One of the great deterrents to anyone wanting to remove a radiator is the prospect of having to drain the whole system. However, this won’t be necessary provided the radiator to be replaced has a valve at both the hot water inlet and the outlet. Once these are closed. you’ll be able to keep virtually all the system’s water isolated in other parts.
At the inlet end you’re likely to find the hand-valve which is the control by which you open and close the radiator. At the outlet end you’ll find what is termed the lock-shield – valve. When you come to inspect your radiator, don’t worry if their positions are reversed — they will still be equally effective.
The first thing to do when removing a radiator is to close these valves. The hand-valve is straightforward, but you’ll have to remove the cover to get at the lock-shield valve. You’ll be able to close this valve using a spanner or an adjustable wrench with which to grip its spindle.
As you turn it, it’s a good idea to note carefully how many turns it takes to close. And you’ll find this task slightly easier if you mark the turning nut with a piece of chalk before you begin. The reason for all this is to maintain the balance of the system. After it was first installed, your system would have been balanced.
The lock-shield valves of all the radiators were adjusted to give an equal level of water through-flow so that they were all heating up equally. So, by noting the number of turns taken to close the lock-shield, when you come to fit the new radiator you can simply open it up by the same amount — so avoiding the somewhat tedious task of rebalancing the whole system.
Once you’ve closed both valves. you can unscrew the nuts which connect the valves to the radiator inlet and outlet. Do these one at a time after having placed a low dish under each end to collect the water and protect the floor.
Use an adjustable wrench to undo the coupling nuts. It’s wise to hold the circulating pipe securely in place with another wrench. Otherwise, if you apply too much pressure to the coupling nut you risk fracturing the flowpipe, and this would cause you a lot of extra work and expense as well as causing quite a mess.
It’s a good idea to get the radiator out of your home as soon as possible-just in case it leaks any remaining dirty water on to your carpet.