd use an IPS ball valve, and put a male IPS to sweat adapter in one side and a black nipple in the other. It wouldn't be a bad idea to put a union in there as well to make changing the valve or removing the radiator easier.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the info Marlin.

    Yes I had considered the iron / copper issue. The brass valve housing should do the trick:

    radiator > iron close nipple > brass valve > brass union to copper.

    Not sure about a ball valve, I have the same space issue with the swing of the handle. I'd have to make sure it will fit in the enclosure.

    Phil

  5. #5
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Why the enclosure? If I was worried about unauthorized valve-handle-turning, I'd just remove the handle from the angle valve.

  6. #6
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    Wetboots the enclosure not to secure the valve in any way, it's just for looks. With it on you can install the finish carpentry (baseboard) right up to the radiator and run the top cap up and over the device. It's a nice finished look.

    I had not checked how much clearance I gain by removing the wheel, I'll see.

    One guy at the plumbing supply house thought the primary difference between a "radiator" valve and regular plumbing valve is ability to withstand heat. My boiler runs at about 140 degrees, which isn't that far from some domestic water heaters, so I'm not sure that's a legit concern.

    I think I'm going with the gate valve. Thanks for the information all. Phil

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member construct30's Avatar
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    A lot of radiator valves have the union built into them, for close work and they can also be used to control the flow into that individual radiator if the system is plumbed right for that. They also make thermostatically controlled valves now too. They do take the heat better, but a gate valve should too. I have had gate valves that didn't turn the water off all the way, that can be a pain if you need to use it.
    Last edited by construct30; 12-17-2007 at 01:02 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default finished burnham baseray install

    Well I hate leaving threads unfinished, so wanted to pass on that I did locate a straight 3/4" radiator valve online at pexsupply after a lot of searching. Finished the whole basement project a year ago, but just remembered these pics.

    I think the built-in union is really what makes this the best valve (versus standard ball valve) for connecting up a radiator and I'm glad I kept looking until I found them.

    Someone asked about the enclosure. I added a pic of the "finished product" with the baseboard cap wrapped up and over the baseray unit. The Burnham literature talks about doing there aren't any pictures. I think it's a very nice finished look, even though I'm not the worlds greatest finish carpenter.

    One other item: since the lines to this radiator run "down" from an overhead branch, I installed a hose bib bleeder on the opposite side of the radiator so I can bleed it out. Once bled, heat flows through great.

    I can only find one supplier here in Wash DC area still stocking Burnham cast iron radiant parts, I'm a fan and hope to continue using it with future renovations.

    Thanks for all the assistance with this and my other projects. Phil P.
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  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default heat

    Now the question is whether you used TWO MonoFlow tees for the radiator connections? If not, you may have a heating problem.

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