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How To Remove A Radiator

Removing a radiator is something which may seem difficult but with the right tools, can be completed relatively easily. Whether you want to simply take out a radiator for decorating, replace it with a new one or completely take it out of your system, this guide will give you all the advice you need. 

Contents (Click To Jump To):

Removing A Radiator For Decorating

How To Change A Radiator

Removing A Radiator Permanently

You Will Need:

  • Radiator bleed key
  • Bowl to catch water
  • Wrench
  • Grip Tool
  • Drill (if removing brackets)

How To Remove A Radiator For Decorating:

1. Switch Off Your Heating System

Before you begin removing your radiator it's important to turn off your heating system and allow it to cool down. This means if any water does escape your radiator and come into contact with you, it won't be hot and cause injury.


2. Turn Off The Valves

Next up you'll need to turn off both the valves on your radiator. For the thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) you'll simply need to turn it to the zero or off position.

The valve on the opposite side of the radiator which doesn't have a numbered control is called the lock shield valve. To turn this off you'll need to remove the plastic cap to reveal the small spindle inside. Turn this spindle clockwise using a wrench until it is completely closed. As you close it, count the number of turns and note down the number. This will help you achieve a similar pressure if you plan to put the same radiator back on the wall. 


3. Drain The Radiator

Next you'll need to drain all the water from inside the radiator. Place a bowl under the valve you want to drain first, so you can catch the water which is going to come out. Grip one wrench onto the body of the valve whilst using the other wrench to loosen the nut that joins the radiator to the valve. As you loosen the valve, water will begin to drain into your bowl. 


4. Open Up The Bleed Valves

Locate the bleed valve on your radiator and open it up by turning a radiator key. This should help remove more water.


5. Loosen The Opposite Valve

You can now move onto loosening the valve on the opposite side of your radiator. First close the bleed valve you just opened. You can now use two wrenches to loosen the nut on the opposite valve. Make sure you have your bowl ready to collect water and you can once again open the bleed valve to allow more water out. 

6. Disconnect Your Radiator

When you're confident you've removed the majority of the water, you can loosen the nuts either side of the radiator and disconnect it from the pipework. You can now tilt the radiator to one side to allow any remaining water or residue to drain out.


7. Remove It From The Wall

Now everything is disconnected you can lift your radiator off the wall. As radiators will often be heavy, we would recommend asking someone to help you with this part. 

Lift the radiator straight up off the brackets. You may need to tilt it towards your bowl to catch any remaining water. 


How To Replace The Radiator Back On The Wall

If you've finished decorating and you want to replace your radiator back on the wall, you simply need to follow the above steps but in reverse:

1. Put your radiator back on the brackets.

2. Reconnect the pipes on both sides.

3. Open the valves up. This is where it's useful to remember how many times you turned the lock-shield. Opening up the valves will allow water back into the radiator.

4. Open up the bleed valve to remove air. Keep this valve open until water begins to flow out, at which point you can close it.

If you've followed all of the steps above correctly, your radiator should be full of water and will heat up when you turn your heating system on.

How To Change A Radiator

If you want to replace your current radiator with a new one, the process will be a lot easier if you choose a radiator which is the same size and style as your current one. Doing this will allow you to complete a like for like swap, rather than needing to alter pipework which will usually require a plumber.

If you have chosen a radiator which is the same size and can use your current pipework, the main difference will probably be removing and installing new radiator brackets. When doing this it's important to follow your manufacturer's instructions, use a spirit level to check the radiator is level and check for any pipes or electrical cables in the wall first. 


Check The Pipe Centres

If you are looking to do a like for like swap, the main measurement you need to look out for is 'pipe centres'. This is the distance between the centre of the two pipe inlets on your radiator, so matching this number with your current radiator will usually allow you to slot a new radiator in without pipe alterations.

Wall to pipe centres is also important. This will show you how far from the wall the centre of the pipes for your radiator will extend. matching this figure and pipe centres will ensure you won't need to adjust any plumbing.

How To Permanently Remove a Radiator

Completely removing a radiator from a heating system is a trickier job and given the chance of larger issues, isn't something we'd recommend doing yourself. 

The process involves removing the radiator from the wall and re-routing the pipework where the radiator once stood. However, as you will need to go into the wall or floorboards, cut pipes and weld or cap off the pipework, we would recommend hiring a plumber to do this for you.

Now you know how you can remove and replace a radiator, why not take a look at our extensive range.

This guide is intended as a reference only, we always recommend hiring a trained professional to complete any installations. Tap Warehouse cannot accept responsibility for any personal injuries, damage to your home, products, or subsequent invalidation of any warranties if you attempt the job yourself.

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