Choosing bathroom radiators

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, DIY Tips, Radiators

Before you choose your radiator, it is essential to know how much heat you require in this room, so you can decide on a radiator that gives you adequate output. 

Heat output is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs).  In order to calculate the amount of heat output your room will require, you first need to work out the volume of your room in cubic feet by multiplying the room’s height by its width and then by its length.  The volume then needs to be multiplied by five, to give the heat output required in BTUs.  This gives you an approximate guide, which can be refined further, for example by adding 15% if your bathroom has two outside walls, and a further 15% if there is no loft insulation.  Always round up the output figure to the nearest suitable radiator.

Your bathroom can be heated by a radiator, a heated towel rail or a combined towel rail and radiator unit.  You can find radiators and towel rails to match your chosen décor and your bathroom tiles, whether traditional or contemporary.  Valves are usually supplied separately, since the type of valve you require depends not only on the radiator, but also on the location where the pipework comes into the room, i.e. through the wall or up from the floor.  If you are installing a completely new heating system, you will be able to decide on the position of pipework.  Otherwise, you may prefer to base your decisions around the existing pipework. 

If you opt for a heated towel rail, you might want to consider a dual fuel system, which enables the towel rail to heat up when your central heating system is switched off.  You simply turn off the valve, and then you turn on the rail’s own electric element.  This is an ideal solution if you prefer warm towels all year round.

Removing a radiator

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, Radiators

If a radiator needs to be disconnected, for any reason, you can do the job yourself with a little know-how and save an unnecessary bill from the plumber. If you are replacing the radiator with a new one, it will need to be the same size. There is no need to drain your entire heating system in order to do this; you can usually isolate the radiator and disconnect it without much trouble.

This job can be messy, so you will need to have several bowls and old towels on hand and make sure your carpet and flooring is protected. Have the right tools handy before you start – an adjustable spanner and pliers or mole grips, plus a radiator key, will be needed. You should also check where your main stopcock is in case you have an emergency and have to cut off the water supply.

Firstly, stop the flow of water to the radiator from both sides by turning the control valve to ‘off’ and the valve on the other side (the lockshield valve) to a closed position. You will need the pliers or mole grips to do this. Next, you need to drain the water out of the radiator, and this is where it gets messy. You may need a colleague to help.

Holding a bowl underneath, carefully loosen the horizontal nut between the control valve and the radiator. Water will then flow out, and if you use the radiator key to open the bleeding vent it will come out faster. Then you can do the same to the nut on the other end of the radiator, and when it is empty it is ready to lift off the wall. To reinstall the same radiator it is best to clean up the valves and screw threads first. Then you just go through the same steps, but in reverse.

How to Balance a Radiator System

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, Heating, Radiators

You need to balance your radiator system in order to achieve an even delivery of hot water to all of the radiators in your home.  In central heating systems the water is pumped via copper pipes that branch off to each radiator.  As a result of this system the radiators at the start of the pipe run get the most hot water first. 

In order to balance your radiators you will need to use the lockshield valve on each of the radiators.  This will regulate the water flow.  You can partially close the valve on the radiators that come at the beginning of the run, to restrict them from getting too much of the water.  In order to achieve the right balance of water to all of the radiators you can use thermostatic radiator valves.  These are an accurate way of automatically turning off the water flow to an individual radiator when the room temperature reaches the point at which the valve is set.

When you balance your radiators you must turn your heating off well before you begin this task.  This is to enable to water to cool down completely.  You can then turn the heating back on and adjust the first radiator. You must adjust them in the order that the water goes to them.  Reduce the flow to the nearest radiator via the valve and increase it to the ones farthest away from the boiler. 

Lagging radiators

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, Heating, How To Guides, Radiators

You might not immediately think of radiators as benefiting from lagging, but actually a quarter of the heat they produce is lost to the wall behind it.  Of course you do not lag the whole radiator, it almost goes without saying, just the surface facing the wall.  You do this with a special expanded polystyrene lining that is foil-faced and which, when fitted, will save over half the heat that would otherwise be lost.

You have to remove the radiator in order to fit the lagging easily, so the ideal time to do the job is while redecorating.  However, it is also possible to fit it without removing the radiators.

