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Removing a Radiator Guide

16:36 Mon 24th May 2010 |

If you are painting and decorating you want to do it properly. There is little point lovingly choosing colours and designs for a house – and then doing the job in a lacklustre way. Ultimately, if a house is intended to tell people what kind of person you are missing out certain parts because they were hard to do doesn’t send a very good message! Behind radiators is the best example of this – they are such a permanent fixture in our homes we believe they cannot be moved. This guide should remove those fears and have you painting behind the radiator in no time.


Before you start you will need a couple of adjustable spanners, one radiator key, some old towels or sheets, a small bowl and a bucket. The bowl should be small enough to put under the radiator and the towels or sheets should be old enough to be of no concern – as they are for catching any spillage from the radiator itself.

Draining and removing the radiator

To begin you need to turn the manual control valve clockwise until the valve is completely closed. The manual control valve is the one you use to control the temperature of the radiator. Once this is done remove the plastic cap from the lockshield valve and turn the spindle clockwise (with and adjustable spanner).

It is important that you remember how many turns it took to close so may open it to the same level afterwards.

Next pull away any floor covering from around the radiator and put old sheets and towels in its place, especially around the manual control valve and put the bowl underneath it too.

Take the radiator key and find the bleed valve at the top on the side of your radiator loosen it to allow water to exit.

The next stage requires some quick thinking and deft movements. You need to have both spanners at the ready – use one on the manual control valve to keep it in place and use a second to loosen the nut which holds on to the manual control valve. As the nut is loosened water will escape, so be quick with the bowl – when the bowl is full, tighten the nut and empty the bowl into the bucket. Repeat this until the flow has completely stopped.

Next you need to remove the nut which keeps the lockshield valve on, using both spanners as you had before. Once the radiator is completely free you can carefully lift the radiator from its supports you can empty the remaining water into a large bucket.

As long as you remember to keep any exposed pipe-work covered you can begin painting!

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