How to move a radiator?

UK Home Improvement

How To Move A Radiator?

If you’re an avid DIYer, it’s likely that you’re used to conducting a wide range of household tasks with little trouble. However, one job that can be troublesome if not performed correctly is moving a radiator. Radiators play an extremely important role in every property, especially during the winter months when the weather is colder. 

If your radiator isn’t working correctly, your property can become incredibly cold, making it unpleasant to live in and, potentially, even triggering illness. Therefore, when moving a radiator it’s important you have a thorough knowledge of the process in order to prevent losing heat to your room or an entire property.

In this article, we’ll explore how to move a radiator, providing you with an extensive guide on how to do so effectively.

Reasons you’d need to move a radiator

You might be wondering in what circumstances you’d need to move a radiator. So, before we go into detail about how to do so, let’s take a look at when it may be necessary. 

This includes:

  • Room renovation – From time to time, homeowners may decide to renovate rooms in their house. Whether it’s making structural changes (like adding new doorways or walls) or extending a room to get more use out of it, moving a radiator may be necessary to accommodate the new layout.
  • Better heat distribution – As mentioned above, radiators distribute heat within your property. Therefore, radiators may need to be moved in order to ensure they’re doing this most effectively. If, for whatever reason, heat isn’t being properly distributed, you may consider moving radiators to achieve more efficiency in this area.   
  • Furniture placement – You may consider moving radiators in order to accommodate furniture. Large items of furniture, such as sofas or wardrobes, can sometimes obstruct radiators, impacting the flow of heat in the room.  
  • Aesthetic changes – As well as functional considerations, you may want to move a radiator for aesthetic reasons. For example, you may move a radiator to a more suitable location that better suits the room’s look.    
  • Maintenance or repairs – If your radiator is old or in poor condition, it may need to be removed in order to be replaced or repaired. Sometimes, it might be more practical to move another radiator in place of the old one.  

What do you need to move a radiator? 

If you’re considering moving a radiator in your home, there are a few simple steps you’ll need to follow. However, before you begin, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment to do the job.

The equipment you’ll need to move a radiator includes:

  • Adjustable wrenches 
  • A notepad and pencil 
  • A container 
  • Towels 
  • A radiator key
  • A ruler 
  • A drill 

How to move a radiator? 

Once you’ve got all of your equipment in place, you’re ready to begin the process of moving a radiator. While it may seem like a daunting task, by following the steps below it is a fairly straightforward process for a competent DIYer.  

Turn off the heating and radiator valves 

The first, and arguably most important step, when moving a radiator is ensuring you’re safe during the process. Suffering from burns is the biggest hazard when doing this task, and you can mitigate this by turning off the central heating in your home.

Once you’ve done this, give the system time to cool down before you continue. In addition to central heating, make sure the radiator’s valves are turned off. You can use a wrench to turn the lock-shield valve clockwise until it’s fully closed. 

Before the draining stage that you will do later, switch off your boiler and isolate the electricity supply. If you do not do this, your boiler may overheat or start heating water again.   

Measure the radiator and its new location 

Next, you need to take some measurements. Before removing the radiator, measure it and note down the dimensions. Doing this will give you an idea of how much space you will need on the new wall.

You should also measure the space of the new wall before removing the radiator to make sure it will fit. Also, take some time to inspect the new wall, making sure there are no cracks or damage that could impact the process. Damage could weaken a wall, and cause it to fall away if the radiator is too heavy. It’s also worth checking in with a professional plumber to make sure you won’t be damaging any important pipes in the new wall. 

Drain the radiator 

Before removing the radiator from the wall, you should drain all the water from it. 

However, you don’t need to drain the entire system which would be more time-consuming. Place a container over a towel underneath the radiator valves. Then, use a wrench to undo the valves and the nut which will carefully release the water into your container. 

Use your radiator key to open the bleed valve and release the water that is contained here, too. 

Once all the water has been released, you might want to take a few minutes to clean any sludge or dirt that has also come out of the radiator.   

Cap the pipework 

Once the radiator is empty, it’s time to cap the pipework. Stuff the radiator valve inlets with paper to prepare the radiator for moving.

You must also permanently cap valve outlets that you will no longer use. This task cannot be done by an amateur, and it is essential you get a professional plumber to do this. It normally requires soldiering and it’s illegal to do this unless you’re properly qualified.  

Move the radiator to its new location 

Now is the time to move your radiator to its new home. 

Measure the height of the radiator brackets on the old wall, as well as the distance between them. Take the brackets from the old wall, and reattach them to the new one taking care to ensure the measurements are the same.

You can use screws and a drill to do this. Lower the radiator onto the brackets on the new wall, ensuring they properly align with the ones on the back of the radiator. Make sure your valves are closed and secure the radiator to the brackets. You may require the assistance of a professional plumber to take care of any pipework.

Refill the system 

You can now refill the radiator with water. 

Slowly open the valves, switch on your system and keep an eye on the radiator as the water is filled up. Once water begins spitting out of the valves, you will know the radiator is full and you can close the valves. 

Once it has been refilled, you can reconnect the boiler’s electricity supply, turn on your central heating and test the radiator. 

While DIYers can conduct most of this work themselves, you will need the guidance of a professional plumber for various steps so make sure your work is checked to ensure your system is safe. 


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