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How to install a radiator

A guide to installing a radiator

Sometimes installing a new radiator might mean that you have to adjust the pipework before fitting.

Of course, you could always call the professionals and get them to do it, but where’s the fun in that?

If you are the kind of person who likes things done their own way then this How-to guide is perfect for you.

Follow the simple instructions below or watch the video to learn how to install a radiator and adjust the pipework and leave your home feeling warm and cosy.

Step 1 – Dressing the radiator

Before you can start installing your new radiator you will have to dress it to make sure it’s ready to go.

So first thing’s first – take your radiator valve and apply PTFE tape to the tail of the valve.

How to Install a Radiator_1_Wrapping PTFE

Wrap it around clockwise about 15-20 times (we say 17 in the video!).

Do this for both valves, creating a watertight seal, and remove the radiator bung.

Step 2 – Attach the air vents

Screw in the air vents, being careful not to over-tighten too much – you don’t want to damage the O-ring.

How to Install a Radiator_2_Hand tightening Valve
How to Install a Radiator_3_Spanner tightening Valve

Step 3 – Connect the radiator tail

Wind in the rad tails with your adjustable spanner until there is just one thread showing.

How to Install a Radiator_4_Spanner winding tail nut

Your radiator is now ready to be installed.

How do I get the radiator on my wall?

Once your radiator is dressed, before installing it on your wall, you need to work out the centre-point of where you would like your radiator to be positioned.

Follow the steps below to complete this task.

Step 1 – Measure the width of your wall

Measure the width of the wall using your measuring tape.

How to Install a Radiator_5_Width of the Wall

Step 2 – Measure & mark your centre line

Mark where the centre of the radiator will be at the centre of the wall.

How to Install a Radiator_6_Centre Point of the Radiator and Wall

Step 3 – Find the centre of the brackets

When you have marked your centre-point, you will then have to measure the centre between the left and right brackets.

It is best to do this with the radiator led flat on its back.

How to Install a Radiator_7_Measure Brackets 'Centre Left' to 'Centre Right'

Step 4 – Measure between the brackets

When you have measured the centre, you will need to work out the height of your radiator.

You can do this by measuring from the top of the top bracket to the top of the bottom bracket. Again, it is best to do this with the radiator flat on its back.

How to Install a Radiator_10_Radiator Height Measurement

Step 5 – Measure to the centre of the bottom bracket

The next step is to measure the height of the bottom brackets on the wall.

To do this, take a measurement from the floor to the centre of the valve outlet.

How to Install a Radiator_11_Distance from Valve centre to floor

Step 6 – Measure between the brackets

Once you have the centre-point marked on the wall, you will have to measure the distance between the centre-point and the left and right brackets.

How to Install a Radiator_9_Radiator Centre Measurement

Step 7 – Mark bracket positions on the wall

Using your earlier measurements, mark the top and bottom brackets on the wall.

How to Install a Radiator_12_position Bracket on wall

Step 8 – Drill the wall

Take your hammer drill – with 7mm masonry bit – and drill and plug the wall.

How to Install a Radiator_13_Drill the wall

Step 9 – Plug the wall

Be sure to hammer the plugs into the wall before screwing.

How to Install a Radiator_15_Hammer the Plug into the wall

Step 10 – Screw in the brackets & level check

Once you have all of the brackets screwed in, check that they are level and you are then ready to hang your radiator.

How to Install a Radiator_16_Drill Brackets to the wall
How to Install a Radiator_17_Spirit Level on Brackets

What if I need to alter the pipework?

The first thing to do is to ensure that you have drained down your heating system.

To learn how to do this, visit our guide – here.

Once you are sure this is done, follow the next steps.

How to alter your radiator pipework

Step 1 – Pull back your carpet

Lift up your carpet beneath the radiator you are working with.

How to Install a Radiator_18_Remove Carpet_1
How to Install a Radiator_19_Remove Carpet_2

Step 2 – Reveal the pipework

Carefully lift up the floorboards and uncover the pipework.

