How to Install a Steam Radiator

A radiator.
  • 4-6 hours
  • Advanced
  • 300-500
What You'll Need
Pipe cutters
Pipe fittings
Shut-off valve
Steam radiator

Installing a steam radiator is a great idea to keep any room in your house warm. Steam radiators are complicated pieces of machinery that often require an expert plumber to install, so if you have no experience with this type of work, installation could be difficult. For this project, you will need a friend to give you assistance and some basic plumbing knowledge and tools. If you think that you are up to the job, follow the steps below to get this project done safely.

Step 1 - Make a Hole

Before you begin to install your new radiator, you will need to make a hole to connect it to the pipe work. Decide on a good place to fit the radiator, and then check for support joists, floor beams, or other devices which might prevent the installation. Don't cut through any supports or beams, as this might make the floor weak. Using your saw, cut a hole around 2 inches in diameter into the floor. You should be able to locate the steam pipe.

Step 2 - Connect the Pipes

Run the pipe from below the floorboards to the new radiator. You can use the pipe cutter to open the steam pipe, although you should be sure that you have turned off all hot water sources before you do this. Push the pipe through the hole you made in the floor, leaving a protrusion about 3½ inches above the level of the floor. Add the radiator shut off valve using the wrench. Tighten it, making sure that the open part of the valve is in the correct position for your radiator.

Step 3 - Add the Radiator

Remove the radiator valve. This should unscrew easily by hand, but you may wish to use your wrench if it is stubborn. Place the parts of the valve in alignment with the shut-off valve that you previously installed on the pipe, and then tighten to the valve. You may need to add a little device known as a reducer in order to ensure that the valve and radiator connections are in alignment.

Step 4 - Fit the Radiator

Once the radiator is fully aligned with the shut-off valve, you can screw it into the wall. Make sure that all the screws are fully into the wall, and that the radiator is not likely to be pulled out by light pressure on the top. Don't leave the radiator loose enough to wobble. When the radiator is fitted into the wall, screw the nut near the shut-off valve so that it is in a tight position, completing the connection using the wrench. Once this has been done, you can turn on the hot water system, and ensure that the radiator connection works. Check for leaks around the pipes, and caulk if necessary.