Leaking towel radiator

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Ben Mck., Feb 20, 2021.

  1. Ben Mck.

    Ben Mck. New Member

    Hi again guys

    Have had a towel radiator installed back in September. Noticed this morning puddle on floor. It's leaking from where the silver bit joins the radiator. It looks like it's got couple of splits in the metal & it's leaking above those. Any suggestions greatly appreciated please. 20210220_123656.jpg 20210220_124033.jpg
  2. andy48

    andy48 Screwfix Select

    Looks as if its leaking where the chrome plated radiator tail is screwed into the black radiator. Assuming this is correct:
    1. You could try slackening the lower chrome nut (the round bit with flats on it) and tightening the upper one a bit, then retightening the lower one.
    2. Beyond that you will have to close the radiator valves, drain the radiator, undo the nuts between the valve and the radiator, remove the radiator, remove the leaking tail and refix it with more (new) PTFE tape. Then put it back on.
    If it is leaking where I think it is, it would be reasonable for the installer to carry out the work free of charge. I consider this to be an installation error. Difficult one to avoid, but still an error.
    Ben Mck. likes this.
  3. Ben Mck.

    Ben Mck. New Member

    Thanks Andy. I'll give that a go. Tbh it's not the first error we've had to have him back to correct.
  4. Ben Mck.

    Ben Mck. New Member

    What exactly have they done wrong Andy? Tia
  5. andy48

    andy48 Screwfix Select

    1. All normal radiators have two "tails". These are hollow, one end having a threaded shank, normally 1/2" BSP thread, the other being plain 15 mm or a Union fitting (3/4" BSP).
    2. The threaded shank end screws into the radiator, which has a female thread. The other end is attached to the radiator valve.
    3. Where the threaded shank screws into the radiator, the threads have to be sealed to make them water tight. The normal method of doing this is to put a good few wraps of PFE tape around the thread and screw it in.
    4. However, the fit between the female threads in the radiator and the male threads on the tail is very variable. So, for one tail into one radiator, 12 wraps of PTFE might suffice, on another radiator / tail pair it might require 20 wraps.
    5. There is no totally reliable way of gauging how many are needed. The fit may feel tight, and may well be watertight at first, but the tape can compress and allow water through months later.
    6. I've largely given up on PTFE tape, and use one of:
    6a. Loctite 55 thread sealing cord. I find this more reliable, with around 10 to 12 wraps. However, it requires the male threads to be "roughed up" first.
    6b. Loctite 577 or Flomasta Pipe Seal. These are applied as liquids, and sort of "set" around the threads after screwing in. This is now my preferred method. Not as easy to dismantle, requires everything to be clean, and you need to work reasonably quickly, but, in my experience, a guaranteed seal.
    7. I don't think the people who fitted your radiator have done anything wrong, after all, it worked satisfactorily for quite a while. I do think they have encountered the problem outlined above, and feel that professional pride will make them want to correct the fault.
    Ben Mck. likes this.
  6. Tilt

    Tilt Active Member

    Rather than draining it I would disconnect it from the connector box, remove from wall and just turn it upside down....

    Then do what Andy says....

    I assume these do have a specific (ish) amount of fluid in them???

    We have one at work awaiting a new element....

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