How to Install a Radiator_21_Remove Floorboard

Step 3 – Mark where changes are required

Once you have uncovered your pipes, it’s time to mark your floor.

How to Install a Radiator_22_Mark the floor

Step 4 – Be sure you measure correctly

To be sure that you are marking and cutting the floor in the correct area, attach the valve to the radiator before you take the measurements.

How to Install a Radiator_23_Cut the Floor_1

Step 5 – Make the cut

Cut the floor and then attach the valve to the radiator and bend the pipes in line. (if your pipe is larger than 10mm, you will have to use joining elbows.)

How to Install a Radiator_24_Cut the Floor_2

Step 6 – Clean & measure

Clean your pipes with wire wool and then measure the gap between the pipes.

How to Install a Radiator_25_Measure the Gap

Step 7 – Measure & cut

Measure and cut the joining piece and clean it with wire wool.

How to Install a Radiator_25_Apply Flux

Step 8 – Apply flux to pipework

Apply a small amount of flux to all the joining points and inside the fittings and connect the pipes together, ensuring that they are fully inserted.

How to Install a Radiator_26_Heat and Solder the Joint

Step 9 – Begin to solder pipework

You are now ready to solder. Using a blowtorch, heat the join until it is hot enough for the solder to melt.

When applying the solder you must ensure that it runs around the whole fitting. Allow the solder to set and then using a wet cloth wipe away any flux residue and clean with wire wool.

How to Install a Radiator_27_Solder the Joint

Step 10 – Fit the valves

Using your adjustable spanner, affix your valves to the radiator on both sides.

Once you are happy that the radiator and the pipework are sound, fire up your boiler and check that your radiator is warming up.

If it is you can then put your floorboards and carpet back down.

How to Install a Radiator_28_Fit the Valve

Step 11 – Fix up the carpet

Using a sharp knife, make a small slice in your carpet where your pipework is. And that’s it, you’ve just installed your radiator. Congratulations!

How to Install a Radiator_29_Cutting Carpet

If you’ve got any burning questions or need advice from the experts, be sure to send in your questions.

We may feature them in our next blog post, too. Questions can be sent via the comments section below, Facebook or Twitter.

Please note: Our ‘How-To’ manuals are intended only as a guide to assist you with common home heating tasks. Please do not attempt to undertake this task if any of the instructions are unclear, or if you are in any doubt about what to do. Instead, seek advice from a professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

A radiator should be positioned 2cm or more away from a wall.

Our wall-mounted designer radiators come supplied complete with wall fixings, which will ensure your radiators are set at least 2cm from the wall once installed.

You should place radiators in the coldest area of the room they are being installed in, where possible.

In most cases, this will be beneath the window or close to the entrance door.

It’s all about heat conduction and convection, which is explained in more detail in our full guide on where to position a radiator.

In some cases, you might be able to fit new radiators yourself, especially if they are to operate with existing pipework. Our guide on how to fit a radiator can help.

For a professional job, grab a quote from a plumber or a central heating engineer.

There are no rules or regulations outlining a set distance a socket should be from a radiator.

However, you should consider the impact that the transmitted heat could have on nearby cables, wires and other electrical equipment.

For further radiator fitting tips and advice, consult our how to install a radiator blog. Or, for inspiration surrounding the finest radiator models to select for your home, view our comprehensive radiator buying guide.

Radiators should typically be mounted so that the foot of the radiator is positioned a minimum of 150mm from the floor – though anywere from around 100mm x 150mm should suffice if your space allows.

The height of nearby floorboards and skirting could influence how high a radiator is fitted, if only for aesthetic reasons, and you may sometimes want it to sit a little higher or lower.

For more radiator fitting help and advice, consult our dedicated blog on how to install a radiator. Or, for initial inspiration regarding the finest heating solutions to add to your home in the first place, visit our comprehensive radiator buying guide.

Everything you need to know to complete a successful radiator fitting is covered in our guide on how to install a radiator.

We also have a selection of helpful video guides on YouTube.

Meanwhile, if you would like any inspiration regarding the best types of designer radiators to choose for your home, be sure to consult our comprehensive radiator buying guide.

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