How to remove a Gorton steam radiator valve

I am attempting to remove/replace a Gorton angle steam valve from a radiator that has been in place for at least 16 years.

I cannot move it by hand. No pliers I have are large enough to grip it.  Any suggestions on how to remove it?


AJE said:

I am attempting to remove/replace a Gorton angle steam valve from a radiator that has been in place for at least 16 years.

I cannot move it by hand. No pliers I have are large enough to grip it.  Any suggestions on how to remove it?

 Picture please?


I use a plumbing strap wrench (fabric with rubber on the strap). It wraps around the valve and gives you the leverage you need. 


No WD40 or other lubricant you could get to soak in on those threads?


I'll try these tomorrow.  Thanks.


I’d grip the stem, not the larger valve body, if possible.


jimmurphy said:

I’d grip the stem, not the larger valve body, if possible.

 it looks like that might not be possible, depending on the valve model.


Get a big channel lock pliers or small pipe wrench. Be careful when installing the new one, as the threads are very fine and easily strips. Put some Teflon pipe tape on the new threads. 


jimmurphy said:

I’d grip the stem, not the larger valve body, if possible.

 Indeed. If you try to go all "Hercules"on it with either channel lock pliers or pipe wrench there is an excellent chance that you will shear it off and leave the stem threads inside the radiator. Then it will be YouTube to the rescue.


steel said:

jimmurphy said:

I’d grip the stem, not the larger valve body, if possible.

 Indeed. If you try to go all "Hercules"on it with either channel lock pliers or pipe wrench there is an excellent chance that you will shear it off and leave the stem threads inside the radiator. Then it will be YouTube to the rescue.

 I agree.  I cringed when I saw the pipe wrench picture.  


FilmCarp said:

steel said:

jimmurphy said:

I’d grip the stem, not the larger valve body, if possible.

 Indeed. If you try to go all "Hercules"on it with either channel lock pliers or pipe wrench there is an excellent chance that you will shear it off and leave the stem threads inside the radiator. Then it will be YouTube to the rescue.

 I agree.  I cringed when I saw the pipe wrench picture.  

It's possible to be gentle with a pipe wrench. No need to go Hercules on anything.

If anything, the greater leverage of a pipe wrench allows more finesse than a tool with less leverage.

Kinda like a dull knife being more dangerous than a sharp one.


Also, you clearly can't grip the stem on this valve. So there's that.


There’s no way to get a grip on the stem!


Are the threads loosening?


Dude. Just grab it and turn it. It's got tiny ⅛" pipe threads with nearly no depth to them barely holding it onto the radiator at all. I never ever use a wrench on air vents and I probably change 100 of them every year. If it hurts your hand then wrap a dish towel or something around it and then turn it. 


AJE said:

I cannot move it by hand. 

 I have had one shear off at the stem. It was a wee bit of a problem getting those threads out. 

PS: Just in case it is not obvious, -do NOT remove it while the radiator is hot or about to be. -That would be... ya know, awkward. 


At this point, I'm sure AJE has a clear path to the solution.   long face


master_plvmber said:

Dude. Just grab it and turn it. It's got tiny ⅛" pipe threads with nearly no depth to them barely holding it onto the radiator at all. I never ever use a wrench on air vents and I probably change 100 of them every year. If it hurts your hand then wrap a dish towel or something around it and then turn it. 

 I wasn’t sure if AJE is a man or woman. The person seems afraid of breaking the thing. Could be someone with arthritis, we just don’t know. A channel lock would move it very easily without breaking anything. I have done mine and it’s very easy, sometimes I had to tap the threads to install the new one. It’s easier for people who have tools and are handy. They can also wrap a towel around it and use the channel lock if it doesn’t budge by hand. 


They could also try tapping it with a hammer and a piece of wood.


Amazing the amount of varied certainty that folks can have about a relatively simple thing, based almost entirely on personal experience. I have practically every tool under the sun and once while "carefully" removing an old stubborn (like me) vent with channel locks got too impatient and managed to twist it off the stem which is quite thinly made.

My apologies. I'm a bit anxious while waiting for 270.


steel said:

Amazing the amount of varied certainty that folks can have about a relatively simple thing, based almost entirely on personal experience. I have practically every tool under the sun and once while "carefully" removing an old stubborn (like me) vent with channel locks got too impatient and managed to twist it off the stem which is quite thinly made.

My apologies. I'm a bit anxious while waiting for 270.

 The operative word you used was “impatient”...you can’t just yank on it. It’s a 1/4 inch stem. 


Jesus Christ. I may soon need a pressure vent installed in my head.


The strap wrench did the trick easily.

Thanks all.




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