Modern electric radiators are lauded for their versatility when it comes to installation. Compared to extending a central heating system, fitting electric radiators is a breeze and won’t cost you a penny to install depending on what type of setup you choose. Some people opt to have their radiator act as a freestanding unit that they can move from room to room whenever the need arises, whereas others prefer to wall mount their heaters for a permanent heating solution. Wall mounting is by far the most popular choice of the two but there’s a further consideration that needs to be made if you’re deciding on this type of installation: do you wall mount your radiator DIY or go for a hardwired finish?
Should I Choose DIY Installation?
One of the draws of DIY installation is the speed at which you can get your heating system installed, providing you’re only fitting one or two radiators yourself. Forget about extending pipework or costly callouts – if you’re a dab hand at DIY, you can install an electric radiator in no time at all. When speed is essential, DIY installation is the clear choice. You might be refurbishing a bedroom for a tenant and need it ready by a strict deadline, or perhaps you’re getting the spare room ready for guests. By fitting your own wall mounted electric radiators, you can get these spaces ready in no time and – more importantly – at zero cost to yourself.
But what about the drawbacks? The disadvantages of this type of fitting are fairly minor but they could be enough to sway your decision towards hardwiring. Firstly, if you’re planning on refurbishing an entire property with electric radiators, it’s always a good idea to consult an electrician. Adding too many electric radiators into your system yourself risks overloading the ring main, which will trip your electrics and render your DIY toils useless. A professional electrician will be able to assess the additional load on your property and make suggestions accordingly. Second, opting for DIY fitting will always mean you’re using up a plug socket that would otherwise be kept free. That’s not necessarily much of an issue in larger rooms with plenty of access to sockets but in smaller rooms it could be a less viable solution. Lastly, the appearance of loose cables can look untidy so if you find them particularly unsightly, hardwiring may again be your preferred method. On the plus side, the fact that the cables are loose means that if you want to move your heater, all you need to do is unplug your electric radiator and take it off the mounting brackets. In a nutshell, DIY installation is quick, cheap and gives you more freedom.
Should I Choose a Hardwired Fitting?
Hardwiring will certainly give you a clean fit, but it’s worth considering that the wire still needs to be placed somewhere and it can’t go behind the radiator as you wouldn’t be able to safely disconnect the heater from the power socket. To make the fitting as discreet as possible, it’s recommended to check which side the control panel is located on the product you’re buying, so you know exactly which side the wire will come out of. From there, you can plan the positioning of the product beforehand, ensuring the wire is neatly located adjacently, without it being too unobtrusive. You could even run the wire through the wall to reach the fused spur, minimising the amount of visible wire. As long as the fused spur itself is visible, accessible, and not too close to the radiator—your electrician will be able to advise—you'll have yourself one safe, aesthetically-pleasing radiator installation.
Hardwiring does have its downsides, though: it’s harder to move your heaters once they’ve been installed and will require hiring a contractor to wire them into the mains. As mentioned before, if you're planning on installing multiple electric radiators throughout your property, DIY isn’t an option. An electrician will have to hardwire each radiator into a fused spur to prevent the ring main from overloading so it’s always best to discuss your project with a professional first. Needless to say, this takes time and money but it’s still substantially quicker and more convenient than having to extend pipework in a plumbed system. For the most discreet fitting, and for larger installations, hardwiring your wall mounted electric heaters comes highly recommended.
Tips for Installing Wall Mounted Electric Radiators
No matter which type of wall mounted installation you go for, there’s a few things to consider before you get started:
Have you chosen a suitable mounting location?
Think twice, install once. Before you decide where to wall mount your electric radiator, you should make sure that you choose a wall that will be able to bear the weight of the appliance. This might not be an issue for lighter radiators like the RC Wave but heavier oil-filled models may not be suitable for installation on stud walls. Also make sure that the power lead will be able to reach a plug socket before you undertake DIY installation! This is a surprisingly easy mistake to make so always double check the plug will reach its intended socket before commencing.
What’s in the wall?
It’s easy to get swept up in the enthusiasm of getting your new electric radiator fitted but before you start drilling holes all over the show, be sure that you’re not going to accidentally drill into any hidden water pipes or wiring. Installation should be easy and stress-free so take care not to make more work for yourself by rupturing the pipes in your central heating.
Are you installing in a bathroom?
Be aware that you won’t have a choice of DIY installation in bathrooms because all bathroom electrical appliances need to be hardwired by a professional electrician for safety. Broadly speaking, we don’t recommend installing electric radiators in bathrooms because many types can’t be used for towel drying and pose a hazard if covered up. However, if you do decide to go down this route, always ensure the product you choose has an appropriate IP rating for its intended location.
Our Wall Mounted Electric Radiators
Whatever installation you plump for, you’ll never be waiting long to enjoy the quick and efficient heat of a wall mounted electric radiator. Look at our previous blog posts for further information on DIY installation or view our informative step-by-step video to get a better idea of what’s involved. We’re also on hand if you’d rather have your electric radiators hardwired. Give our team a call and we can help you get in touch with a qualified NICEIC electrician in your local area if you don’t already have someone in mind.