Electric towel radiator

26 Jan 2006
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United Kingdom
I’ve fitted a few towel radiators to wet central heating systems with no problems. However in my own flat I only have electric heating.

I want to fit a towel radiator with a heating element and I have a few questions:

1. Are the elements thermostatically controlled; if I leave it on it will switch its self off when its reached temp.

2. How do you fill the radiator and pressurise it.

3. Should I use any additive to prevent corrosion.

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You can fit most types of "WET" system towel warmers with an element for electric only use, this is, however, not the best idea, as the separate items can cost more than just buying a purpose made oil filled electric towel warmer. There are more and more designs coming onto the market all the time, so choice is not as limited as it was in the oil filled versions.

The elements for a "wet" system were designed mainly so you can still have hot towels in the summer by closing the valves and switching on the element when the central heating is not in use.

If you do go down your listed route, it certainly wont hurt to put a bit of inhibitor in there, but bear in mind there is very little water in one of these things, and too much chemical won't do it many favours either.

To do your method, you will need;

1) Towel Warmer
2) Element rated to correct kW for radiator
3) Stop ends for towel warmer (Which may come with it)
4) 1 Manual Bleed cap (May also come with warmer)
5) switched spur for wiring - Look into Part "P"

To fit, you mount the radiator to the required position, cap off the two bottom holes, and then fill almost to the top, leaving around an 1/8th air gap to allow for expansion. You then fit the manual air vent to the hole in the top of the warmer.
You then need to get power to the warmer, the element will normally come with heat resistant cord long enough for wiring.
Turn on the warmer and leave for around half hour, then slacken off the bleed nipple, to release any air.
Repeat this in half hour intervals for around 2 hours.
Once the 2 hours is up, feel the top rung of the towel warmer, if this is not hot, you need to add a little water by removing the top plug and pouring some in. Then repeat the process to remove air.

Some of the electric elements do not have a manual thermostat, but are pre-set and will regulate themselves when left switched on permanently. Others come with a manual thermostat, which you can set to your desired temperature, and still leave switched on all the time.

I would recommend an oil filled one every time if you don't have central heating though.

Hope this helps... ;)

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