How To Remove A Radiator When Painting A Wall

Everyone loves to paint the walls and decorate their house in a lovely new colour! Often the one final thing getting in your way is the radiator on the wall. You could paint round it. You could use the special rollers to get as far down behind it as you can. Nothing however gets around the fact that to do this job properly, you need to remove the radiators off the wall to do a proper job. In this article we'll tell you how.

Below there is a full video description of how to complete this task from James. This should be all you need to get that radiator off the wall and that paintbrush behind it. If you're still a little confused, then read on below for a full text description. Enjoy!

Still a little confused after the video description? Then read on!

This particular tip will only work if the radiator pipes in the wall have a nice amount of 'flex' in them. Meaning they waggle a bit. Sometimes you'll only know this after you've removed a valve from the radiator. So give it a try and see.

1. Pressurised Systems. If you are working on a pressurised system (with a gauge on or near the boiler with an expansion vessel and filling loop) then make a note of the pressure before you start. That way you'll know how much to top the pressure up when you're finished. We also recommend you carry out the whole procedure when the system is cold.

2. Shut the radiator valves off. Use an adjustable spanner with a towel and perhaps a small baking tray and bucket (to catch any water). Shut down the lockshield by turning it clockwise (or righty-tighty) until it stops. Go to the TRV (Thermostatic Radiator Valve) end and fully shut that also. 

3. Prove that the radiator valves are holding. We don't want to get water everywhere by slacking off the radiator valves now. So grab a radiator bleed key and open up the vent. A small amount of water should come out and then stop. If it keeps running one of the valves is letting by and you won't be able to continue. At this point you're going to need a plumber. 

4. Slacken the radiator valve nut on the radiator side. Spread out your towel and roasting tins under the radiator valves at both ends just in case. Lossen the valve by gripping the radiator valve body and undoing the nut on the valve that faces the radiator. Do not fully undo it though. You can do this at any end.

5. Drain the radiator. Use the bucket and roasting tin to catch the trickle of water. Depending on radiator size the time this takes can vary. 

6. Remove the Radiator. Once the trickle has stopped, you can slacken both ends of the radiator valve and remove the radiator.


7. Re hang the radiator. Once the paint is dry and you're happy, re-hang the radiator and tighten up the nuts in the opposite way. Make sure the vent on the radiator is closed.

8. Fill up the radiator. If you have an open vented system it should fill up automatically. Like we said if it's a pressurised system, you will need to top up the pressure from the filling loop in or near your boiler. It's also a good idea to add some inhibitor at this time. you can never really have enough in the heating system water. Do this by removing the bleed nipple and tipping a bottle straight into the radiator.

9. Turn on the heating. Once it's all filled up and done, turn on the heating and test the radiator works OK. Make sure that the system is nicely balanced.