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How To Remove A Radiator

There are many reasons why you might wish to remove a radiator in your home. For example, you may want to redecorate your room and need to paint or wallpaper behind the radiator. Or you may want to replace your existing radiator with a brand new one, either because the current one is old and rusty or you desire a different style or size.

Whatever the reason, you are likely reading this page today because you’re trying to determine how to remove a radiator the correct way. Thankfully this handy guide will tell you all you need to know. Of course, if you change your mind, our friendly team of plumbers are here to help you.

Tools you will need for taking off a radiator

As you can appreciate, there will be a few tools needed for taking off a radiator from the wall. You will likely have most, if not all, of the following items:

  • Radiator bleed key.
    It’s a nifty tool that bleeds the air out of radiators and fits on a socket located at the top of your radiator;
  • Adjustable spanner.
    You’ll need to use this tool to slacken the valve nut off the radiator;
  • Adjustable grips.
    This tool is sometimes known as adjustable pliers or water pump pliers (they’re useful on car engines);
  • Plenty of towels.
    Since you’re taking off a radiator, there will almost certainly be a small amount of water leaking from it once you undo the valve nut. The towels are useful for soaking up the water and stop it making your carpet or flooring wet;
  • Painter’s roller tray and a bucket.
    The former will catch the water when you drain the radiator. The latter is useful for draining the tray full of water when it gets full.

Preparation advice

As with any job around the home, preparation is key to a successful outcome. With that in mind, it makes sense to ensure that your heating system is off and cold before you do anything. After all: the last thing you want to do is have boiling hot water scalding your hands and skin.

Assuming the heating system got turned off and is cold, you should put some towels down underneath and around the radiator. Their job is to absorb any water that will spill out during the process.

You should also put some thought into where you will be storing your radiator once you remove it. When it comes to finding out how to take a radiator off a wall, some people forget about where they will be temporarily storing it. Especially when they are doing so to redecorate the room!

Do you have a pressurised heating system in your home? If so, it’s vital that you make a note of the indicator on the small dial on your boiler. The easiest thing to do is take a photo of it with your smartphone, as you’ll need to repressurise the system once you’ve taken off the radiator.

Lastly, be sure to remove any wood box sections that are covering the pipes to your radiator.

How to take a radiator off

Now that you’ve fully prepared yourself and the working area, it’s now time to run through the steps needed to take the radiator off. They are as follows:

  • Step 1:

    Close the radiator valves. At each end of your radiator is a valve. One side will have a ‘lockshield’ and the other a TRV or Thermostatic Radiator Valve. You’ll need to turn both valves clockwise to close them. Next, you should open the bleed socket using your bleed key.
  • Step 2:

    Drain the radiator. Turn your attention toward the valve opposite the TRV. You’ll notice there’s a large nut between the valve and the radiator. Grab your painter’s tray and place it underneath that valve, and keep your bucket near it too. Next, use your adjustable spanner to slacken off the nut until you start seeing water drain from the radiator valve. At this stage, it’s a case of waiting for all the water to drain from your radiator. When the painter’s tray gets full, you can close the nut with your adjustable spanner, empty the tray into the bucket, put the tray back underneath the valve, and slacken the nut again. Keep repeating that process until no more water drains out from the radiator. Next, you’ll need to slacken the nut where the TRV is to drain out any water from that side, again making sure you place your painter’s tray underneath it.
  • Step 3:

    Remove the radiator from the wall. Once you’re certain all the water got drained out from the radiator, you can remove it from the wall. Before you do so, it’s vital you take the time to examine how the radiator mounts to the wall brackets. That’s because there are a plethora of different bracket styles that are in use in people’s homes.
  • Step 4:

    Drain any remnants of water from the radiator. When you’ve taken the radiator off the wall, tilt it at a 45-degree angle so you can drain any remaining water from it.

Refitting your radiator (or installing a new one)

Whether you’re putting your old radiator back on the brackets or installing a replacement, the process is quite easy. All you need to do is reconnect the valves and close the nuts, and use the bleed key to close the socket at the top of the radiator. You may need to reopen the bleed socket to release any trapped air as the radiator refills with water. If you’ve got a pressurised heating system, be sure to re-pressurise it according to the boiler’s instruction manual. Typically this involves opening a valve underneath the boiler and watching the dial move up to the original position before shutting it.

Do you need some help?

Hopefully, the above guide has given you some concise information on how to remove a radiator. If you’d rather let a professional take care of the job for you, Aquatek Plumbing is happy to help. Give us a call today on 0800 328 4329 for a free, no-obligation quote.

how to remove a radiator

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