How to replace a radiator

Find out how to remove your old radiator and install a new one without calling in the plumber


Radiators are often forgotten when redecorating a room, but it’s easier than you might think to update them – in many cases you don’t need a plumber.

We asked the experts at to share their simple steps for removing a tired old radiator and installing your new model.


Step 1

Make sure the central heating is turned off, and shut off the valves at both ends of the radiator. To do this, at one end, turn the manual valve clockwise until you can’t turn it anymore, or down to zero if you have a thermostatic radiator valve.

Then at the other end, if you have a lockshield valve, pull off the plastic shield and use a spanner to turn the shaft clockwise. Keep note of the number of turns you make so that you can make sure your new radiator gets the same flow rate.

Step 2

Place a bowl under the valves to catch any excess water. With an adjustable spanner, loosen one of the cap nuts that connects your radiator to the valve. You might need a second spanner to hold the valve body securely. Keep an old towel to hand in case of lots of excess water.

Step 3

Open the bleed valve at the top of the old radiator, loosening the connecting cap nut between the valve and the radiator to drain the water into the bowl. Carry on until the water stops dripping, and disconnect the valve at the opposite end of the radiator.

Step 4

Take the radiator off the brackets, tilting it to drain any remaining water, then squeeze a cloth, old rag or some tissue into the outlets at either end of the radiator to stop leakage. If the current brackets don’t support the new radiator, take them off the wall and replace them with suitable ones.

Step 5

To install your new radiator, wrap the valve connectors in PTFE tape a few times before screwing them into your new radiator tightly and hanging it on the wall. Connect the valves and turn, remembering to do the same number of turns as earlier.

Slightly open the radiator bleed valve to allow the air to escape and help fill the radiator, closing it when water appears.

When you are sure there are no leaks, turn your central heating back on and the job is finished.


For more tutorials, including how to install new brackets and what to do if you need to alter the pipework, visit