Replace Radiator using Pipe Freeze Kit

18 Jul 2007
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United Kingdom
I have a radiator which needs to be replaced and also plan to replace the valves at the same time. I'm only a DIYer though I have fitted and replaced radiators several times in the past and feel quite comfortable doing so.

I'd like to avoid draining the entire system this time and was looking at something like this:

My plan is essentially:
- Prepare the new radiator and fit both new valves to the radiator in advance (all except the bottom nut and olive
- Turn off fully both valves on the existing radiator
- Using both pipe sleeves, freeze the pipe underneath both existing valves
- Remove the bottom nut on the existing valves and lift the entire radiator, including valves and water content off the wall. I'm assuming because the valves are both shut off the worst case should be a little bit of water dribbling out of the valve?
- Remove the olives. I've done this with a junior hacksaw before however in the interests of time I might buy an olive puller for this job
- Fit new wall brackets (the new radiator will be the same brand/range and width but taller so new brackets required I assume)
- Drop the new radiator onto the brackets and fit the new nut and olive on each side
- Remove the jackets and wait for the pipes to thaw

My questions:
1) Does the above plan sound feasible? What have I missed?
2) Are these pipe freeze kits really as effective as the manufacturers say? They're not particularly cheap given it's a one use kit so I'm assuming they must work!
3) I reckon I'll need 15-20 mins of time to work so the quoted 45 mins should be plenty. If anything goes wrong though and I need more time, can the jackets simply be "topped up" with additional refrigerant to extend the time?

Does anyone have any other advice or suggestions, having done similar?
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27 Feb 2017
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United Kingdom
It's a sealed system
Well, I’d close the valves and remove the rad. Then, release the pressure in the system through one of the valves until it stops (will only be a gallon or so). When it stops draining, you can quickly swap the valves losing very little water - whenever I’ve done this, I leave the original olive and nut on the pipe and reuse them. That’s it - no pipe freezing needed. A lot more trickier of you had a vented system.

Sort of like this but yours will be easier because you won’t have the rad in the way.


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