How to remove a radiator - and dispose of it easily

How to remove a radiator - and dispose of it easily

Whether you’re looking to remove a radiator to decorate behind it, give it a quick clean or are looking to remove a single or multiple radiator units from a home as part of a refurbishment or renovation - it can seem like a difficult job if you’ve never done it before. But it’s actually really simple. You probably even have all the tools you need to be able to do it already. With the radiator key, a couple of wrenches that are adjustable and a bucket or bowl to catch some excess water, you’re good to go.

How to remove a radiator from the wall.

This always seems scary when you’re not used to it and the thought of taking a radiator off and seeing a flood of water suddenly come spraying from the valves is enough to put anyone off trying it. But it’s really, really easy. The first thing to do is shut everything off that’s pumping water to your radiator. So turn off your central heating on your heating unit, and turn off the valves on your radiator unit. You’ll want to give it a few minutes before you carry on to let the whole system cool down just to be sure you don’t scold yourself on any water that’s still in the radiator when you drain it. After that, find the thermostatic radiator valve and move it to the off position (depending on the radiator you’ve got, this might be a ‘zero’ position rather than off).

You can turn the valve by removing the plastic cap and using your wrench to close it. Next you can use your wrench to loosen the nut that is joining the valve to the radiator. This will start to drain the water out of the unit, so make sure you’ve got your bucket or bowl in place before you do this. If not, you’ll be mopping up a lot of water. Once this has drained, use the radiator key to open the bleed valve on the same side as the valve you’ve just opened.

This will drain any remaining water from that side of the radiator. When the water’s finished draining, close the valve, and move over to the other side of the radiator. Carry out the same task of opening the valve to drain the water and then using the radiator key to drain the remaining liquid. Again, remember to move your bowl or bucket to the side to avoid any disasters. Now you’ve drained the majority of the water out of the unit. You can now start to disconnect the radiator from the remaining pipes by loosening the nuts that connect the radiators to the attached water pipes. There might still be water in the radiator when you do this so be careful when you unscrew the nuts and slowly tilt the radiator to one side to let the water fall into your bowl or bucket.

Finally you can lift the radiator off the wall bracket. If you’re simply decorating behind the radiator or cleaning it, you can do the work and then reconnect everything, adjust the pressure on the valve and turn your heating back on. But what if you’re renovating your home and replacing the radiator? Now you have to dispose of the radiator. So what’s the best way to do that?

How to dispose of a radiator.

The first thing to note is that radiators are nearly 100% recyclable. What you should never do, is throw them away with your normal rubbish collections. A radiator is a bulk waste collection and so needs to be disposed of separately.

Take your radiator to a recycling centre.

If you’ve got the time and a big enough boot, you could simply drive your radiator to a local recycling centre to get rid of it. This, however, can be a hassle lifting and driving it to the centre and making sure it ends up in the right skip. Plus there’s the potential for the skip to damage the lining of your car during transport if it’s moving around or ejecting any excess water you haven’t emptied all over the back of your car. And if you have a van, you’ll need to book a specific time slot. Not to mention that if you’re trying to dispose of multiple radiators, you’ll have a big job on your hands loading and unloading them all.

Can you get the council to pick up your old radiator?

What you’ll find is that councils across the UK don’t include radiators on the list of bulky collection items they’ll take away. So arranging a collection from the council is out of the question.

Could you put your radiator in a skip?

If you’ve ordered a skip as part of a wider refurbishment or renovation project, you could put your radiators in the skip. However, if you’re thinking of ordering a skip just for the disposal of your radiator, this could end up costing a lot of money - even for a small skip. Plus, you could end up waiting a long time for a skip to be delivered, especially today when everyone is trying to complete their homes refurbishments and renovation projects. And you might have to pay for a licence to put the skip on a public pathway if you don’t have a private driveway. Finally, keep in mind that the majority of rubbish put in skips ends up in landfill. Which is a shame considering your old radiator can be easily recycled.

Not to mention a radiator unit could take up a lot of space in your skip, which could be better suited for other rubbish which isn’t as easily recycled.

Arrange a radiator removal with LITTA.

Your final, and best option, is to arrange for your old radiator to be removed and disposed of by our specialist team at LITTA. With a household, garden and commercial recycling rate of 93% to date, we’ll make sure your old radiators get put to good use or disposed of in an ethical way. Booking your radiator removal is simple too.

Simply get a quote, book your pickup and we’ll handle the rest. If you need us quickly, we can arrange a same-day pick up as long as you contact us before 12 noon on the day of the requested collection date. And on the day of collection, you’ll be able to track your collection straight to your door with our real-time vehicle tracking app.

That way you don’t have to waste a day sitting around waiting for your collection. And if you’re worried about whether your radiator will actually be recycled or disposed of properly, our real-time tracking app will let you follow your old radiator to the recycling centre or designated disposal point. Interested in getting your radiator removed quickly by a team of professionals?

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