DIY Radiator Replacement: Easier than You May Think

You may find that older radiators develop pin holes causing them to leak, or you may simply want to replace them with something more stylish.

DIY Radiator Replacement

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Plumbing jobs are something that many DIY’ers shy away from, believing that in Haslemere boilers and radiators should be left to the professionals. However, if you have the right tools and knowledge changing a radiator can be straightforward.

What You Need

Modern radiators may have new design features like convectors to make them more efficient. Bear this in mind when sourcing replacements as it may mean the radiator mounts in a different way.

If you’re making a like-for-like replacement this will ensure that no changes are needed to the pipework. You’ll need a bleed key, two adjustable wrenches, a bucket or bowl, a dust sheet or some old towels and some PTFE pipe tape.

Doing the Job

Many people don’t feel confident changing a radiator themselves so end up getting professionals like and others to do it for them. If you’re happy to proceed here’s what you do. Turn off the heating and allow the water in the system to cool. Close the control valve at one side of the radiator. At the other end there’s a lockshield valve, pull off the plastic cover and use your wrench to turn it off. Count the number of turns as you’ll need to open it by the same amount when you’re done.

Now place your bowl or bucket under the control valve, grip the valve body with one wrench and use the other to slacken the nut attaching it to the radiator. Open the bleed valve at the top to allow water to run out of the radiator. Once the water stops draining you can disconnect the lockshield valve.

You should now be able to lift the radiator from its wall brackets – you may need help if it’s a large one. Before fitting the new radiator wrap some PTFE tape around the screw threads. If the new radiator is the same size it should fit the old brackets. Don’t over tighten the joints, finger tight then a three-quarter turn with a wrench is enough. Open the control valve and the bleed valve and allow the radiator to fill, then close the bled valve and open the lockshield valve. Check for leaks and you’re done.

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