How to Remove a Central Heating Radiator

Updated February 21, 2017

Radiators are devices attached to the wall which collect steam from the central heating system. Steam is transferred from the central heating unit through a series of pipes to the radiator. The unit then radiates the heat that builds up inside the unit. A radiator may need to be removed when upgrading to a more efficient heating system, or when you need to repaint a room and need to get behind the radiator unit.

Turn off the central heating unit by flipping the circuit breaker that controls power to the unit.

Place old rags beneath the radiator to catch any water that may leak when pulling it out.

Pull the plastic cover off the lockshield valve at the bottom of the unit.

Turn the brass valve exposed underneath the cap with an adjustable wrench, turning clockwise until it will not move anymore. This closes the valve. Count how many turns it takes so that you can return it to the previous position when replacing the radiator.

Turn the temperature control on the opposite bottom end of the radiator to the lowest position.

Place a bucket underneath the lockshield valve. Turn the metal knob at the end of the valve (not the same brass one you turned before, the one below it) to release the water from the unit.

Insert the bleed key into the bleed valve at the top of the unit and turn it until water starts coming out. Let the water bleed from the unit.

Move the bucket underneath the connection at the right of the radiator that goes into the unit. Hold the entire lock shield valve with a pair of pliers to give yourself some leverage and turn the nut that holds the lock shield valve on the unit until it is loose.

Remove the nut on the opposite side that holds the heat control dial.

Lift the radiator up and off the rails connecting it to the wall. Remove any nuts or bolts using a socket wrench if the radiator does not easily lift up.


Pull back carpet underneath the unit to prevent the carpet from being damaged.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pipe wrench
  • Bucket
  • Bleed key
  • Socket wrench
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