Central Heating Pipes

20 Apr 2014
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United Kingdom
Hi - we're replacing our bathroom radiator & moving it to the other side of the room. Is it best to use the normal copper plumbing pipe or the flexible piping? We're having a chrome towel radiator so ideally would prefer to have the visible part of the pipes above the floor in chrome too & we've found chrome plated copper pipe everywhere but not the flexible one. Looking forward to your help - again! Thanks.
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Afraid you will not find flexible chrome plated pipe. Chrome is a very brittle coating that sticks to the composite metals underneath but doesn't like being "stressed".
If you have the time and the patience you could bend some piping to the correct shape and then take them to a local plating company who, I'm sure, wouldn't mind dropping them in their tanks for you.
Depending on what metal your piping is made of depends on the number of electrolysis processes it has to go through and the price will vary.
Copper can be plated quite easily.
Good luck
Can't quite see the point of all that when you can buy chrome plated copper pipe. Unless you were thinking of using soft copper??

Teej the easiest for you might be to use plastic pipe under the floor then elbow fittings under the floor under the towel rail, with bits of straight chromed pipe up to the valves.

You can use push-fit fittings if you roughen up the chrome with coarse emery paper, or you can use compression ones.
Thanks for the advice - this is great website! Seeing as you're so helpful I have a follow-on query now I'm afraid. We've decided to just use the normal copper pipe & then join it to chrome plated just before it comes through the floorboards. I now just need to check how you would recommend capping the existing pipes? We'll be taking a spur off for the new rad further down the pipes than the existing one. We'll then chop the existing pipes off under the floor & cap them. Presumably you just use the same sort of caps as for normal plumbing? It's prob a really daft question but between us my boyfriend & I have attempted all sorts of plumbing in the past apart from central heating so while we think it sounds reasonable it may not be! Thanks a lot for your help. T.
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Unless you're experiment with blowlamp and solder type fitting then you can use solder type stop cap end type,the problem would be the heat from the blowlamp will draw the water toward it which will make it difficult to solder.You probably be better off using compression fitting.See this. or you can use push fit type see this
Thanks. We normally try & use soldered joints for anything which will later be inaccessible but I wasn't sure if could use it for the heating pipes. After your comment about the difficulty with the water though I think we'll prob go for compression joints as there'll be plenty of time to check everything before we lay the ceramic floor tiles. Another order to Screwfix coming up for us I think! 1 last question if I may - would you recommend completely draining the system or not bother? The books/leaflets I've read seem to have differing opinions. Once again, thanks very much.
Bugger! (Sorry, am I allowed to say that on here?!) I thought that would be the case. Thanks a lot for your help. You may get a post over the next few days asking for "on the job" advice if all doesn't go according to plan. Cheers v much!
as you are going to drain the system why not "boil" what water which is left in the pipe and use a soldered end cap

what i mean is that as you will be draining it there shouldn't be that much water left (a towel helps) heat the pipe sa far back as you can to boil any water so you can solder the pipes
I find that trying to boil water away rarely works. The heat lowers the surface tension of the water so it races towards the open end. An "aqua-vac" on the other hand, is the *******s (can I say that?). It will suck every drop from the pipes.

It is possible to get problems with long dead-legs in heating sysems if air is trapped. Bend the ends down so they fill with water. Remember to insulate them if under the ground floor.

Do you have any rads which don't get hot properly? This would indicate sludge which can give serious problems after a drain-down.
Can't believe it - we did it yesterday & it's all completely perfect (I'm touching wood as I type this though!). The only down side is that the other half now thinks he's a central heating engineer as well as everything else & fancies moving radiators round in the other rooms & adding one to the spare bedroom - I've told him he can do what he likes once we've finished the bathroom! Thanks for all your help again. T.
Give him a stiff drink to calm him down :!:

Any plumber's will tell you it can be a nightmare :!:

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