After reading Andy Hall's method of flushing out radiators, I'm going to
have a go at cleaning out my daughters system. One thing I would like to
know before I start is how are the radiators fixed to the wall?
All the ones I've met are hung on hooks bolted to the wall.
Once the pipework is released the should just lift off (but can be a bit
Watch for the sludge, I try to get them upside down as soon as possible
(bleed valve shut!) before transporting out of the hovel.
Careful: some wall brackets have a "hook" shape at the top of where the
clips on, so if you lift it too high then it appears that you can't move it
forward away from
the wall. Suggest take a good look at the bracket (a wee mirror and a torch
before detaching and have two people lift the radiator off until you
familiarise yourself with
the dynamics involved.
A wee tip: use two kids party balloons and clip these over the radiator
tails (the bits that
connect onto the floor pipework). These will catch the sludge before it hits
the carpet (and
it is black filth... horrible stuff).
Finally, make sure that any Thermostatic Radiator valve is absolutely shut.
I took a radiator off for
a friend and told him to do the decoration behind the radiator and replace
the radiator that night
for fear of the turned-off TRV opening overnight.
Guess what he didn't do... guess why his carpet was covered in a few gallons
of radiator water.
Yuk! If you buy TRVs yourself, or inherit a place where they've been
fitted which had an unusually helpful previous owner, you get an alternative
non-thermostatic head for just this purpose - works on the same valve
mech as the thermostatic head, but works "normally", screwing and unscrewing
to control flow. I believe they're intended for use in new builds and
commercial fitting - get the plumbers in to fit rads, put the non-delicate
and not-worth-ripping-off heads on, get the decorators in, put the
TRV heads back when all is done.
Me, though the previous owners had indeed left a couple of these heads
behind, I went double-paranoid: as well as shutting off the lockshield
and temporarily-not-T valves, I then held a couple of PTFE-tape-wrapped
coins (1p, if I remember right) over the bared ends with Suitable
Threaded Things out of the plumbing-spares box: I think that the STTs
were from scrap washing-machine hose ends. (But then, sometimes I think
I have a cat, and I think it enjoys it when I stroke it; but is there
really a cat, or am I just making it all up? ;-)
"The Lord knows I am not a cruel man."
"Ah, so you believe in God?"
"no. The Lord is my cat. At least I think I have a cat, and I think it
enjoys it when I stroke it; but is there really a cat?"
Good old DNA
On Tue, 28 Oct 2003 19:20:42 +0000 (UTC), mike ring
Never a truer word.
Once you have the radiator disconnected from the pipework the best
thing to do (before turning upside down) is to put some sort of tray
or other container under one end, and then lift the other end up so
that any remaining water and goo is dumped into the tray. Then get a
couple of gobs of gaffer tape to sling over the fittings at either end
before lifting the radiator off completely - the gaffer tape will
prevent spillage hopefully.
Getting sludge dumped onto your carpet is not a good idea. It stains
badly. If necessary pull the carpet back before starting this job.
Thanks for your advice guys, just one more question - I will be doing the
job on my own, but I see several people have said you need two to lift the
rads. Surely they are not that heavy are they? The biggest one I have to
take off is I think, about 130cm long and single. TIA, Ed
They are heavier than you think, but that size is easily manageable. When
it comes to double panels, it's a question of whether there are small ribs
fitted between the panels along the top that can be used to get your fingers
underneath. Otherwise, best to have a person each end.
Make sure the pipes and valves are out of the way - you don't want to catch
them and bend anything as you manoeuvre the radiator away. I stuff some
kitchen roll in the valve tails and tie small plastic bags around with
rubber bands, put old towels on the floor and don't *ever* tilt the
radiator. Often there is a pool of intensely black gunge lying at the very
very bottom, waiting to ooze out and permanently stain any carpet.
PS You do know there is a small risk that flushing out old systems can lead
to leaks as some of the "structural" rust is removed ?
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