A Guide to Dual Fuel Towel Radiators - Part 2

A Guide to Dual Fuel Towel Radiators - Part 2

Part 2 - Buying Guide


How to Know Which Dual Fuel Radiator You Need


A column radiator under a window


The easiest way to think about buying a dual fuel radiator is simply to think of it as a standard radiator which you’d want to use more often than others.


Some people will get themselves in a tizzy comparing products and wonder about things like whether a specific space requires dual fuel, or if the typical British weather means every room should have one. Truth be told, if you think every room needs one, then just stick with central heating to keep things simple.


When you do need a dual fuel radiator though, some of the key aspects to consider would include



While it seems like a lot to take in, finding the right dual fuel radiator for any room is easy, and it’s what we are going to cover in this section of the guide.


It all starts with doing some math and understanding what size of element you need.



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How to Know Which Size Dual Fuel Element You Need




For those who already have a radiator and want to adapt it to be a dual fuel radiator, how do you make sure you buy the right bits, and what even needs considering for the job at hand?


You’ll want to find an element which you know will match the typical BTU heat output of your radiator. It gets every so slightly complicated when you find out that electric radiators don’t work off of BTU but wattage; although this is quite easy to workaround.


There are two ways of doing it:


Multiplying for W


If you know the BTU output of your radiator (if you don’t, use this heating calculator) divide the BTU number by 3.41 to get the rough wattage, e.g.


1000 (BTU) / 3.41 = 293 W
1500 (BTU) / 3.41 = 440 W


Dividing for W


Alternatively, 1BTU/hr is equal to 0.293071 W, so you multiple your BTU by 0.293071 to get the same number, e.g.:


1000 (BTU) * 0.293071 = 293 W
1500 (BTU) * 0.293071 = 440 W



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Dual Fuel Radiator Sizes



The size you’re after will depend on whether you’re buying a dual fuel radiator, or the element separately.




You can pretty much neglect thinking about the size of the element inside of the radiator as it will never change.


Manufacturers will place elements in there which already match the BTU output when the radiator is using the central heating system, so you never have to worry about it.




Depending on the BTU/W requirements of your radiator, you’ll find that fuel conversion kits and elements come in different sizes. These sizes vary from brand to brand, and there is no scale set in stone.


It is best to find elements which match the wattage you’re looking for, and then compare that with the height of your radiator column from the entry, as that is where the element has to sit.



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Should I just Buy an Electric Radiator?


An electric radiator or towel rail will work wonders if you’re after an independent heater, but if you already have a central heating system and would be reliant on heating an area for most of the year, you’re best to stick with a traditional or dual fuel option.




Choosing a Colour or Finish for Your Dual Fuel Radiator



With your element nicely tucked away inside the radiator, you have the freedom to choose pretty much any colour or finish you like on a dual fuel radiator.


Some of the most popular colours we have at Trade Radiators include:


  • Anthracite
  • Black
  • Brass
  • Chrome
  • Copper
  • Nickel
  • Pewter
  • Satin
  • Silver
  • White


If there’s a specific colour you want when buying a dual fuel radiator, shop for radiators by colour here. Trade Radiators even stocks products you can have a custom colour finish on, so if there’s a finish you have your heart set on, there’s a good chance we can paint a dual fuel radiator just how you want it.


It is important to remember that if you’re buying a thermostatic element or Wi-Fi enabled thermostatic valve to pop on the end of the element that you can also choose a finish for it. Some of the most common would include:


  • Anthracite
  • Black
  • Chrome
  • Silver
  • White


If you’re unsure which to choose, we recommend having a valve colour which will match the fittings and pipes on the radiator to help complement the look.



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Dual Fuel Radiator Functionality


Getting kitted out with dual fuel radiators all over the home or office sounds exciting. Still, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t think about the functionality of the product and whether you really need this type of radiator.


It is important to consider:


  • The location of the radiator.
  • How often you’ll need to use electric over the central heating.
  • How many other radiators are in the room.
  • What the ideal room temperature is.
  • If wiring up the radiator is convenient.


