5 Tips for Replacing Radiators

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Are you decorating your home this summer and want some new trendy radiators, or are just fed up with your old ones and need an upgrade? Whatever the case may be, you will need some handy tips and plumbing know-how to replace your existing radiators.

Although many of us outside the construction profession think that plumbing is a job for professionals, some jobs can be carried out without the need for a certified handyman.

Replacing radiators, if done properly, can be a simple job that is neither strenuous nor painful in the backside! 

With these 5 tips, you will be replacing your home radiators like a pro!

Tip 1: Replacing the Old Radiator 

The easiest way to replace an old radiator is by buying another one of the same size and fitting it to take its place. For modern designs with a variety of colors, Trade Radiators make choosing a radiator with the same size easier, as you will not need to disrupt the fitted pipework or buy new radiator valves. 

You will only need to fit the old valves to the new radiator, hang the radiator to the wall, and tighten the valves. 

Tip 2: Drain the old radiator first

Before removing an old radiator, it will need to be drained first to avoid dirty water pouring out onto your carpet or flooring.

Grab yourself a bucket and some old clothes/sheets to put under the feed valve where the water will drain from, switch the feed and return valves off, slacken the bleed valve to let pressured air out, and then finally loosen the union valve to let the water out.

If the water comes out intermittently, loosen the bleed valve again to allow the water to flow. 

Tip 3: Removing and refitting the blanket plugs

What is a blanking plug, you may be asking? Well, it is the circular or hexagonal cover at the top of the radiator. 

It is a simple process of refitting the plugs into the new radiator by undoing the bleed valve with a bleed key and undoing the blanking plugs with a radiator spanner. Then clean and dry them, and wrap some PTFE tape over the threads 4 or 5 times before screwing them into the new radiator.

Tip 4: Hanging a radiator 

If the wall brackets for the radiator are still usable and sturdy, you can reuse them to hang the new radiator, which makes life much easier!

A tip for fixing new wall brackets is to place the radiator on the floor and put the brackets into position to make some measurements. Transfer those measurements to the wall – making sure there is a 100-125mm distance from the bottom of the radiator to the floor.

Drill holes where you have made the wall markings, fix and screw the bracket in place, and then slot the rad over the brackets using a level on top to make it straight.

Alternatively, you can buy a modern radiator that already has a template on the back with instructions on where to drill and fix the brackets.

Tip 5: Fasten the valves and adapters 

A plumber’s most reliable friend when fitting radiators is PTFE – small white tape that helps fitting valves to rads with ease and less chance of leaks. 

When fitting the new valves to the radiator, wrap PTFE 4 to 5 times around the valve thread and screw it in making sure the joints are tight and secure. Use an adjustable spanner to tighten them nicely.

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