Can I replace a radiator with a smaller radiator? | Checkatrade
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Can I replace a radiator with a smaller radiator?

Whether your radiator is old or temperamental, or too big for the space, you’ll be glad to know it’s possible to replace it with a smaller radiator.

It’s certainly possible to replace a radiator with a smaller one, but size is important. If the radiator isn’t big enough for the size of the room, it will struggle to heat the space effectively.

Secondly, if you don’t have any plumbing experience, there’s plenty of scope for costly mistakes to occur.

Calculating the measurements for the correct positioning of the wall brackets is tricky and adapting the pipework is very difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing. This is definitely a job reserved for a professional tradesperson.

Here’s an overview of what the job involves:

1. Calculate the optimal size radiator for the room

It’s crucial to correctly assess the right-size radiator for your room, to ensure it will adequately heat the space.

It’s also important to measure the available wall space to ensure the new rad will fit.

2. Isolate and drain 

The central heating needs to be turned off and the radiators allowed to cool down.

The radiator to be replaced can be isolated by closing off the valves located at both ends.

With towels in place to protect the floor, the water can then be drained out of the radiator, collecting the liquid in a container. Turning the radiator key in the bleed valve at the top of the radiator will let air in, encouraging more water to come out.

3. Remove the old radiator

The existing radiator needs to be disconnected and removed from its wall brackets. Then the wall brackets will be removed from the wall.

4. Install the new radiator

New wall brackets will need to be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The positioning needs to perfectly align the bottom valves on the radiator with the pipes in the floor.

The new radiator can be installed, ensuring it’s level, and radiator valves reconnected to the pipework, using PTFE tape for a watertight seal.

The valves can now be reopened to connect the radiator to the system (water will start to fill the radiator). The bleed valves can be opened to release any trapped air.

5. Turn on the central heating

With your new, smaller radiator installed and properly connected, your central heating can be turned on and enjoyed.

Tip: The area behind the radiator may need redecorating if replacing your radiator with a smaller one.

Find a qualified, reliable plumber for your radiator replacement

A qualified plumber will make light work of replacing your radiator for a smaller model.

It’ll usually take around 1-2 hours to complete the work and cost around £200 for a double panel radiator. Expect to pay more if the job is more complex or requires considerable pipework.

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