How To Replace A Radiator

How To Replace A Radiator

Radiators are supposed to be one of the most reliable and durable features in properties, but with years of continual use, this will result in unpreventable wear and tear.

If your radiators are failing to perform, this could be the time to replace them!

How Often Should You Replace Radiators?


Today’s modern radiators can be far more effective, economical and efficient If you are looking for a way to save money on your energy bills.

By updating and replacing your old radiators that are no longer working properly, will ensure that your home is being heated more efficiently!

There is a general guideline that you should replace your radiators every 15 to 20 years, if they are getting near to their end of life, we would recommend you are mindful of how they are performing!

When replacing a Radiator, we would recommend that you would have to be a competent DIYer and that you feel confident about your Plumbing Skills.


OR it is recommended that you call out a qualified Plumber as this can be a tedious task to remove the radiator!

How to remove a radiator from the wall and replace a radiator

Why Should You Replace Your Radiators?

We often take it for granted that radiators are a feature in the home and that we forget to even consider that they are performing their duties without us giving them any care or attention!

If you are moving to a new home be aware that the Radiators may have been installed for a number of years without ever having received any maintenance!

Before you replace your radiators be aware that if you are installing larger units or additional radiators make sure that your boiler will be up to handling the workload.

Boilers require more maintenance and servicing and usually, radiators are left and not changed as they do have a longer lifespan but can become outdated.   

The benefits of replacing your boiler cannot last forever if it has been supplying water to outdated radiators!


What To Do Before Replacing Your Radiator

It is very important you check the wall where you are installing your radiator onto.

If you come across and crumbling bits of plaster or cracks it would be advised to make the necessary repairs before you fit the new radiator.

The best way to make replacing your radiator easier is to choose a replacement that has identical pipe centres, this is the distance between the two water pipes that your old radiator was fixed to.


Note: If you are fitting a different size radiator you will need to drain down the system and make alterations to your pipework, making sure that you have drained the system properly before you begin.


  • Brickwork

If you are fitting your radiator to a wall constructed from bricks and blocks held together with cement), you’ll have a wide variety of radiators to choose from to get the job done.

This type of wall is far stronger than any plaster board walls, with the correct fixings and brackets, larger radiators can be placed on almost any part of the wall!


  • Plaster Board

If the wall you are fixing your radiator to is made from plasterboard, with a hollow space behind it you will need to determine exactly where the studs and noggins run.


The studs and noggins are the horizontal or vertical lengths of timber that your plasterboard has been attached to.


The studs in a plasterboard wall form the stronger part, so make sure your radiator is attached to these for it to remain secure and safe.

 removing radiator from the wall - replacing central heating radiators


How to Remove Your Radiator Before You Replace it?

There are normally two valves, one at either end of the radiator.

One is the flow and returns valve and the other valve is a lockshield valve and the other is a manual control valve or thermostatic valve.

 On the left is a lockshield valve, the middle is a thermostatic valve and the one on the right is a lockshield with drain off.

The drain off valve can be used to drain the individual radiator or can be used to drain off the whole system.


What You Need To Remove The Radiator

  • A spanner to fit the nut which connects the valve to the radiator.
  • A set of water pump pliers to hold the valve whilst undoing the connecting nut.
  • Radiator bleed key.
  • Old dust sheets and a bowl to catch the water.


1. Close the manual valve by turning it clockwise


2. Close the lockshield valve using a suitable spanner. This will close in a clockwise direction.


3. Using a dust sheet, position the bowl to collect the water. Beware the water can be dirty when draining out.


4. The bleed valve needs opening so that the water inside can be replaced with air so undo this using a radiator bleed key, once the valve has been opened the water from the radiator will exit the radiator a little faster.


5. Using the 2 spanners release the water from the radiator.

Once you are sure the radiator is empty of water undo the two union nuts which are fastened to the radiator.

To do this grab the valves with a pair of water pump pliers which will prevent the pipes from being damaged when undoing the union nuts.

Make sure you cap the radiator thermostatic valve as if this is not done could cause flooding in the house.

Reposition bowl to collect water from the other side of the radiator.


Replacing The Radiator back on the wall

  1. Lift the radiator back onto the brackets
  2. Fasten both of the valve retaining nuts – making sure they are tight and won't leak!
  3. Open the lockshield valve first
  4. Open the manual valve or thermostatic valve – double check for leaks
  5. Undo the bleed screw to let in the air, when the water exits from the bleed valve close it off
  6. Check the pressure of the boiler and top up if required.





The best time to do this is when your system is empty.

It's always best to administer your central heating inhibitor via a radiator. This should always be done from a low point in the property (such as a radiator downstairs).

Simply add your radiator inhibitor to the radiator using a funnel to avoid spillage.

Then refill your system with fresh water through the system’s expansion tank.

Upon next use, the freshwater will spread your central heating inhibitor evenly throughout your heating system.

See blog – The Importance Of Maintaining Your Heating System



Alternatively, this would be the ideal time to consider installing your new replacement steel panel radiator with a Rotarad Retro-fit Radiator care kit.

Once installed the Rotarad care kit allows you instant full access for future cleaning and decorating behind your radiator when required without the need to remove or drain down the radiator in the future at an affordable price!


 Replacing radaitors from the wall - radiator removal kit



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