Draining a radiator system


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Old 12-23-03, 05:29 PM
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Question Draining a radiator system

This may be a simple question for those more experienced but is new territory for me. I want to remove the radiator style heaters from my house but don't need water dumping all over. Is there a "standard" way to drain the system or individual radiators? After they are removed is there any problem with just capping the pipes and leaving them in place instead of completely removing them?

Thanks for any help you can give.
 
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Old 12-23-03, 05:44 PM
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You won't be able to drain them individually. If you find the drain valve on the boiler and hook up a hose, you can go into a sump or outside with it and let the water drain. You will need to turn off the water that feeds the heating system and of course, turn off the boiler. If it fires with no water in it, it will be ruined very quickly. Then open the air vents on each radiator before you remove it and let air replace the water in it. You should be able to cap the pipes with no problems. It is rare to have upright radiators that are piped in series. You will still have some pretty ugly black water inside the radiator when you disconnect it so stuff a rag in each end with a screwdriver to keep it inside while you carry it out of the house. Good Luck

Ken
 
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Old 12-24-03, 06:45 AM
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Vent?

Thanks so far. One follow up question though. My radiators don't have any obvious "vents", atleast not to me. They do have a pipe plug type bolt on one end at the top, would that be the vent?
 
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Old 12-24-03, 08:35 AM
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You may have a steam system. You should know if you do or not. If you do, there is nothing to drain. Just remove the radiator when the boiler isn't running.
 
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Old 12-26-03, 06:05 AM
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Identifying a steam system?

Maybe I should know but I don't. How would I identify it as a steam system? Any hints would be much appreciated.
 
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Old 12-26-03, 10:52 AM
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Exclamation boiler

Does the boiler have a low water cut off?? Does it have a glass gauge on the boiler that would show you the water level. That would be like for steam.Turn off the power to it. Shut off the water fill to the boiler and open the boiler drain co** on the bottom of the boiler a hose should fit on it and let the water out. When the water stops it should be empty. ED
 
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Old 12-28-03, 05:12 AM
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Facing any radiator, on the top left hand corner, is there a plug? If so you should have a key in the house to turn the plug to bleed your system. If there is a plug, and you don't have a key, go to home depo, or lowes and get a radiator key, one key fits all.

When your draining your system, open the plugs (values) to drain the sytem faster. It will probable take about 5-10 minutes to drain the whole house.
 
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Old 12-28-03, 07:23 AM
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Plug on right?

Thanks Yellow but let me descibe my radiators. Om the top left side there is a pipe coming in with a hand vavle right at the radiator. On the right side, up top is a pipe plug looking bolt and on the bottom is the pipe going out. Would this pipe plug bolt be what you're talking about, and if so, there isn't anyplace for a key, just a standard wrench. Thanks for all the help.
 
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Old 12-28-03, 12:50 PM
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Sounds more like you have a steam system. There will be nothing to drain. Just be sure to cap any open pipes if the system will run while you have the radiator out. Why are you removing it anyway, if I may ask?

Ken
 
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Old 12-28-03, 03:12 PM
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Removing to replace system

I'm hoping it's a steam system, that sounds easier but I don't see a glass gauge or a low water cutoff like the other post says I might.

I'm removing them to replace the whole heating system. My boiler is older than dirt and started leaking CO2 real bad, set off my detector after a few minutes of running every time. The heat exchanger is cracked and the two places I checked with around here say they can't replce just it, too old, not made anymore. I've price other heating options and it looks like a good heat pump is going to be the ticket. I have a friend who does ductwork and will help with that so I'm trying to remove the whole old system to save money overall.

Hey one more question, while I'm asking. I've had the gas turned off to my home, as the boiler was the only thing using it. Are there any precautions to worry about with the boiler, since the gas is off already?

Thanks everyone for all the tips.
 
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Old 12-29-03, 04:19 PM
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Lightbulb boiler

If the gas company shut off the gas for you thats about it for now. ED
 
 

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