All You Need To Know On How To Easily Remove A Radiator

Everyone enjoys changing the colour of their walls and decorating their living room on a regular basis. While painting, your radiator might be a little bit of a problem. Most people choose to paint around it, but if you really want to do the job properly, then you will have to remove it from the wall.

White radiator in flat
Now, most people think It is an incredibly difficult task to achieve, more like fixing a radiator leak. The good news? Well, it’s much simpler than you think! With this step-by-step DIY guide below, you will be able to do it without hiring a plumber or some kind of expert.

Why would you need to remove your radiator?

There are actually a couple of reasons for you to think about removing your radiator from the wall. Take a look!

  • Painting behind the radiator

Repainting a room in a new colour is a fast way to freshen it up. If you want to do it like a real pro though, you will have to take a look at the unknown world that is “the back of the radiator”! That’s the part where you need to remove it from the wall. Or else, you would be using a long-handled paint roller and desperately trying to cover all the spots. Simply put, the removal of your radiator will make your life easier and save you a lot of time.

  • Wallpapering

Wallpapering behind a radiator often necessitates its removal, if you want to avoid turning it into a messy task. If the entire wall behind the radiator is wallpapered, there is no simple or fast way to do it. Gaining access is a one-way road. Don’t worry though; this is a simple project, just like wallpapering around a window.

  • Proper Cleaning

Radiators are built in such a way that dust and dirt can quickly get stuck inside, and it can take a long time to clean them out completely. If you leave the dust on it, your central heating will become less reliable, requiring it to work harder, costing you more energy and money.
It is recommended that you clean your radiators thoroughly at least once a year, particularly during the summer months when the heating is turned off.

Cat on a radiator

When is the right time to do it?

The weather in the UK is extremely variable and unpredictable. It can change dramatically from one day to the next, as well as between different regions. That said, you would never want to remove the radiator in winter when it is most needed. So, do the planning, get all the tools that you need and get started during the summer. You are probably not going to use your heating, so there is no need to think about hot radiators cooling down.

How to remove your radiator step-by-step

To remove a radiator, you will just need a few tools, but it is best to have them on hand before you begin so you won’t get caught off guard. Here are all the necessary tools that you are going to need:

  1. The bleed key (also known as the radiator bleed key). This is a small tool for removing air from radiators.
  2. Spanner that can be adjusted (or a normal spanner that refits, just make sure to try it beforehand).
  3. Towels and a sponge.
  4. Get a couple of old plastic takeaway containers. They need to be shallow but large enough to hold a decent amount of water under the radiator.
  5. Bucket
  6. Dust sheet

You are all set and ready to go. There are several steps to removing a radiator and we will go through them one by one:

Step 1: Let the system cool down

This is self-evident, but it is often ignored. Before you start working, make sure the radiator and pipes are absolutely cold. If you are decorating in the winter, you might want to consider getting a portable heater to keep the room warm while you work. You don’t want to be dealing with hot water gushing from a scorching radiator, but you also don’t want to be decorating in frigid temperatures.

Step 2: Prepare the room

Once you have taken down the radiator, you will need a place to position it while you decorate. This should ideally be in a different room, but if that is not possible, choose a wall in the room you are in to lean the radiator against. Cover the area with towels so that any leftover drips are safely caught without damaging your floor. 

Step 3: Take note of the pressure level

If you have a pressurised heating system, there will be a small dial on the boiler. Instead of remembering the pressure, take a photo with your phone. That way, if there are any delays or distractions in the process, you will still know where the pressure should be.

Hand set the valve from the radiator

Step 4: Set the Thermostatic Radiator Valve to zero or off

When the temperature hits a certain level, the TRVs are set to open automatically. If the room’s temperature drops, the valve will open, resulting in a flood when the radiator is removed. This is why setting the TRV to zero is an absolute precursor to a successful removal.

Step 5: Close the valves of the radiator

There is a valve at each side-end of the radiator. The lockshield valve and the thermostatic radiator valve (TRV). These two close to the right side and open to the left side. You need to count how many turns it takes to shut each valve. This is the number of turns it takes to reconnect them properly.

Step 6: Drain the radiator

There is a large nut between the radiator and the valves. Use old towels to wrap around the pipe and under the radiator, and keep your plastic containers nearby. With your adjustable spanner, loosen this nut. Then, using the radiator key, loosen the bleed valve at the top of the radiator, and the remaining water will begin to leak out. When the container is nearly full, tighten the nut so that you can pour the container into a bucket.
Repeat the process by loosening the nut until the radiator is empty. You will usually find a little water that needs to be drained before lifting the radiator up.

Step 7: Remove the radiator

Slightly lift the radiator off the wall brackets and move back, holding it straight, until transferring it to the storage area you have planned beforehand. Remember that the last bit of water in a radiator may be very grungy and black. So, always make sure somebody else has a sponge or a towel in their hand so that they can brush away any drips when they appear as you are holding it.

Hand cleaning the radiator from dust

Step 8: Clean the radiator

If you have an old-fashioned radiator or even a new retro one, you are probably horrified by the amount of dust trapped inside. It’s your time to shine and for your radiator to shine as well! The dust is drawn to the tights rather than the radiator by the static caused by them. This is a good place to start your cleaning process. Since the towel underneath the radiator is wet, any residual dust will settle, rather than fly back up to the radiator.
Radiator valves are vulnerable to being clogged and rusting. A good lubricant added at this stage will prevent potential problems with stuck valves. Simply squirt your preferred lubricant onto a clean cloth and smooth it over the valve area gently. Carry out the same procedure for your radiator piping. Additionally, if you drip or spray paint onto your radiator tubing, you can find that removing the paint is much easier if the pipes are lightly lubricated.

Putting the radiator back in place

It is simply just a matter of reversing the above procedure. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Remove any tiny plastic inserts from the radiator and rehang them on the radiator brackets
  2. Brackets can be substituted as well. 
  3. To reconnect the body of the valves to the radiator, tighten both nuts. 
  4. Using the radiator key, fully close the bleed valve
  5. Put the TRV back in its original location. 
  6. Enable the radiator to fill up by turning the other valve to the left. 
  7. By opening the bleed valve as needed with the radiator key, you can release all the trapped air. 
  8. To re-pressurise the boiler, locate the filling loop (a flexible hose underneath the boiler with a valve at each end) and open the valve heads slightly with a screwdriver to allow cold water from the mains to fill the system. Close the valves when the pressure is the same as it was before.
  9. Now you should probably go one step further and flush your entire heating system as well as install a corrosive inhibitor or central heating protector. This will aid in avoiding harm to your heating system‘s internal workings. It is common practice to add an inhibitor when your device is first mounted, but it can also be done later.

Hand using wrench to put radiator back in place

Removing your old radiator is a task that might seem complex but in reality, you can do it like a pro. From painting your walls to getting new wallpaper, it’s really important to follow the right steps. And when it comes to those steps, reaching the back of your radiator is a big one! No need to worry about it anymore! With our step-by-step guide, you can do it like an expert!

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