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.

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