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Moving and Removing a radiator

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LyNx

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Going for it and knocking down the studded wall between the kitchen and dinning room to allow a bit more room. It's only 100mm stud with a single skin of plasterboard either side.

On both faces of the wall are small radiators. One of which i need to remove totally and the other moved to the external wall until we decide on the final position of a new radiator.

How easy is it to do myself or will i need to pay out for a plumber to do this.

Andy
 

Argee

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Heck of a difficult question to answer accurately, as we don't know your skill level with plumbing and you don't say whether the pipework is standard 15mm or minibore, but a few things for you to consider:

1) Each radiator may have its own run of flow and return pipes, or one may pick up (through the wall) from the other. Either way, you'll need to trace the pipework back to a suitable point from which to make new runs to the external wall site.

2) Assuming that each rad has its own flow and return, you'll have to trace the runs for the defunct rad back to where it tees off the circuit, then cap them.

3) All or any work on the radiator system will require a drain down - don't forget to re-fill with inhibitor when you get to that point. If you're going to re-site, this may be best left until all final positions are plumbed in.

4) You don't say whether the pipes are totally surface-mounted, or whether they disappear into a floor void. Either way, there are advantages and disadvantages. With a floor void, you will need to remove some flooring, but the subsequent pipework doesn't need to be as "attractive" as a surface-mounted system. With surface-mounted pipework, although the floor stays unmoved, the subsequent pipework needs to look good, so that will mean soldering rather than compression joints.

5) If, by some chance, your system is either pressurised or minibore, get a pro in. Whilst these are not much more complex, there are an additional number of factors involved and I would not recommend you dive into these without a good deal of extra thought.

If you've not tried this before (e.g taken a radiator off to wallpaper behind it), get a quote or two - it might pleasantly surprise you, as this is a relatively straightforward job for a tradesman.

What tools do you already have? Do they include a pipe bender, blowtorch, etc. Do you have any flux, solder, steel wool? All of these will cost you if you don't have them, so factor that into what it will actually cost you to do it, if you take it on. HTH

Ray.
 

SammyQ

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Depends really where supply pipes run; if they emerge from a solid floor, big job, =plumber. If they run inside the stud wall, could JUST be a DIY job. If they run above ground, along the skirting or similar, easy.

Some people (including plumbers) believe that to cut and remove said radiators, needs a complete drain down, new 'Fernox', air bubble chasing..... I have twice managed to execute a radiator removal and pipe cutting by:

a) Closing the outlet pipe at the bottom of the header tank with a rubber bung (Chemistry Dept of local school), and


b) Similarly blocking up the overflow pipe leading from the system back into this same tank.

This method traps water in the system rather in the method of a vintner sampling a cask of wine, with his thumb over the top of a long tube. Believe it or not, if you work fast, there is minimal or no leakage at the cuts. You can then cap the cut ends with pipe/valve assemblies to suit the room geography and plans.

DON'T FORGET TO REMOVE YOUR PLUGS ONCE THE JOB IS DONE!!!
 

LyNx

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Hmmm, so it's not a easy as just cutting the pipe and putting a kink in it :lol:

The pipe work is minibore and runs into the stud wall. As i've only fitted a few kitchens and bathrooms i don't think my skill level is high enough to be trusted on this. I can't comment on the pipe run until i start removing some plasterboard.

I'll get a quote to do this, but if it's far too high then i'll have a go myself.

Thanks for the info

Andy
 
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Hi LyNx

I think that there are a couple of things to consider before you start.

1. Stud walls can still be load bearing, are you certain that the wall is not bearing any of the weight from above?

2. This is filthy dusty work and no matter what precautions you take it can fill your house with dust. If you are doing it yourself are you prepared to live with it until it is finished? (especially in the kitchen)

3. Plumbing is a bit of a leap of faith as far as I am concerned. Firstly, make sure that you understand how your system works. If you know how it works plan all you moves in advance (including an escape route if everything goes wrong!) Make sure that you are comfortable with the fitting s that you are going to use. If you are going to use end feed copper fittings and haven't used them before, get the gear and have a play around to make sure you are comfortable. It's not as difficult as you think. At the other end of the scale you have "Speedfit" type fittings that you just push on and hand tighten, job done. These are quick but expensive and a bit ugly if you are going to surface mount any of the pipework. Whatever you choose, if you are prepared and understand what you are doing you can save yourself a bit of money and you have gained a skill in the process. Not bad for a bit of evening reading and a few quid on tools!

