People are often understandably wary about dealing with their own heating systems as it is such a vital part of making homes habitable and comfortable, however installing a new column radiator is not as difficult as you may assume. With the right equipment and know-how, you too can install a column radiator saving yourself money.
Removing your old radiator is the first step obviously. Before you do, make sure to drain the system and vent it too – put a towel underneath as you do this to prevent any leaks and mess. Then, slacken off the radiator nuts at the bottom before lifting off the radiator. Next, unscrew the brackets and remove them – you will have to fill in the old holes with plaster first, which you can find out how to do here.
To make it easier for yourself, attach the air bungs and the spigots for the valves to the radiator prior to attaching it to the wall. The same goes for the clip on brackets. Then, have a quick look at the brackets that you need to fix to the wall to make sure you are able to assemble them properly. The brackets themselves will be accompanied by instructions, so carefully read these.
Measure accurately where you want the bottom of your top bracket to be, and use a measuring tape as well as a spirit level for this. Don’t forget to centralise the radiator to ensure that the pipe work will match up. Draw a level line across to match the marks before using the bracket itself pinpoint and mark where you will be drilling. Also ensure that you use the correct drill head; the size you need should be on the side of the bracket plugs, but you can also just put them side by side to get the perfect fit. Once you have attached the top brackets, ensure they are level, before making your marks for the bottom brackets. As the bottom brackets are freely attached to the column, measure down from the top brackets around 25-30cm and mark where you want them to go (make sure both sides match), before drilling the holes and slotting the bracket holder on.
Now that you have your brackets secured to the wall, it is time to hang your radiator. Do enlist help for this as radiators can be quite heavy and manoeuvring it into position on the brackets can be quite tricky. Once your radiator is hanging securely on the wall, all that is left to do is reattach the pipework not forgetting to add inhibitor fluid, and air getting into the system, and enjoy your lovely new radiator.
As you can see, the most time consuming part of attaching a new column radiator is the measuring for the brackets as this has to be highly accurate. So triple check your measurements before drilling any holes, and use your spirit level for the perfect radiator alignment.
Sam Little is a heating and plumbing specialist from Scotland, currently living in Glasgow where the cold, wet and damp winters mean he’s always busy!