So I was playing darts with my friend, and below the dartboard is a radiator.

Anyway long story short the dart went into the radiator and now water is spraying everywhere out of it. I managed to turn the radiator off with some mole grips (the taps were gone just the metal knobs sticking up) and stop the water flow but I'm not sure how to fix the hole. The hole is about 1mm diameter. The dart went in really deep as well.

This is what the radiator looks like: enter image description here

How do I fix the hole? I'm in the UK. The radiator is painted as well.

I'm house sitting for a friend so replacing the radiator etc isn't an option.

  • Why isn’t replacement an option? Are you trying to hide the problem? You don’t want to take responsibility? – Lee Sam Aug 26 '18 at 23:40

If the radiator is constructed of a material to which solder will adhere (copper, steel, tin), you can scrape away some of the paint surrounding the hole. Because you've turned off the water, careful application of heat, flux and solder will seal off the hole on a permanent basis. Conventional copper plumbing is assembled with solder in a similar manner. A hole as small as one millimeter is easily bridged with solder and will not blow out under household water pressure.

As noted in other comments, discuss this with the owner prior to scraping paint. Obviously, when done, clean the area and repaint.

  • It is likely aluminium. – Dan D. Aug 27 '18 at 1:33
  • It's important to know the metal in order to use the right material that will adhere. If it's aluminum, you can get special braising rods (often called aluminum welding rods) that will bond like solder with a propane torch. The surface needs to be properly repaired. Any type of soldering will destroy the paint over a large area, so there will be a refinishing step. – fixer1234 Aug 27 '18 at 2:37

The first step is to talk to the home owner (who is presumably your friend) and tell them what happened. They may very well have a recommendation as to who they would prefer to have called in to repair this. At a very minimum they may be able to suggest a type of repair that they would be satisfied with.

Now onto the ideas for repair. If the dart made the hole in a flat spot the repair may very well be as simple as using a truss head sheet metal screw with a rubber washer under its head. Select the sheet metal screw that has an inner thread diameter similar to the dart hole size or possibly drill out the hole just a very small amount to adjust to a standard screw size. Also make sure the sheet metal screw is a type with threads that go all the way to the head. It also goes without saying that the screw length needs to be minimized. You so not want a long screw to poke out a hole on the far side of the radiator. For the rubber washer you may have to look at flat faucet replacement washers to find a suitable size.

When installing the sheet metal screw with the rubber washer be careful to not over tighten and strip the screw threads. This type of heater is often fabricated from a relatively thin aluminum material which can strip very easily. And use a hand screw driver, not some powered unit where over torquing would be almost inevitable.

Here is the type of screw I would suggest. Note the larger than normal size of the head.

enter image description here

In the end you offer to pay for all the repair parts and labor if that is requested by the home owner.

  • 1
    Installing a screw with a washer is a temporary fix and relies on obtaining a perfectly sized screw. The screw can “move” due to expansion and contraction. The washer will dry out, get brittle and leak. – Lee Sam Aug 26 '18 at 23:44
  • 1
    i would jb-weld the screw in instead of relying on tension. – dandavis Aug 27 '18 at 15:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.