Buy the lining from a DIY store and cut it slightly smaller than the radiator dimensions.  Next, mark and cut out slots for the radiator fittings to slip over.  Remember to turn the radiator off before starting work.  Wallpaper paste or double-sided sticky tape can be used to glue the polystyrene lining to the wall behind the radiator.  You then use a long batten to smooth it into place after feeding the radiator fittings through the pre-cut slots.  Do not forget to fit the lining with the foil side facing towards the radiator, as the whole idea is to direct potentially lost heat back into the room rather than into the wall.  Allow time for the adhesive or paste to set before turning the radiator on again.

This is a cheap and effective method of cutting household heating bills, which is often overlooked in the race to lag boilers and pipes and insulate lofts.

How to Drain Down an Open Vent Central Heating System

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, Heating, Radiators

Whether you’re starting on a property development overhaul devised by architects or just wanting to remove a radiator to do some painting and decorating or plastering, you’re going to need to drain down your hot water system. Thankfully, you’re not going to need to be an expert in the building trade for this – it’s a ‘doable’ DIY job.

Turn off the electricity or gas to your boiler and locate the expansion tank in the loft – it’ll be the smaller of two tanks. Place a wooden batten across it and tie the float-operated valve to it to stop water inflow. Now find the drain nozzle (there might be more than one, which is good). It’ll be in the lowest part of the system and looks like a little brass barrel pointing downwards from a pipe. That’s where you attach a length of hose, running the other end outside where water can drain away. Turn the little square key on the nozzle with a spanner to open it.

Starting upstairs, open all the bleed valves on your radiators. If you have an airlock, undo the float-operated valve and let about 150mm of water flow into the tank – it should drain out immediately (tie the valve back up again).

Then, complete the work you want to do, and reverse the steps you took earlier: remove the hose, close the drain valve and the bleed valves on the radiators, release the float-operated valve and let the system refill. Bleed all the radiators (beginning downstairs this time) once the tank has filled, and switch the boiler back on.

Designer Bathroom Radiators – adding luxury and style!

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, Heating, Radiators

Bathrooms have long been underrepresented by interior designers, that is until now. Finally, one of the most critical rooms of the house is getting a makeover and the one item most people ignore, the bathroom radiator, is standing out with style.

Designer radiators are making their way into homes everywhere. People are finding that a designer radiator is an inexpensive way to quickly add dash and style to a room, while increasing comfort and energy efficiency. Old radiators can be horribly inefficient, wasting your hard-earned money on inefficient heating. Today’s new designer radiators can heat your bathroom for much less money, in fact, many of them are programmable or can be installed with a programmable thermostat, which only turns on when you want it to.

Radiators by Reina, Lazzarini and others are so sleek and slim that you’ll gain floor space as well as warmth and comfort. In fact, many of the designer radiators can be mounted on the wall or in a corner and also hold towels. Imagine nice warm towels after your bath and a designer radiator to update the room.

Today’s designer radiators are much more reasonably priced than you might think. Compare the cost of an old, stodgy radiator to the sleek chrome or brushed metal designer models and you’ll see that for just a little more money you can purchase a radiator that has had attention to style incorporated into the design. 

When friends and relatives visit, they invariably use your bathroom, so why not treat them to a room that reflects you and your unique style? Take that old, inefficient radiator out and install a sleek, efficient designer radiator. You’ll wish you had done it sooner.

Designer radiators – adding luxury to your home!

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, DIY Tips, Heating, Radiators

Living in the cold climate of the United Kingdom, central heating radiators are an essential part of any household. Bathroom radiator designs, however, have come a long way from their bland, cold, purely functional origins. In recent years, however, radiator designers have realised that there is a large consumer demand for radiators that do more than just warm the house, but also compliment the interior decoration of it in surprising, colourful and tasteful ways.

The old fashioned white rectangle radiator has slowly but surely disappeared from the majority of British households, replaced by an almost unending choice of radiators in all colours and many sizes and shapes, including some truly bizarre and memorable ones such as spirals and whorls, and even some that resemble kinds of abstract works of art! This newfound wide variation of designer radiators also means that not only can you have a more aesthetically pleasing and imaginative kind of radiator, but that you can have radiators in different shapes, styles and colours in every room of the house if you so wish, for example children’s rooms can be adorned with designer radiators built in the shape of animals etc.