Remember that you want your dual fuel radiator to be practical and easy to use, rather than a hindrance or something you feel you have to go out your way to use. It’s designed for




Dual Fuel Radiator Brands



There are some brands out there which make better dual fuel radiators, and you’ll be happy to know you don’t have too far to look as they’re available here at Trade Radiators.


Some of the best brands for dual fuel products include:


  • Pisa
  • Lazzarini
  • Trade Direct





If you didn’t know, Italy is one of the world’s biggest radiator makers, and Pisa is one of the country’s leading brands.


They primarily deal with towel rails which look sophisticated and ideal for any size bathroom. Obviously, with that part of the world not using much central heating, a dual fuel rail is ideal.


You can shop for Pisa dual fuel products here.





Another Italian brand we’ve stocked for a long-time, Lazzarini products are if you have what would be considered a contemporary space and would prefer the likes of a fancy anthracite rail.


You can shop for Lazzarini dual fuel products here.


Trade Direct



We noticed that customers in the UK didn’t have much choice when it came to dual fuel radiators, so decided why not just make a brand? That’s what Trade Direct is here for.


The Trade Direct range is the most comprehensive selection of dual fuel rails and radiators you’ll find from a UK brand. The team is particularly proud of products like the Saturn Offset.


You can shop for Trade Direct dual fuel products here.



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Tools & Dual Fuel Radiator Accessories



While dual fuel radiators provide versatility for the user, there are still a few ways to make the installation of a new radiator even better. With the right accessories, you can make the most of the look you’re going for.


Dual fuel radiator accessories you will want to consider include:


  • Smart Heating Controls
  • Air Vents
  • Pipe sleeves


Smart heating controls give you fantastic versatility and ability to control heating all over the home with the tap of a finger.


Air vents are the kind of accessory you kick yourself for not having before. Instead of scrambling around for a radiator key every few months to get trapped air out, a dedicated vent does the job with self-regulation helping the radiator tick along.


Pipe sleeves are just one of those finishing touches which help make the installation look as classy as possible, especially if your existing pipes have seen a better day.


When buying a new radiator, it helps to get your installation looking just the way you want it, so take a look at all our radiator accessories here.



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Buying Dual Fuel Radiators with Trade Radiators


Don’t make buying a dual fuel radiator a difficult process. Trade Radiators is here to get you the ideal radiator at the ideal price.


Trade Radiators is the UK’s leading online store for anything and everything radiator related, and our dual fuel products are no exception. Every customer can be assured they’ll benefit from:


  • Free & Fast Delivery
  • Finance Options Available
  • Top-Rated Customer Service
  • Competitive Prices


When buying dual fuel radiators, the team aims to get it delivered as quickly as possible. Most products ship within a day or two, with an extra day in cases where we have to take a standard radiator and adapt it. When ordering, you’ll be emailed with the exact delivery date and tracking info.


If you need help finding the ideal dual fuel radiator or don’t know where to start with choosing the right radiator, the Trade Radiators customer team is here to help.


Visit our contact page, or click the small chat icon on the corner of the page to chat directly with the team.




Advice & How-to Guides


A plumber removing a radiator


As convenient as they are, dual fuel radiators can sometimes be slightly confusing to use if you’ve no previous experience.


Thankfully, Trade Radiators knows there is no such thing as a stupid question. This section of the guide is dedicated to all those questions you may be embarrassed to ask, with practical advice on how to work and take care of dual fuel radiators.


We’ll be looking at topics which include:


  • How to fit a dual fuel radiator
  • How to change a dual fuel radiator
  • How to use a dual fuel radiator
  • When to do when a dual fuel radiator leaks
  • The biggest mistake dual fuel users make
  • Common dual fuel problems


If you’ve already had a quick look through and we haven’t been able to answer your question clearly, it might be worth visiting our blog’s DIY & Troubleshooting section.


It’s where you’ll find handy articles on dual fuel radiators, as well as some fantastic videos that look at how to install and maintain the element.