4. Make sure that you put in a radiator that is big enough for he new space. There are plenty of resources online for calculating this type of thing. It would be terrible if when the work is done that you couldn't get enough heat into the room.

5. There are a few levels that you might want to check before you start, nothing that should stop you doing the work just might make things more complicated. First the floor levels, I have been caught out when removing walls where the floors have been screeded out of level on either side of a wall. You wouldn't think it would make much difference but if you get a 10/15mm step in your floor you have to lose it somehow! Same thing for walls, its even more difficult to lose a change in thickness on the rendering on the wall. Ceilings shouldn't be to bad but might be worth checking just so you know what you are taking on and dont have any surprises.

Wow, just reread you post and I have gone off on a bit of a tangent!!!


So the quick answer is, do it yourself. Have a go, have a load of stop ends ready and you will be fine. If it goes wrong call the plumber and tell him that you brother/cousin/uncle did it and has let you down!!!

Sorry about the long post


Saint
 

LyNx

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Saint, you've added a few things that a haven't really thought about. Hopefully, as it's a fairly new house then the floors should be level. One has laminate and the other has tiles but i plan to replace both with underfloor heating and a limestone floor.

Again, i think the ceiling level should be ok and this is going to be the first thing i patch up.

There is a solid, load bearing wall running the width of the house and the studded wall in question runs 90deg to this. I'm going to remove the carpet in the rooms above just to check the joist run (best to be sure)

Only concern is that the bath is located directly above the studded wall so i hope this wall doesn't support anything or my plans are starting to fade a bit.

Andy
 

Argee

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LyNx":7wjgnnmf said:
Hmmm, so it's not a easy as just cutting the pipe and putting a kink in it :lol:

The pipe work is minibore and runs into the stud wall.
OK, as I said earlier, minibore adds to the level of skill required, simply because it is so easy to kink the pipework. Also, some minibore systems have a "double-entry" valve (i.e., both pipes go into the same end of the radiator and have an internal perforated baffle). These valves are real sh*ts to work on, so I'd re-inforce my suggestion about getting a quote.

You didn't say whether the system is pressurised (some minibores are) and although the principles are roughly the same, there's an added expansion tank factor when draining down/refilling. you'll need an adaptor to get inhibitor in (via a bleed valve) if it is pressurised.

I've not seen any push-fit minibore connections, although there may well be some - might be worth a reccy before you start if you're forced down the DIY route.

Please note that I'm not saying you can't do it yourself, or that you shouldn't, but as has been pointed out above, you need to be comfortable with making the joints, etc. and minibore is not an ideal system to start on - 15mm is much more forgiving and very difficult to kink.

Good luck, whatever you decide. :)

Ray.
 

RogerS

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LyNx":avl3gmy0 said:
Only concern is that the bath is located directly above the studded wall so i hope this wall doesn't support anything or my plans are starting to fade a bit.

Andy
Bath + water + person (two people ? :wink: ) = a lot of weight...take advice before you knock that wall down.

To remove the radiator, you should be able to close off the valves at both ends of the radiator and then undo the radiator and remove...BUT make sure you have an old plastic washbowl to take the water that will escape from the rad...this then leaves the two valves at each end of the pipe..then when you've established what/where you want to go with any new rads...go to the next stage...

However because you;re microbore I'm not sure that there us much of a range in the plastic connection range (speedfit/hep2o or whatever)...you might be able to get a pipe freezing kit to temporarily freeze the water in each pipe...then cut the pipe....then connect your new pipes. I aleays find it easier in these circumstances to wortk back from the new radiator towards where I'm going to connect back into the original system.

If you are just extending the flow/return to a new radiator in a different position then the only thing you need to bear in mind is whether the circuit can supply enough 'heat capacity' to feed the new radiator(s)..especially if they are a larger heat out put than the one you are replacing.

If you need anymore advice you're welcome to PM me..