A bathroom radiator is essential and bathroom radiators come in many styles and colours. The variety of shapes and sizes has enough impact above and beyond mere style, of course – it also means that they can fit into almost any area of the room you wish to have one in. Modern radiators also heat up a lot quicker than the old fashioned models due to their use of materials such as aluminium and stainless steel as heat conductors. Searching through a radiator suppliers website such as UK Bathrooms will give a good idea of what designer radiators are out there and help you to make the perfect choice for your home.

Designer radiators have truly taken the radiator into the 21st century; a designer radiator can add an element of class and sophistication to any room.

Bathroom Radiators – A Warming Feature of Bathrooms

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathroom Accessories, DIY Tips, Heating, Radiators, Small Bathroom Design

Do you find you dread taking a shower in your bathroom during the winter time because it is freezing? The mere thought of taking off your clothes and climbing into the shower is deterring enough, but then the idea of getting out of the warm shower back into the freezing bathroom is unthinkable. A good bathroom accessory option for you to consider installing is a bathroom radiator.

Bathroom radiators serve as the main heater for the bathroom. You can get designer radiators that not only look fancy but have a heated towel rail at the top of it. One of the nicest feelings is wrapping a towel around you when it is fresh out of the dryer. A heated towel rail can provide you with a similar feeling.

A bathroom radiator is ideal for older homes that can have drafts and therefore be very cool in the winter. The heat let off from the radiator is enough to warm your bathroom tiles and towels making the shower a much more pleasurable experience. Bathroom radiators come in different models and sizes. Make sure you closely look at the warranty and price before deciding which radiator you want to buy.

Another feature of the bathroom radiator is your bathroom can look like it is from the Victorian period. You can really use this style to your advantage by getting ancient looking bathroom accessories such as bathroom mirrors or bathroom furniture that appears to be from that time period. You can check out local antique shops or even furniture markets for the appropriate accessories.

Fitting a Towel Rack

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathroom Accessories, Heating, Radiators

Some bathroom accessories are easy to fit and anyone with just a few DIY skills will be able to install them; others take the skills of a professional. Fitting a bathroom towel rack is relatively easy with the correct tools.

First of all, measure, centre and mark the position of the towel rack on the wall, checking that it is level with a spirit level. The standard height for a towel rack in a bathroom is four feet, but practically speaking, it is best to fit it at the best height for your particular bathroom.

Then screw one of the mounting plates to the wall where you have marked the position, but do not drive the screw right in. If you find that there is a stud there continue, but if not it may be necessary to take a metal toggle anchor and screw it in so that it is flush with the wall. Then attach the mounting bracket into the toggle anchor.

Place the towel bar onto the fixed mounting bracket and check the measurement before fixing the other mounting bracket in the same way, but do not tighten the screws. Then place the towel bar over the mounting plates and use the spirit level again just to double check. The mounting plates can be adjusted until they are right and then the screws need to be tightened.

Then attach the bar and tighten the small screws on the ends of the towel rack with an Allen key which should be provided with the towel rack fixing kit. Make sure that everything is screwed in tightly and the job is complete.

Glass Radiators – a stylish addition to your bathroom!

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Heating, Radiators

If you are looking for a stylish addition to your bathroom, you may wish to consider a glass radiator which is sure to become a focal point as well as a talking point in your bathroom. The SGG Thermovit Elegance glass radiators are relatively new to the market in Britain. These glass bathroom radiators combine the highest possible standards with elegant style. In fact, so unique are these radiators that you can actually design them yourself, that way you can ensure that no-one else ever has the same radiator that you do. Of course, they also come in a range of standard models including clear, mirrored and even printed versions.

Another plus point of these glass radiators is that they are completely mobile, therefore they do not require connection to your existing heating system. There are no wires or cables to connect. These radiators actually plug into the electrical socket. While this would usually negate a product from use within a bathroom, these are perfectly safe as long as the recommended distances between water supply and electricity are observed. The radiators can be floor or wall mounted. In fact, if you want further options, you can choose between the controllable or non-controllable versions. The controllable radiator allows you to change the temperature complete with remote control to create your own comfortable warmth.

While these radiators should not be used to heat towels as they should not be covered, you can purchase corresponding towel rails from the same range to further enhance the practicality of this purchase.