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How to Fit a Dual Fuel Radiator


Dual fuel radiators are fitted just like a standard radiator. You need to pipe them up and hang them on the wall.


The only difference is that you’ll need a plug socket or wired connection near the entry valve. This video explains the process in detail:



A few essential tips to take into account when fitting a dual fuel radiator for the first time:


  • Don’t have the radiator in contact with the floor or wall.
  • Try not to have the socket above the radiator.
  • Try not to install near curtains.
  • If the radiator needs to have a cable to reach a socket, make sure the cable isn’t wrapped around the radiator or hanging loose.




How to Change a Dual Fuel Radiator


Dual fuel radiators are taken off the wall and changed just like a standard radiator.


The only difference would be ensuring the radiator is unplugged (if it uses a plug) or that the wired connection is turned off at the fuse box before being removed.




How to Use a Dual Fuel Radiator


A quick flick of the wrist is all it takes to change the heating source when using a dual fuel radiator. At the entry of the radiator will be where the T-Pipe sits. A T-Pipe helps split the valve entry so that both water and the wire connecting to the element can enter the radiator.


You use the radiator by selecting one side of the valve and using that as your heat source. You can’t have both on at the same time and always double-check when turning the electric on at the plug or switch that you have the valve turned the correct way.




What to do when a Dual Fuel Radiator Leaks



It’s rare to have a dual fuel radiator leak, but it can happen. There are usually two reasons why this occurs:


  1. Your valves are closed too tight.
  2. There’s a problem with the radiator.


In most cases, it will be the former, as people often forget that radiators need to relieve pressure. When some people turn on the electric element, they completely close over the valve. Think of it like boiling a kettle when there’s too much water and some spills out, which is what is happening here.


If you find that the radiator is leaking regardless of what heating type you use, especially if its leaking while turned off, get a professional to check it out and keep the heating off.




The Biggest Mistake Dual Fuel Users Make


You’d be surprised just how often people make the most common mistake when using dual fuel radiators.


The radiator will have a switch on the valve which turns one way for central heating, and the opposite for electric.


Remember that the purpose of having an adapted radiator is that it will heat just one radiator, so you always need to make sure that you isolate your dual fuel radiator from the rest of the system.  That means you need to close it off and leave just a little space open in the bleed/ return valve to prevent pressure build-up.


If you don’t, the element will heat water in the radiator, and that water will go on its merry way through the rest of your system, wasting energy and electricity in the process.




Common Dual Fuel Problems


A dual fuel heated towel rail being installed


Dual fuel radiators with problems can leave you feeling like you’re trying to solve a Rubik’s cube at points if you don’t know what is going on.


The most common dual fuel problem you’re likely to encounter include:


  • Electric heating not turning on
  • The radiator isn’t hot to the touch
  • The radiator is scorching hot to the touch
  • The radiator is cold when central heating is on


Here are some of the solutions you’ll want to employ:


Problem Solution
Electric heating not turning on after plugging in. Check radiator valve is set to electric and not central heating.
The radiator isn’t hot to the touch. Check thermostat level and make sure the valve is open.
The radiator is scorching hot to the touch when electric is on and making noise. Check you haven’t completely closed the bleed valve as you may have pressure building up.
The radiator is cold when central heating is on. Check you haven’t still got the radiator set to electric.




Again, these are common problems, and if you’re unsure why a dual fuel radiator is not working, we recommend getting in touch with a tradesperson for help.




Get Dual Fuel Radiator Advice & Order Online with Trade Radiators



Well, that’s pretty much everything you’d ever need to know about dual fuel radiators covered.


We hope you found this guide to have all the essential information you need, and that it helps you whether you’re buying a dual fuel radiator for the first time or trying to troubleshoot a heating problem at home.


If you still need help with buying a dual fuel radiator, the Trade Radiators team is here to help. Get in touch with us via our contact page, let us know what kind of radiator you need, and we’ll match you with suitable products.


We also recommend reading some of these additional dual fuel posts from our blog:



Our full range of dual fuel radiators and electric heating solutions is available at TradeRadiators.com.


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