A leaking home radiator can be quite a problem, and it must be remedied quickly, in order to reduce damage to floors and carpeting. Serious leaks need to be fixed by a professional, but there are some ways that you could temporarily fix leaking home radiators. Here are some tips to help you out:
Check to see the source of the leak. You could use an inspection mirror in order to look around corners and hard-to-see edges of the radiator. Once you have an idea about the general area of the source of the leak, carefully dry this area with a rag. With a tissue paper, press around various points in this area to check and see the specific point where the leak is coming from.
Try tightening the bolts first. If the point where the leak is coming from is the radiator’s spindle or cap nuts, your first step is to tighten the bolt. In this case, the problem comes from the nuts, instead of the valve itself. Simply use a wrench to hold the valve, and another wrench to tighten the cap nut.
If the source of the leak is near the valve handle, try this: remove the valve head, and tighten the gland nut, or the nut that you’d see at the uppermost side.
Check to see if the source of the leak is a hole. If the leak is springing from a small hole, then this could be remedied by a commercial sealant. This is true only for radiators made of cast iron.
First, drain the radiator and clean the area of the leak. Use a non-petroleum based cleaner for this purpose (for example, lacquer thinner or acetone). Then, thinly apply the sealant (make sure to follow the manufacturer’s mixing instructions written at the label) on the hole on the radiator valve. Be very careful not to get any product on your skin or eyes. Let the sealant dry overnight, and then check if this effectively stopped the leaking.
Check if the leak is due to corrosion. If the leaking problem is caused by rusting, then a new radiator has to be fitted. For this problem, you need to consult with a professional.
Replace the valve. If tightening the bolts don’t work, and there doesn’t seem to be a hole, you may need to replace the valve. Remove the valve and adaptor, then replace the valve with a similar one (make sure that you buy one of the same size). After replacing the valve as well as the adaptor, you’d have to refill the system and tighten all the bolts and nuts on the radiator.
There you have it! These are just some of the ways to fix leaking home radiators. Remember, it’s very important that you regularly maintain your home radiator, in order to prevent any major problems and costly repairs. If you feel that you’re not very good at doing repairs by yourself, it’s worth the investment to call in a professional, and then study what he does. Next time, you’d be more likely to be able to do troubleshooting yourself. Good luck, and hope this helped you out!