Have You to take apart a radiator and you're afraid to flood the house?
Here's some advice to keep you on your toes.
Radiators are part of the most common heating systems. They are generally connected to a hydraulic network that receives heat from a boiler (fed by various fuels such as gas, wood, etc.). Radiators are usually made of metal materials such as steel, cast iron and aluminium, so they require maintenance in terms of cleaning, painting or in the most serious cases, complete replacement. This is why it is essential to know how to dismantle them correctly in order to avoid flooding the house. Even if it is a rather simple operation, it is important to follow some suggestions to disassemble them in the right way.
Here are some tips to remove a radiator easily and intuitively.
bowl or bucket
Operations to do before disassembling a radiator
First of all close the general valve that brings water from the boiler to the radiators, or alternatively close the taps on both sides of the radiator, turning them until they are completely blocked, in order to stop the water flow. Spread a towel on the floor under the joint nut and place over a basin to collect the water residue enclosed in the joints. Use a parrot wrench to loosen the joint nut slightly, taking care not to shake the hose too much, which usually ends up in the wall or floor.
QuWhen water starts flowing from the heater junction nut, stop unscrewing and let the water slowly flow into the basin. As soon as the basin is completely full, tighten the nut, empty the container and start the operation again. Then tighten the first nut and move the bowl under the other nut and loosen it almost completely. There will still be a residue of water in the heater, then lift the radiator from the wall supports and tilt it to drop all the water into the basin.
For this operation it is essential the help of someone given the weight of the radiator. It is advisable to place it on the floor, on a soft surface such as a carpet to avoid scratching the floor. At the end of the operations we will be able to reassemble our radiator, simply by performing in reverse, all the operations seen above.
What does a heating system look like?
A heating system, whatever type it is, consists of a few essential parts.
- heat generator: boiler or heat pump, which can be powered by liquid or gaseous fuel.
- heating terminals: radiators, from the most classic cast iron radiators to the most modern steel or aluminium ones, up to the most innovative furnishing radiators, passing through the practical towel warmers, ideal to be placed in bathrooms. In recent years, "alternative" type heating systems such as wall, skirting and floor or air heating systems (fancoil) have taken hold.
- distribution system: piping, depending on the type of water distribution network, are single pipe and return, single-pipe and two-pipe.
- regulation system: thermostat/chronothermostat, which allows to manage/program the system.
- other devices: manifolds, which are used to distribute hot water to the various heating terminals or to the different circuits of radiant panel systems, and thermostatic valves, which are placed directly on the radiators and are used to regulate the temperature of each room.
How valves work
Over the years, radiator valves have had a significant evolution: from the traditional valve with the typical function of a normal tap that once closed allows the removal of the radiator, to the thermostatic valve, which in addition to traditional functions, regulates the flow of hot water and therefore the room temperature, with significant advantages in terms of energy and climatic comfort.
Simple & Fast
As we have seen, removing a radiator is simple, fast and practical and can be done even by those who are not experts in household and similar work.
A radiator is usually disassembled for several reasons: it does not heat up enough and therefore you need to clean it inside; you want to paint it again, so you need to remove the connections, release the radiator from the brackets and move the radiator to paint it comfortably; you want to replace it with another model or you simply need to repaint the room.
To avoid risks and unpleasant consequences, the first thing to do is to close the central tap of the house plumbing. This manoeuvre allows the water circulation inside the system to be completely blocked and guarantees maintenance in the dark.
And the boiler?
Una volta che il termosifone è stato sostituito è bene verificare l'indicatore della pressione della caldaia. Se la pressione è troppo bassa, ad esempio, potrebbe impedire alla caldaia di azionarsi, con il risultato di non avere acqua calda. E se invece la pressione della caldaia fosse troppo alta? Cosa potrebbe succedere e cosa si deve fare per ripristinare la situazione?
The boiler pressure should vary between 1.2 and 1.5 bar (unit of measurement used to calculate atmospheric pressure), but this indication may vary depending on the model of boiler installed. For safety, check the boiler's instruction manual for the correct setting.
The control and consequent setting of the pressure of a boiler is a very simple operation, within everyone's reach, which does not require technical intervention.
The pressure is indicated by a barometer, usually placed at the front or top of the boiler; the pressure gauge of a boiler resembles a rev counter of a car or an analog clock. If the hand is positioned between 1.2 and 1.5 bar, there is no need to do any other operation.
If it turns out to be too high, then action will have to be taken. How?
By doing so, release a little pressure from the outlet valve of the boiler which is usually positioned just below and let out some water by checking that the pressure gauge returns to the required levels 1.2 and 1.5 bar.
If the device does not have a valve, we can proceed and intervene on the radiators. The operation is the same as described in the article "how to vent the radiators".