Roger
 

martyn2

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:D I have just done this I had to remove two radiators and make a loop to enable the heating to continue what I did was turn the heating off and then trace the feed and return pipes till I found a suitable place to isolate the two pipes and make a loop on then I got two artic packs from B&Q and two push fit metal shut off joints and in my case because I have 10mm pipes push fit reducing joints and a piece of 15mm bendy pipe then shut the radiator vales off then I froze the feed pipe and cut and pushed the shut off joint on and mad sure it was off ! Then repeated the process on the return pipe
then bent the bendy pipe in to a U shape then push it on to the feed and return shut off joints to make a return I then remove the radiators when I have finished refitting the kitchen/hall/downstairs toilet then I can place the radiators piping and turn off the shutoff joints and replace the U bend with the new radiator. I cut them out over 3 weeks ago and it has work for me please contact me if I can be some more help by the way I’m not a plumber :wink:
 
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There are a few things for you to consider here, first to check if the wall is really ok to come down and what kind of pressure it will have on the surrounding walls. You don’t say how old your property is? The problem with older houses is that they tend to throw up unexpected problems as they have been patched up over the years and so once you get started you might find that things aren’t where, or how, they are supposed to be! Just a thought, but one worth mentioning as I live in an older terraced property myself and have endless issues with the electrics and pipe system.
 

paulm

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I guess he's probably sorted by now as the posts are from eight years ago !!! :lol:

Easily done though, welcome to the forum :D

Cheers, Paul
 

Eric The Viking

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First off, it's "microbore" either 10mm or 8mm. Getting the banter right helps with snotty plumbers' merchants.

Second, how old is the house? might it have plastic plumbing?

Assuming it's microbore, doing it without grief is really easy: you just need the right tools and they aren't expensive. Use an external bending spring of the right size. measure its length, and make two marks on the pipe, one for the middle of the bend, and one half the spring length along, to position the spring.

Bend to slightly more angle than you need then back to the correct shape. That way the spring slides off easily. always cut it with a small tube cutter, not a hacksaw - it stops swarf getting into the pipe and the boiler. For an easy life, oil the moving parts of the cutter, so it rolls and doesn't scuff. If you get a bend wrong, you can correct it a bit, but not much. If it's vital to re-make a bend, you can anneal the pipe by heating it with a blowlamp and then letting it cool gently - no quenchng needed or anything complicated.

Do soldered joints, don't attempt compression fittings. The microbore pipe is very soft and you can squash it easily. I prefer to buy 15mm radiator fittings, as they're cheaper and there's a better range of choice. I fit the compression olive on a 15-10 (or 15-8) reducer right next to the rad, so the drop pipe is 10mm. it looks neater, IMHO. End-feed fittings (the sort without solder in them) are really cheap, so get some, and some leaded solder (you don't need or want lead-free in this application), and practice. Propane blowlamps work far better than butane, especially if you can't dry the pipe completely - propane can boil off excess water, butane isn't hot enough. MAPP gas is best of all, but although I like it, many DIY people think it's too hot.

If you have to seal off a microbore end, it's OK to squash it flat with Mole grips and fold it, then flux and solder across the squashed end, BUT the pipe really needs to be dry for this as any water will stop it sealing (steam blows holes through the molten solder!). It's best to arrange for the stub to point slightly downwards, so it fills and doesn't trap air.

There's a knack to unrolling new pipe off the coil: I prefer to do it on carpet, hold the coil roughly vertical, stand gently on the loose end and push the coil down towards the floor as I unwind away from me. It's easier with two people for long lengths - one holding the end down, one unwinding.. If you keep the coil vertical and unwind in a straight line, you get straight pipe!

Finally, for neatness, if you have a wooden floor with space underneath, hang the rad first, then plumb up to it. I fit the valves temporarily, and drop a plumbline down to get exact positions on the floor for the holes. If you buy 22 or 28mm lagging, you can often insulate both flow and return pipe in the same lagging tube - it all helps avoid heat loss.

Hope some of that is useful!

E.

PS: When taking the rads off, have a couple of fittings ready to bang on the open radiator ends, while you move them outside. For the thermostatic end, you probably only need a 22mm nut and a 2p piece shoved in it, and some goo (I prefer Bosswhite for sealing things up, used with PTFE tape, but am getting used to PTFE in a toothpaste tube, also good). For the other end you need a 15mm compression fitting, with a blanked-off bit of pipe in the other side. Radiators always collect iron oxide of one type or the other (brown or black goo), and it ruins carpets. Sealing them up temporarily means you can concentrate on moving them outside, without worrying about leaving a trail. So buy two compression fittings: 1x22mm straight (to get the nut), and 1x15mm for the 'lockshield valve' end. You may need B+Q for this as merchants tend to sell all fittings in lots of 10 or more.

Have lots of cloths and old towels and ice cream tubs or bowls available to pack round the pipes, too.
 
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