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Draining/Removing Radiator - A wee help please

WeegyAVLover

Distinguished Member
Hey All,

I am currently decorating my Livingroom and as part of my work I am stripping wallpaper. I need/want to remove the two radiators so I can remove the wallpaper behind them. I know I could turn the water off, drain the system, remove the radiators from the wall, strip the wallpaper, and then remount radiators and turn water back on.

However I know you can unmount the radiators without turning the water off but I am having a few problems that I hope you can help with.

If I look at my radiators:

The LEFT HAND valve is just that - a valve - I assume for allowing the water to flow in or out.

The RIGHT HAND valve has the thermostat valve.

I have turned the left hand valve off and the Thermostat valve is set to 0/off.

However when I tried tio drain the radiator at the top the water was still firing out (with pressure) after about 5mins so I am not doing something right.

Can anyone tell me which schoolboy error I am making or missing?

Cheers
Col
 

Prawnee

Novice Member
Your not trying to drain off from the vent are you? All you need to do is to shut off both valves, undo one valve, drain off water, undo the other valve and take off the rad. Easier said then done of course!
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
The thermostat valve is easy - just turn it off.

Hopefully, the other side has a square 'nut' that can be turned - often there is a plastic cover over this side which just pulls off to reveal the valve.

Then undo at the raditor side leaving the valves attached to the pipes.

Be prepared

(i) Best to turn the central heating off so that water isn't being pumped around - just incase the valves are a bit leaky.

(ii) Radiators can be heavy, have two people available.

(iii) Nice big container to catch the water in the radiator - kitchen basin.

(iv) Lots of rags to mop up spills - warning the water can be quite dirty so make sure any carpets are protected.

(v) Some little containers to put under the valves to catch any drippy leaks - if it is going to be off for a while you might want to screw on some blanking caps.

Find it is a two person job - one to lift and gently tilt the raditor, the other to position the basin and to attack any spills.


When you refit you simply turn on the central heating to fill the radiator - bleeding as it fills. If you have an expansion tank on your central heating system you need to make sure that remains topped up.

In summary, you are not draining the whole system, just what is in the radiator.

Whilst you have the raditor removed it is okay to use the central heating for the rest of the house.

Also you can do it easily enough with one person, just less likely to make a mess with two.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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nonumb

Well-known Member
I recently did one of mine and it had a drain valve on one side.

Just closed off the valves, opened the drain valve, opened the bleeding vent and the water came out. Be careful if you have the newer thinner pipes not to bend them when you take the rad off if the valves are on tight!
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
You can buy a draining kit or (as I did) butcher an ice cream tub to fit around the pipe.



When the water stops flowing, disconnect the rad & plug the holes with kitchen towel or wrap the tails with a plastic bag & hold in place with elastic bands. Otherwise, when you tip the rad to remove it & during transport, all the water & muck that was sitting at the bottom below the tails will run out & ruin your carpets.

As Nigel said, I'd recommend capping off the valves, especially a TRV which may not shut fully or may open overnight when it gets cold!
 

Phil57

Well-known Member
..............and whilst the the radiator is detached, give it a good flush out with fresh water (outside naturally!!)
 

Pliskin

Novice Member
Rubble sacks are cheap and you can manipulate them round the valves to catch the water. If you're still draining water after 5 mins it sounds like one of the valves is passing. If its the thermostat side it may be the pin is stuck; try unscrewing the collar of the head until the head comes off and gently tap the pin with a hammer, then put the head back on tight (make sure you have it on "5" when putting back on). If its the lockshield side you're pretty much knackered, and are better off draining the whole system. Make sure if you do that though you put a bottle of inhibitor back into the system. Hope that helps
 

Pliskin

Novice Member
Oh and if you get any sludge on the carpet, I always have a bottle of gas leak detector spray with me, spray it immediately and it usually comes up a treat!
 

WeegyAVLover

Distinguished Member
Hey All,

Thought I would update you all.

I decided to tackle the radiators (2 in the room) last night.

I turned off the TRV...
Turned off the return valve at other side
(broke the valve so it is in a permanently off setting :blush: - it should have been a sign of things to come:suicide:)

Then slowly unscrewed bolt attaching radiator on TRV side. unscrewed until the bolt was nearly off and no water leaked out, I thought to myself maybe it is because it has been turned off at both valves for about 2-3 weeks that it must have drain completely itself (I know bear with me I am a total novice on this front).

I therefore decided I would move the pipe away (gently) from the TRV just to confirm my thinking. Next thing is I get nailed in the face with a high pressure gush of water that continued to hit me in the face, leak over the floor, go up the walls, etc. So for what felt like the about 2mins but was more like 10secs I was getting fired in the face with all this water while trying to make sure some of the water went into bucket below it.

Luckily livingroom is being gutted at the moment so walls are stripped and carpet lifted, however wiped my face and it was covered in the bleck sludge. I have a picture of me and I look like I have trying to be a black and white minstrel, which is highly inappropriate these days and not my intention.

I am going to tackle the 2nd radiator tonight... If you want another laugh I will update again and maybe upload the picture of me.
 

