Home Repair, Change A Radiator On Your Central Heating System And Save Money

by KIRK SMITH - Date: 2009-03-18 - Word Count: 745 Share This!

Most domestic heating systems today are gas central heating which consists of a boiler and a series of radiators to provide heat to individual rooms or areas in the house. The boiler is the heart of a gas central heating system and will pump water to the pipes feeding the radiators, which in turn, radiate heat.

It is common however, for radiators to become clogged or blocked with sludge and debris which can cause a gas central heating system to under perform and subsequently lose heat. Any sludge in a radiator can also cause the boiler itself to become damaged as it may be pumped through the system causing the boilers pump to fail which may prove to be very expensive to remedy.

We must therefore prevent damage to the boiler by regularly maintaining the radiators and ensuring they are functioning correctly. If you are wondering how to know if a radiator has sludge in it then there are some obvious signs like 'cold spots', whereby only parts of the radiator will be hot while others are noticeably cold.

In any case, it is good practice to regularly maintain the system to ensure or prevent any such sludge from building up in the system. There are also a range of additive that you can employ into the water that will assist in keeping your central heating system clean.

Changing A Radiator

Changing a radiator is actually quite easy and as long as you follow the correct procedures, it will not take long to do. You will need to firstly ensure that the water supply to the radiator itself is isolated and this can be achieved by turning the radiator valve all the way down so that the isolating valve is in its closed position. Repeat this for the valve on the other side of the radiator so that both pipes feeding the radiator are now isolated and no water can enter the radiator. Lock shield valves are quite obvious when they have been turned off but with some thermostatic valves, it is not always obvious when they are in their isolated position so double check to ensure that any thermostatic valve is completely isolated.

Once the radiator has been isolated from the system, you can then prepare to drain any water from it. This is done by loosening the nut on the radiator valve that is connected to the radiator. You may need to also use grips alongside your spanner. Before loosening the nut, place a shallow tray beneath the valve to catch any water as it expels from the radiator. You may also want a bucket on hand to transfer the water. Do this for both valves.

Now that the radiator has been drained, you can remove it from the wall and prepare it for maintenance. Take care with this as even without water in, some radiators are very heavy so if you can, have a helper to assist you with this.

Cleaning The Radiator

Take the radiator outside into the garden or yard and turn it upside down. Take a hose and start to flush it out with water until the water is running clear. Badly contaminated radiators may also need the addition of chemical agents which are available from your local plumbers merchants.

Take the radiator back in an position it back onto the brackets on the wall. Connect the valves back as they were and ensure they are securely nipped up with your spanner. Older radiators may also need a couple of turns of pfte tape before tightening.

When valves are nipped up correctly, you can proceed to turn the isolation valve back up so that water will flow back into the radiators. Check closely for any leaks as you do this. You will need to go back to the boiler and add a little water if need be to accommodate the water that was drained earlier. Make sure that the water is in accordance with the manufacturers recommended settings. All you have to do now is go back to the radiator and bleed it for air which can be done with a radiator bleed key which is available form any DIY shop. Bleed the radiator until water flows through the bleed hole at the top side of the radiator. Check the radiator once again for any leaks. Kirk Smith's company 4K Construction are professional builders from Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom. Please visit 4K Constructions Builders Talk  for professional help and advice on construction, DIY, and all aspects of building. 

Related Tags: radiators, boilers, gas central heating

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