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    How To Replace A Small Radiator With A Large One

    Tue 22nd Apr 2014 - 4:50am DIY Troubleshooting How To Replace A Small Radiator With A Large One


    Benjamin Clarke

    Today we’re going to run through how to replace a small radiator and put a longer radiator in it’s place. This is a particularly common scenario when you have a large room. The problem with a small radiator in a large room is it has too little British Thermal Units (BTUs) going into the room and heating it up.

    Where possible, it’s always a good idea to put radiators under windows. The reason for this is because they don’t have a great thermal efficiency and therefore, as the cold air comes in, the radiator under the window will warm that air as it comes into the room.

    Before we begin, we make sure that we’ve turned off the heating system and it’s all drained down and that all the radiator valves are open. Then the old radiator is ready to be removed.

    So we’ve removed the old radiator and capped off one of the pipes going to the return of that radiator. The flow pipe can be used again for the new radiator when we hang it up under the window. We’ve also got our floorboards up and exposed all the pipes that we need to work on. The next thing we need to do is actually hang the radiator on the wall, so we’ll go in the other room, unpack the radiator and start getting our measurements.

    Before you unpack the radiator, make sure that you check for damage. Also make sure that you find the two brackets (or three brackets if it’s a big radiator) and pop them to one side. Also look for the small box that contains the grommets and inserts for the radiator. Undo this box at the end - you’ll have instructions, air bleed insert, blanking plug insert and also the grommets that go onto the radiator bracket. We going to have our radiator standing off the wall by the smallest distance so we’ll pop our grommets onto the brackets. What they do is prevent the radiator from clicking when it heats up and from making noises when it rubs against the metal brackets.

    Remove the travel plug and pop in your insert. You’ll notice there’s a rubber washer around it so it shouldn’t require any sealant. Then tighten it with your grips. Do the same at the other end and pop your air bleed in. It’s worth remembering that you should always pop your airbleed at the end of the radiator that you know you’ll be able to get at once it’s installed on the wall. You don’t want to install it really tight against another wall, otherwise you’ll never be able to get to the bleed to actually bleed the radiator down, or it will at least be very difficult.

    Another thing worth noting is that you can take the top and side grills off and actually turn the radiator the other way up to make it a round top radiator, so it can be converted to two different types of radiator.

    Now we’ve prepared the radiator for going in, all we need to do is think about where our brackets are going to be. The first thing to do is to measure the distance between the centre of each of the brackets. (In our example radiator, it’s 108cm).

    Now the next thing to do is to mock up the bracket actually hanging on the radiator and measure the bottom of the bracket to the bottom of the radiator itself. (On our example radiator, that is 11cm)

    The next thing to do is to measure the width of the window itself, divide that by two and that will give us the centre. Make a tiny mark in pencil and make a straight line using the spirit level down the wall. Now we want to determine what height we want the radiator at. Our example radiator is 400mm high and we want the top of the rad to be just below the window sill. So we also mark the bottom of the radiator with a pencil mark. All we then do is measure up 11cm (the distance between the bottom of our radiator and the bottom of the bracket) and make a small mark on the wall.

    We know the width between our brackets is 108cm, so 108/2 = 54cm and we’ll mark that accordingly. We’ll use our spirit level to draw a straight line between both of our marks. So we have a spirit level horizontal line and we’ll then use a small spirit level at each point where we’ve marked the brackets to make a line to make sure the vertical point is truly vertical.

    The next thing to do is with each mark, we put our bracket on the bottom of the line and the side of the bracket against the vertical line. Mark all the holes on each bracket and do it at each end. Get yourself the right size drill bit and firstly drill your slotted hole. Do that at both ends as you add both brackets, then place the spirit level horizontally across both brackets to check they’re level. Then put on the remaining screws and plugs.

    Grab your radiator and pop it on, bottom first, and push it up onto the brackets. You’ll notice once this is done that your radiator can slide from side to side on the brackets. Now is a good time to measure it out to make sure the radiator is central. The radiator is now in position and we’ll now know exactly where our pipes need to come up through the floor. We’ll know where to put our thermostatic radiator valves (TRV) and lockshield on to our pipework.

    Remove your TRV from the box and put PTFE on the valve thread. (The more the merrier, as PTFE is cheap but leaks are expensive.) Wind the screw into the side of the radiator. Make sure that the TRV you get has the Two Arrow sign on it, that means it’s universal and can go on either end of the radiator regardless of the flow or return. Follow the same process with the lockshield at the other end.

    We’ve now got the radiator hung on the wall and we’ve got our valves in so we know exactly where we can bring our pipes up. If doing the pipework yourself, make sure you’ve tightened all the nuts up and all your solder fittings have been done, but before you put the floorboards down, make sure that you’ve got no leaks by filling up the system, pressure testing and making sure that everything is fine there. After you’ve done that, you can pop your floorboards down, your underlay and your carpet, or whatever you had on the floor beforehand.

    You can view a video of this entire process on the Trade Radiators YouTube Channel here

    The radiator featured in the main image is the 1400x400mm 4 Column Radiator

    Article by Benjamin Clarke

    VIDEO - How To Add Inhibitor To Your Heating System - Method 1

    Thu 17th Apr 2014 - 3:50am DIY Troubleshooting VIDEO - How To Add Inhibitor To Your Heating System - Method 1


    Benjamin Clarke

    Central heating inhibitor is a liquid additive to put in your heating system to help prevent the build up of limescale and corrosion in your radiators. Adding inhibitor can help with the efficiency of your system and increase the lifespan of your radiators, and it's definitely something you can do yourself.

    This video features Jimmy the Plumber covering the easiest way of adding inhibitor to your heating system. As he explains, most plumbers looking to inhibit a system will first look for a heated towel rail in the house. Adding inhibitir via a heated towel rail is the simplest way of doing it and this is the method Jimmy covers in this video.

