Removing A Radiator for Decorating

26 June 2013
Removing A Radiator for Decorating

If you are redecorating a room, you will know that there is an awkward area behind your radiator that can prove difficult to paint or wallpaper without taking the radiator off. We have all seen lazy DIY jobs where a nicely decorated room has been spoiled by a glimpse of some strangely-pattered 1970s wallpaper lurking down the back of the radiator. Removing a radiator need not be an arduous process and this article takes you through just how easy it is.‹¯¨

Isolate the radiator

The first thing to do before removing a radiator is to isolate it. This can be done by shutting off both valves at each end. First use a cap to tighten it down and then tighten it a little further with an adjustable spanner. If you have thermostatic valves fitted, you need to have the shut-off caps that would have come with the valves when they were new and first fitted. Without the shut-off caps, it’s very difficult to isolate the radiator.

Drain water out of the radiator

At this stage, you will need to drain all of the water out of the radiator so it is advisable to find a suitable container (like an old ice cream tub) to catch the water. Sometimes it’s worth cutting a slot out of the side of the container to help it fit more tightly and closely to the radiator valve. This will help to reduce the risk of spillage.
Supporting the radiator valve with something like an adjustable spanner or a pair of pliers, loosen the nut to allow the water to drain into the container. After it has been draining for a few minutes, loosen the bleed valve to let air into the radiator. This will help to speed things up and enable the water to drain quicker. As the container begins to fill, re-tighten the nut and get rid of the water down the sink or into an outside drain (whichever is most appropriate for you).

Lift the radiator off the wall

Once the radiator is drained, you will need to undo the other end and the radiator should lift off easily. As there may be a small amount of water left in the radiator, have your container ready to catch the water to avoid making a mess on your carpet. Removing the radiator completely will then give the the option of removing the wall mounting brackets to allow you to paint or wallpaper your wall comprehensively.
Once the radiator has been removed, you may find that the valves drip a little bit of water. If you do find that this is the case, then this can be solved by slightly tightening the valves with your adjustable spanner again.

Decorate then reattach radiator

After you have decorated the wall behind where the radiator normally stands and want to reattach it to the wall, remove any old jointing compound from the joints and very thinly spread a fresh layer of new jointing compound into the joints. Get the radiator back into place (you may need someone to help hold it in place) and tighten both nuts fully. Once this has been done, open both valves to allow the water back into the radiator and use the bleed valve to allow any air out of the radiator.