How to remove a radiator for decorating

If you're doing a spot of home improvement then you may want to remove the radiator to decorate behind it. Whilst it may sound tricky, removing a radiator is simple if you stick to some basic guidelines. You can also use this advice if you need to remove a radiator to flush your central heating system.

What you'll need:

  • Old rags
  • Jug
  • Large bowl or bucket
  • Screwdriver
  • Spanner

Step 1: Drain Water

The water in the radiator will be very dirty, so roll back the floor covering before you start (if possible).

Shut off both valves, turning them clockwise with your hand or an adjustable spanner. Remember the number of turns needed to close it so that later you can reopen it by the same amount.

Step 2: Lift radiator from brackets

  1. Unscrew the cap-nut that keeps the valve attached to the adaptor in the end of the radiator.
  2. Hold the jug under the joint and open the bleed valve slowly to let the water drain out.
  3. Transfer the water from the jug to the bucket.
  4. Continue doing this until no more water can be drained off.
  5. Unscrew the cap-nut that keeps the other valve attached to the radiator.
  6. Lift the radiator free from its wall brackets and drain any remaining water into the bucket.
  7. If you're going to decorate the wall, unscrew the brackets.

If you have thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs), make sure you cap them off at this point. TRVs open automatically as the room gets colder, so could cause a leak if the radiator's not in place.

Step 3: Replace radiator

To replace the radiator:

  1. Screw the brackets back in place.
  2. Re-hang the radiator and tighten the cap-nuts on both valves.
  3. Close the bleed valve and reopen both radiator valves.
  4. Bleed the air from the radiator.

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