Before removing a radiator, switch off the heating system and allow enough time for the water to cool down. Have a radiator bleed key (fig 1), plenty of old towels/absorbent cloths and a container/tray for water collection to hand. The water and sludge that can come out of a radiator can stain and ruin floors and carpets so planning ahead is highly recommended.
Close both radiator valves at each end of the radiator, one valve will be a control valve (see (fig 2) which can be closed by turning it clockwise, the other (see fig 3) will have a plastic cap which should be removed, then the valve can be closed by turning it clockwise using an adjustable spanner (see fig 4).
Count how many turns it takes to close so when the radiator is refitted the valve will be open in the same position, (this valve controls water flow through the radiator).
When you are ready to loosen the radiator nut(s) hold the valve in position with another pair of gland pliers (water pump pliers, fig 5) to minimize any strain on the pipework.
To loosen the radiator nut use a pair of gland pliers (water pump pliers) but don’t loosen it fully, just give one a few turns until water starts to seep out, this can be collected in your tray/container, when the tray/container is full, tighten the nut and empty the tray/container, continue doing this until no more water comes out from the radiator. Now you can loosen both radiator nuts and close the bleed valve.
You may need help lifting the radiator off its fixing brackets, the valves will probably need prising slightly away from the radiator so it can be lifted clear, remember the bottom of the radiator will still contain water and sludge. So as you lift the radiator have a tray/container nearby then tip the radiator slightly to pour the water and sludge out.
If you need to store the radiator for any length of time turn it upside down to reduce the chance of any water/sludge coming out and staining floors or carpet.
- Radiator bleed key
- Adjustable spanner
- 2 pairs of gland/waterpump pliers
- Water collection tray/container
- Supply of old towels or cloths