Welcome to our simple guide to removing, draining and replacing central heating radiators. Whether you’re replacing your home heating system, or you’re just re-decorating, removing a radiator is an easy task that requires minimal DIY experience – all you have to do is follow our guide step by step.
To carry out the task you'll need some basic equipment, including two adjustable spanners, one key to bleed the radiators, a bowl that's small enough to fit under your radiator, and some old towels or sheets to mop up any water spillage and a bucket.
Before you start
Before you begin to remove the radiator, make sure that you understand its components. The three important parts to note are the bleed valve, the manual control valve and the lockshield valve. They each have their own function.
The bleed valve releases trapped air from within the radiator, the manual control valve controls the radiator's temperature and the lockshield valve is used when balancing or adjusting the radiator valves to ensure all the radiators heat up at the same rate. It's called a lockshield because once it's been adjusted, it's shielded by a removable plastic cap to prevent it from being accidentally altered.
Removing the radiator
Once you've assembled your tools and equipment and checked the components, you're ready to start. First, using your hand, turn the manual control valve in a clockwise direction until it feels tight in order to close the valve.
Then, remove the lockshield valve's plastic cap. Using an adjustable spanner, twist the spindle in a clockwise direction. It's advisable to pull the carpet away from the radiator and protect the floor around the manual control valve with sheets or towels. Also, place a bowl beneath the manual control valve to prevent water from leaking onto your floor.
Loosen the bleed valve with a radiator key to allow the water to escape. Put one adjustable spanner on to the manual control valve to keep it firm. Use the other adjustable spanner to loosen the cap nut, attaching the manual control valve to the radiator.
Catch the water
You will find that as the nut is loosened, you'll need to be ready with your bowl, as water will escape. Once your bowl is full, it's time to tighten the cap nut to stop the water from flowing while you empty your bowl. You will need to repeat this step several times until the water stops flowing.
Then, using both spanners in the same way as before, undo the other cap nut that's holding the lockshield valve on to the radiator. You will then be able to lift the radiator off its supports, emptying the remaining water into the bucket. If you’re replacing your central heating system with wall mounted electric radiators, your job’s almost done! All you’ll need to do is dispose of the radiator, re-decorate as necessary, and you can crack on with fixing your new radiator to the wall. However, if you want to put your central heating radiator back on the wall, you’ll need to move onto the next step…
Putting the radiator back
When you've finished painting and decorating, reassemble the radiator by first putting it back on the support brackets. Make sure that the valves line up accurately with the radiator. Reconnect the valves to the radiator by tightening both cap nuts.
Then, use the radiator key to fully close the bleed valve. Next, use the adjustable spanner to twist the lockshield valve spindle in an anti-clockwise direction. Then, open the valve by turning the manual control valve in an anti-clockwise direction.
Finally, as the radiator starts filling up again, use the radiator key to open the bleed valve, releasing trapped air. Your radiator should then be up and running again.
For more hints, tips and how-to guides, stay tuned to the Electric Radiators Direct blog, where we bring you all the latest DIY advice, expert heating guidance and interior design inspiration.