Instructions for Installing Radiators

Written by cassandra tribe
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Instructions for Installing Radiators
Radiators can blend into the room or become part of the decor. (white radiator image by Ekaterina Sidorenko from

Installing a radiator is easy, once your boiler is in place. However, installing the plumbing from the boiler to the various radiator locations around your house is a job best left to a licensed professional. He will know the correct angles and methods of making high pressure connections that satisfy local and state building codes. Homeowners should make sure to work with the plumber during the pipe installation to plan for placement of the radiators in consideration of large pieces of furniture. Large furniture will block the effectiveness of the radiator in a room. Once the pipes are in place, the homeowner can place the appliances and install the radiators.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Radiator
  • Level
  • Drill
  • Bolts (or screws)
  • Teflon tape
  • Pipe wrench

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  1. 1

    Place the radiator between the feed and drain pipes of the heating system. The feed and drain pipes are also known as the hot water (feed) and cold water (drain) pipes. Make sure that the radiator connection with the shut off valve is toward the feed pipe.

  2. 2

    Back the locking collars on the radiator connectors as close to the radiator end of the connection as possible by spinning them counterclockwise by hand.

  3. 3

    Bolt or screw the radiator to the floor using a drill. Drive the hardware through the bolt holes in the base legs, or drive screws through the back holes of baseboard style radiators. The front of the baseboard radiator removes by lifting it up and off. Check the radiator with a level to ensure it is straight and that the connections line up with the pipe before tightening the radiator into position.

  4. 4

    Wrap the threads of the feed and drain pipes with an overlapping layer of Teflon tape. Overlap the tape by 1/8-inch with each pass around the threads to form a good seal.

  5. 5

    Start the collars from the radiator connection onto the pipe threads by spinning them clockwise out from the radiator. The pipe threads will just fit inside the interior of the radiator connection, allowing for the oversized collar to fit over the pipe and the connection to create the seal.

  6. 6

    Tighten the collars with a pipe wrench. Turn them 1/2 turn past hand tight to form a good seal.

Tips and warnings

  • Test the connections for leaks by turning on the boiler and waiting for the water to fill the feed pipe and open the valve on the radiator 1/4 turn clockwise. If water begins to leak, close the valve, turn off the boiler, drain the water from the feed pipe at a lower point than the radiator being tested and redo the connection.
  • Do not over tighten the valve when closing it as this could destroy the packing on the interior valve nut and cause a leak in the heating system.

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