Pliskin

Novice Member
:facepalm: we've all been there mate :rotfl:

thats why rubble sacks are so great you could have just lifted the lip of the sack up and over the valve to catch all the water. Buckets are for amateurs! :D
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Why not just rotate radiator 90 degrees, and lie it on the floor?
 

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WeegyAVLover

Distinguished Member
:facepalm: we've all been there mate :rotfl:

thats why rubble sacks are so great you could have just lifted the lip of the sack up and over the valve to catch all the water. Buckets are for amateurs! :D
I don't think the bucket or rubble sack would have stopped the water nailing me in the face - seriously I think it would have seriously maimed, possibly even killed, a lesser man (okay not true - but still)! :devil:

Why not just rotate radiator 90 degrees, and lie it on the floor?
I would give a proper response to this if I have any comprehension of what you are trying to tell me :smashin:
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Loosen the nuts either side of the rad, then rotate it, towards the floor, so its horizontal.

I'll take a photo tomorrow, and show you, as one of mine is like that at the moment.
 

amkhan

Active Member
Loosen the nuts either side of the rad, then rotate it, towards the floor, so its horizontal.

I'll take a photo tomorrow, and show you, as one of mine is like that at the moment.
Not sure how he cant do that if its mounted on the wall?. :confused:
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Not sure how he cant do that if its mounted on the wall?. :confused:
You lift it up slightly, so it comes off the mounting brackets.
 

nonumb

Well-known Member
Loosen the nuts either side of the rad, then rotate it, towards the floor, so its horizontal.

I'll take a photo tomorrow, and show you, as one of mine is like that at the moment.
Depends on the rad if I were to loosen the nuts on mine enough to move it horizontal then it would leak.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Depends on the rad if I were to loosen the nuts on mine enough to move it horizontal then it would leak.
Well, once you've rotated the rad 90 degrees, you tighten the nuts again :rolleyes: so there is only minimal leakage.
 

WeegyAVLover

Distinguished Member
Hey guys

Photo I took of myself was actual a 3 sec video which is quite funny but I don't think it is as easy to load up as I think I need to put it on YouTube bur I could be wrong. Too much hassle for me if that is the case.

As for rotating radiator 90 deg - what will that achieve?

2nd radiator came off tonight but not without a bit of novice drama.

I turned off both valves & removed the TRV then loosened nut and radiator started to leak into bucket. My dad suggested opening valve at top to help with air & pressure but water just kept firing out there with some real force so stopped that as my floor was getting wet.

Then remembered boiler was still on... Whoops so turned that off & was able to unscrew nut even more because water pressure had dropped (who'd have guessed it?).

Then spent about 45mins trying to get nut unscrewed from other side but could bit get it off. Then Confucious entered also know as SWMBO asking "how are we (yes we) getting on?" I told her the nut was stuck and she asked "are you unscrewing the right way!"... I paused... then said "yeesssss! Don't worry I wil sort it!" she then left the room, I tried the other way & bob's yur uncle it worked... Shes no daft!

Anyway it is off so I am pleased. Thanks for your help.

Laters Col
 
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nonumb

Well-known Member
Rotating the rad means its lying on the floor away from the walls so you can strip the wallpaper. I guess Tue usefulness depends on the size of the rad.
 

WeegyAVLover

Distinguished Member
Rotating the rad means its lying on the floor away from the walls so you can strip the wallpaper. I guess Tue usefulness depends on the size of the rad.
Ahh okay I understand and maybe something I will try in the future when doing up the rest of the house but in this instance we maybe replacing the radiators for Victorian styled ones so wanted to take them off anyway.

I do have one other question... Where the hell does that black sludge come from... It is fresh water that goes in the system so how does it get like that?
 

reevesy

Distinguished Member
yep you get a 'left hand thread' on i think one side of the radiator.....righty tighty lefty loosey wont apply!

i've found a couple of 'blank caps' 15mm or 22mm depending on size ... from wicks/homebase etc are the best bet....especially if you want to leave the radiator off for a bit...also cuts down on water draining out

not sure what causes the black sludge....gradual water on metal i suppose.....i would get some central heating flush and put that through the system when ready...then once done add an inhibitor....or whatever it's called


cheers.
 

Ruperts slippers

Distinguished Member
Ahh okay I understand and maybe something I will try in the future when doing up the rest of the house but in this instance we maybe replacing the radiators for Victorian styled ones so wanted to take them off anyway.

I do have one other question... Where the hell does that black sludge come from... It is fresh water that goes in the system so how does it get like that?
Its your central heating system corroding ,its called magnatite sludge,it clogs up the heat exchangers,pumps ,valves etc,etc,,it needs some x400,x800 running in your system then flushing out with a machine....
 

WeegyAVLover

Distinguished Member
i would get some central heating flush and put that through the system when ready...then once done add an inhibitor....or whatever it's called


cheers.
Its your central heating system corroding ,its called magnatite sludge,it clogs up the heat exchangers,pumps ,valves etc,etc,,it needs some x400,x800 running in your system then flushing out with a machine....

Is it something I should worry about?
Is flushing the central heating system complicated to do?
Will an inhibitator stop the sludge or just reduce the amount of sludge and/or increase the length of time it takes for the sludge to build up?
Where do you fit an inhibitor too?
 

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