How to Remove Hot Water Radiators

If you are planning to paint a room that is heated by a hot water radiator, you may find you will run into a few challenges because of the radiator's position against the wall. You will need to remove the radiator until you are finished with your painting project.

Materials Needed:

  • 2 Pipe Wrenches 
  • Rags
  • Container

Step 1 – Shutting off  Control Valve and Lockshield Valve

Locate a valve at each end of your radiator. There will be a control valve at one end, and a lockshield valve at the other end. This valve controls the water flow to the radiator. Shut off both valves. Closing the control is easy, turn it clockwise. To shut the lockshield valve, first take off its plastic cover. Fit your pipe wrench over the valve and turn the valve clockwise. Be sure to count the number of turns it takes to close the valve because you will need this information when you open the valve again. Without this information, you will not know to adjust the valve to get the right water flow.

Step 2 – Shutting off a Thermostatic Valve

One of your radiator valves may be a thermostatic valve. If so, examine the value to determine if there is an "off" position. If the valve doesn't have this off position, you'll need a protective plastic cap when you re-install the radiator. If you find the "off" position, turn the valve off. Unscrew the valve's retaining collar with your fingers. Avoid using a wrench to unscrew it.

Step 3 – Test for Adequate Water Shut-Off

When the radiator's valves have been closed, you'll need to do a check to be sure that water is no longer flowing into the radiator. To do this check, locate the radiator's bleeder valve. If all shut-off valves are closed, you will get a brief flow of water when the bleeder valve is opened, but this flow will be only momentary. If the flow continues, one of the valves is not closed tightly.

Step 4 – Emptying Water from the Radiator

To keep the valve assembly from disconnecting from the pipe attached to it, hold the assembly firmly with one of your pipe wrenches. With the other wrench, loosen the nut that holds the valve and radiator together. As the nut loosens, water will dribble out of the radiator. Hold a container under the valve to catch this water. When the container is full, close the nut and empty the container. Then, repeat this procedure until the radiator is fully drained. Repeat the procedure at the valve on the opposite end of the radiator.

Step 5 – Removing the Radiator

In order to release the radiator from valves at both ends, push each valve aside until the pipe is released. Now you can move your radiator away from the wall.