    If you do not have a heated towel rail in your house, we will cover how to add inhibitor via a radiator in a future video.

    Heating inhibitor is available to buy in the Accessories Section of our website »»

    The radiator featured in the main image is the Deco Stainless Steel Heated Towel Rail 

    Article by Benjamin Clarke

    Winner of our £3000 Apprentice Competition Interviewed

    Tue 15th Apr 2014 - 8:32am Press Winner of our £3000 Apprentice Competition Interviewed


    Benjamin Clarke

    Last year, we ran a competition asking small business owners to pitch us with ideas on how they would be able to expand their business if they took on an apprentice.

    We truly believe in the useful functionality of an apprenticeship and we also remembered back to our early days and how helpful it would’ve been for a bigger company to provide funding and help us with expanding.

    Our competition prize was to provide the winner with £3000 to help finance the cost of taking on an apprentice. After an impressive and impassioned pitch, we decided the lucky recipient would be Sam Smith, who runs his own plumbing and heating company in Derby.

    With the money, Sam was able to take on 17 year old Jacob Ball as his apprentice. This story has gained quite a bit of online media coverage and Sam was recently interviewed by Dawn Murden of Talk Business Magazine.

    You can read the full interview here: Why Are Apprenticeships Important?

    Send us your Easter Weekend DIY Projects

    Mon 14th Apr 2014 - 9:43am Home Interiors Send us your Easter Weekend DIY Projects


    Benjamin Clarke

    The Easter Weekend is always an excellent time to get some jobs done around the house, whether it's painting and decorating, unblocking the sink, bleeding the radiators or fitting a new heated towel rail.

    Whatever DIY project you're up to over Easter, we would like to invite you to tell us all about it. We're always nosy about what other people's home improvements are, so we'd love it if you could send us some pictures of what you're working on! Whether it's before and after pictures, or just images of the finished project, we'll be happy to receive them. The ones we like will be displayed on our Facebook Page and on our other social media channels!

    You can email your pictures to us, along with your name, town/city and a few words about your project to

    Have a great long weekend and we can't wait to see what you've got on the go!

    Should you need to order anything from us to be received in time for the Easter Weekend, please contact us today on 0845 3313 909.

    Article by Benjamin Clarke

    How To Fix A Radiator That Wont Get Hot

    Thu 10th Apr 2014 - 2:37am DIY Troubleshooting How To Fix A Radiator That Wont Get Hot


    Benjamin Clarke

    Today we’re going to have a look at the problems you might have if you’ve only got one radiator that’s not working. So let’s say you’ve got a house full of ten rads and you’ve got one radiator in one of those rooms that just won’t get hot.

    Usually you’ll find that it’s actually a really really simple solution and one that you can do yourself, without actually having to call a plumber out. So let’s see how we can do that now.

    There are two ends to a radiator where the heating will come in and go out. The lockshield end is generally on the return side back to the boiler, so the first thing to do if the radiator isn’t getting hot is to get yourself an adjustable spanner, or a pair of grips, and open the lockshield valve one full turn.

    Now go to the other end of the radiator and, if there’s a thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) present (which there is on most radiators in the UK), make sure it’s fully turned open.

    If you’ve opened the lockshield at one end and the radiator TRV at the other end and the radiator still doesn’t get hot, what you can then do is remove the radiator TRV head. Once you’ve removed the head, that will expose the TRV pin, that the radiator valve acts on.

    Now often these can get stuck down in the shut position. To solve this issue, do not use anything to hit the pin with, but instead, grab a set of grips and wiggle the pin up and down in order to free it off. Once you’ve got that working properly, you should see the pin goes up and down on its own.

    If you feel like it once you’ve freed the pin, you can spray some lubricant around the pin shaft to try and prevent it from getting stuck again.

    Those are the first two points you should try and cover when you’ve got one radiator that isn’t working. If you’ve done all that - you’ve opened up your lockshield, turned on the TRV and freed up the pin and you’re still not getting any heat or flow through the radiator, then there’s one more thing you can probably do as a homeowner, although it is still quite advanced.

    The first thing to do is shut the thermostatic radiator valve and shut the lockshield. Then get a small towel, put it under the air bleed valve and open up the bleed with a radiator key. That will dissipate any pressure that’s in the radiator because no water can now get into the radiator as both of the valves are shut.

    The next thing to do once the pressure has been fully dissipated is to remove the whole airbleed assembly itself and put in a connection that will allow you to attach a normal garden hose. (½ inch male to 15mm compression with a small stub of 15mm copper is fine)

    Then turn the heating system off, take the end of the garden hose outside and then open up the thermostatic radiator valve. What will happen is a large body of water will come out through the top of the radiator, go down your hose and out into the garden.

    The reason to do this is potentially the remaining problem about that radiator is there could be an airlock. Flushing out the flow side through the thermostatic radiator valve will push any trapped air out.

    Remember, once you’ve pushed any air out, if you’ve got a pressurised system, top up the pressure on the filling loop. Or if you’ve got a non-pressurised system, you shouldn’t have to worry as it will fill up automatically.

    Once you remove any slugs of air, you will then need to shut the thermostatic radiator valve and do the same with the lockshield. Also remove your hose and reinstate the radiator with it’s airbleed, so it’s back to normal. Turn the radiator back on and with any luck, you should get some heat flowing into the radiator.

    You can view a video of this radiator process on our YouTube Channel.

    Alternatively, if this has not solved your problem, you are advised to watch out How To Balance Your Heating System video.

    The radiator featured in the main image is a Victorian Cast Iron Radiator 760mm High.

    Article by Benjamin Clarke