Choosing and buying a new radiator might not be such a difficult task in its essence as long as you kept in mind some important ideas like:
The radiators should have at least a 2-year guarantee
They should be pressure-tested to 152.3 PSI (10.5 bar) in order to be able to handle a pressure of 116 PSI (8 bar) at a temperature of 95°C
The output of the radiator should comply with the BSEN442 European standard for radiators.
If you do not resort to a specialist’s help, here are some tips that you should take into account when replacing an old radiator and that can be quite easily implemented. Connecting a radiator to an already existing central heating system is a pretty straightforward DIY job that can be conducted in a matter of hours.
The aim of this article is to provide a tutorial on how to fit in a new radiator yourself without the help of a professional plumber. I will provide some tips on how to choose the location of the radiator, on how to remove the old radiator (if applicable), how to fit the new radiator to the wall, some tips concerning how to cut a pipe, how to connect the new radiator and finally, how to deal with corrosion.
1. Removing the old radiator (if applicable)
If you are not replacing an old radiator, you can skip this section. If you are replacing a radiator however, there is some advice that you should take into account:
Switch off the central heating. If you have conventional heating though, you should stop the cold water from coming to the tank or tie the ball valve so that refilling is not permitted. Another exception is a conventional vented system, in which case you will have to take the water out from the system before physically removing the radiator.
Drain off the water from the radiator:
(1) You should open the square with a suitable spanner
(2) Make sure you have a hose pipe connected to the draincock Type A for a sealed system to deal with leaking water. In a conventional vented system, you could use a hosepipe and clamp it on with a jubilee clip and then try and reach the other point of the hose pipe.
(3) Remove all the water in the radiator so that you make sure the water is not going to ruin your house as well.
Undo the bleed valve from the radiator so that the water can drain off from the system
When the radiator is empty, you can start undoing one of the valves at the bottom of the radiator; you will probably still notice some water leaking, so you will still have to go and drain some water downstairs. It may be necessary that you should take the water out of the whole system.
Remove the fittings and lift it upwards in order to remove it from the brackets.
3. Fitting the radiator to the Wall
Once you have decided on the location of the new radiator, you will probably want to fix it to the wall. In order to do that, you have to follow 5 easy steps:
Measuring the distance between two fastening points on the back of the radiator
Drawing a vertical line on the wall employing a bubble level (spirit level).
Drawing an additional line to correct the distance apart.
Fastening the brackets to the wall
Putting the radiator on to the brackets
4. Cutting the pipe (better done by plumber)
You need a pipe slice for copper pipes and plastic pipe slicers for plastic.
Place a bowl under the pipe since some residual water is likely to come out
In order to place the ‘T’ fitting, you need to cut more from one of the pipes
Make sure you have push-fit fittings and compression fittings at hand
In case you’re working with copper pipes, have a pipe bender and a pipe bending spring at hand
After inserting the ‘T’ fitting, run the pipe from the flow and return pipes to the new radiator (the flow pipe should have the valve on).
5. Connecting the new radiator
Once all the above things were observed, you can finally connect the new radiator:
Connect the radiator making sure that the pipe inserts are used
In case you are using compression valves, you should have copper olives since other types of valves may be too hard for plastic pipes.
Close the drain off valve
Remove the hosepipe
Close the bleeding valve from the radiator that you might have opened previously.
Fill the system again using the cold supply filling loop and if it is a vented system via the water supply system i.e. loft water supply tank
Check new fittings for potential leakages (in case you come across any leakages, tighten the screws or make sure that the pipes are pushed all the way into the fitting).
After doing everything, you should bleed the radiator. You can view our previous article, called How to bleed your radiator in order to get the right information on how to do it.
How to deal with Corrosion
Most people worry about corrosion when installing a new radiator. This is indeed something that you should consider which is inevitable in its essence. What you can do is to prolong the need to replace the radiator.
Which are the factors that affect corrosion?
The type of metal employed in the system
The amount of air drawn into the system
The type of water that gets into the system
The quality of the work for the radiator installation.
What can be done to prevent early corrosion of your radiator?
Some things you need to do when installing the new radiator:
Proper water flushing and filling after the radiator had been installed.
Application of some corrosion inhibitors, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
In a nut-shell, don’t forget:
In terms of location, make sure that you leave enough room for the heat to circulate and for the valves to be installed.
When you remove the radiator, drain the system out.
Fix the radiator to the wall.
Cut the pipe (if necessary).
Connect the new radiator.
This article was written by Sam Brown, Marketing Manager at TradePlumbing. Tradeplumbing.co.uk is a trading name of Clayton Horsnell LTD, a privately held company with headquarters in Colchester, UK, providing a wide variety of plumbing products starting with bathroom suites, baths, showers, towel rails, furniture, sinks, heating system, and radiators and finishing with taps and water treatment products.
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