Replacing imperial radiators

28 Jun 2009
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United Kingdom
We were looking to replace our radiators as we decorate each room as they are looking a bit tired and the ones upstairs are only single panel, but they are imperial ones. I have looked into what we can do and have come up with three ideas and was hoping for some advice on which people think would be the best option.

1. Powerflush the radiators and use a spray paint to refurb them. Concerns -Would removing sludge improve their heat output enough and are the radiator spray paints any good?

2. Replace with metric radiators and use radiator tail extensions for the difference in sizes. Concerns - Would the tails be prone to leaking, will they fit well or would pipes need to be wiggled around?

3. Replace with imperial radiators. Concerns - Cost in relation to metric appears to be around at least double and limited makes.

If we went with option 2 or 3 we would also powerflush the system. We have also been thinking of getting TRVs and the boiler also needs replacing once we get the money.

Thanks in advance for advice or any other idea's on what to do.
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Personally I'd go for new metric's not really any big deal to lift the floorboards and adjust pipe work to suit the new installation.
TRVs can be fitted still the same time if you wish.
Having done this myself, I fitted valves under the floor on each radiator, which meant I could do the installation at my leisure whilst keeping the heating on.
John :)
I don't feel confident enough to mess about with pipework, I'm guessing it would involve welding?
Would it be a bit pricey to get a plumber to do as it would be about seven radiators to change and they will be done one at a time, as we decorate each room?
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It's a simple enough job for someone with experience - the most awkward bit is removing the floor boards beneath the radiator for access.
There could be some soldering involved, but compression fittings are completely acceptable.
With mine, I lifted the boards, cut into the rad flow and returns live, jamming the valve over the pipe ends smartly. I could then relax, clip the pipes to the joists as required and hang the new radiator.
I used solder fittings to the rad, and finally fitted the new pipe work to the valves compression fitting.
I inhibited each radiator before allowing them to refill.
Dead easy really, but not for a first attempt! You'll need to find a plumber who will accommodate a few visits.....word of mouth is the way here!
John :)

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