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How to remove a radiator

By Tom Drake | 13th June 2023 | 3 min read

Learn how you can safely take your radiator off the wall

From taking it off the wall so you can paint behind it, moving it to another location or taking it out of your heating system entirely, there are a number of different reasons why you might want to remove a radiator.

Whatever the reason, in this guide we’ll take you through how you can safely disconnect and remove your radiator.

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Steps to removing a radiator:

  1. Switch off your heating system
  2. Isolate the radiator
  3. Drain the radiator
  4. Loosen the other valve
  5. Disconnect the valves
  6. Lift the radiator off the wall

Equipment list:

1. Switch off your heating system

The first step to radiator removal is turning off your heating system and allowing it to cool down. This will help ensure you don’t come into contact with any scolding hot water, so make sure your system is completely off and your radiators have cooled before you start.

switch off your heating systemswitch off your heating systemswitch off your heating systemswitch off your heating system

2. Isolate the radiator

Next up, you’ll need to switch off  both the radiator valves to isolate the radiator you’re working on from the rest of the system. The type of valves you have will determine how you can turn them off.

The thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) is the valve you use to control the temperature of the radiator and you can simply turn this to zero. Manual valves can be turned clockwise by hand and for lockshield valves, you'll need to remove the plastic cap and turn them clockwise using an adjustable spanner.

Make a note of how many turns it takes before the water is switched off. This will help you return your radiator to the same pressure when you replace it.

Once you've turned off your valves, open the bleed valve at the top of the radiator using a bleed key. A small amount of water and air might come out but if this stops, you've successfully isolated the radiator. You can now leave this bleed valve open and move onto the next step. 

using a wrench to drain the radiatorusing a wrench to drain the radiatorusing a wrench to drain the radiatorusing a wrench to drain the radiator

3. Drain the radiator

Now you’ve isolated your radiator from the rest of the system it’s time to drain the water from it. We recommend putting down some plastic sheets to give your flooring some extra protection in case you’re unable to catch all the water.

Before you start the draining process, place a large bowl or container underneath the valve to catch the water. Use your adjustable wrench to slowly loosen the nut that connects the valve to the radiator. You may want to use a pair of water pump pliers to hold the body of the valve steady. Water should start to flow out of the radiator and into the bowl. Don’t loosen the nut all the way in case you need to empty your bowl before carrying on.

4. Loosen the other valve

Once water has stopped flowing from the first valve, you can repeat the process on the other side of the radiator.

5. Disconnect the valves

When water is no longer draining from the radiator, you can undo the nuts on both radiator valves all the way and disconnect them from the radiator. You can also now close the bleed valve.

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6. Lift the radiator off the wall

Now your radiator is completely disconnected from the system, you can lift it off its brackets.

As radiators can be heavy, it's best to have another person on hand ready to help. Have a container ready by one of the outlets and tilt the radiator towards it as you lift. This will help you catch any excess water or sludge that's stuck in the bottom of the radiator. 

Now you've removed your radiator, you might want to install blanking caps to both of the radiator valves. These will stop water coming out of the valves if they're accidentally switched on before the radiator has been replaced or re-installed.

 

You can now remove the radiator brackets or grab your paintbrushes and start painting. If you’re looking to fit a new radiator, or for help putting your radiator back on the wall, take a look at our replacing a radiator guide.