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Regular cleaning of central heating radiators

Today, central heating radiators are cast iron (often old models), steel or cast aluminum. Their maintenance concerns the water circulation tightness (faucets, joints, nuts, water pressure) and on the external and decorative aspect because the heat constitutes an element of faster aging of the decoration.

Necessary material

  • Bent ferrule brush
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Container (basin)
  • Aerosol paint spray

Steps

  1. Basic maintenance
  2. Deposit a radiator
  3. Laying a wall fabric

Basic maintenance

An angled ferrule brush makes it possible to reach hard-to-reach places

An angled ferrule brush makes it possible to reach hard-to-reach places

1. A central heating installation and its radiators must be maintained regularly. Using an elbow brush, paint the radiator in hard-to-reach areas. The long handle of this tool and the inclination of the bristles make it possible to apply the paint behind the elements. Protect the wall with newspaper bound by adhesive. The paint must be well "stretched", ie spread in thin layers. Do not use water paints, they rust metal. There are specific paints for this purpose.

An aerosol can remains the simplest solution

An aerosol can remains the simplest solution

2. The simplest solution is to use an aerosol can. Shake it vigorously before application. Pass the paint in very thin layer, with a regular movement, without ever immobilizing the bomb. Wait until one layer is dry before moving on. Spray gun paint is the same. The bomb must be purged so that its orifice does not become blocked when drying: place the head down and spray a few moments.

Radiator bleed

Radiator bleed

3. To purge a radiator, unscrew the trap by placing a receptacle underneath to collect the water. Some installations include a power distribution manifold. In this case, each radiator has its own circuit, which can be isolated by a valve located at the connection to the boiler. In a manifoldless installation, it is necessary to drain all the piping by opening the drain cock at the low point as well as the steam traps. It is possible to purge when there is air in the device: a part remains always cold. Open the trap, let the air out and screw back as soon as the water starts to come out.

Nuts tight goods will prevent leaks

Nuts tight goods will prevent leaks

4. Is a faucet leaking? The loosening of the nuts is probably the cause. Using a wrench, tighten the nut holding the T on the control valve, and the union nuts. On old appliances, old accumulated layers of paint may block the joints: the appliance must be stripped before screwing on again.

The handle is removed by simply unscrewing

The handle is removed by simply unscrewing

5. When the handle of the control valve is worn, it runs in a vacuum and no longer drives the adjustment shaft, so it must be changed. To remove it, unscrew the central screw holding it, using a screwdriver.

An adjustable wrench adjusts a radiator without a handle

An adjustable wrench adjusts a radiator without a handle

6. To adjust a radiator that no longer has a handle, use an adjustable wrench and turn the square shaft that closes (or opens) the radiator supply port.

Deposit a radiator

The outlet valve closes with a simple screwdriver

The outlet valve closes with a simple screwdriver

7. If you want to redo the tapestry of the room, you will have to remove the radiator (after having drained it, of course), close the outlet tap with a screwdriver, the protective cap being unscrewed. This valve isolates the radiator from the heating return piping. The installations do not all include this accessory: it is then necessary to drain the circuit on which is placed this radiator, and sometimes the entire installation.

The nut holding the adjustment T is unscrewed

The nut holding the adjustment T is unscrewed

8. Unscrew the nut that holds the adjustment tee of the radiator supply valve (the valve being closed). This isolates the drained device from its water supply piping: it is therefore possible to disassemble it without the water running.

The device is then separated from the holding consoles

The device is then separated from the holding consoles

9. Remove the heater by separating it from the retaining brackets. The compact device model used here is, in general, simply placed on two lower consoles and maintained by one or two upper consoles, (this attachment system facilitates the removal).

Laying a wall fabric

The wall is glued evenly to prevent peeling of coatings

The wall is glued evenly to prevent peeling of coatings

10. To install a wall fabric, glue the wall with a notched spatula. Protect the floor from the room by spreading newspaper or a tarp over it. Be sure to apply the glue evenly so that the wall is completely coated. Indeed, the heat produced by the device tends to take off the coatings.

Marouflage of the fabric

Marouflage of the fabric

11. Place the laminated fabric web or wallpaper, starting at the top of the room. Apply it against the wall by pressing down with a plastic spatula. Always rub from the center of the lé to the edges to expel bubbles. It is necessary to cut the coating at the location of the pipes: make a horizontal incision using a cutter to pass the pipe. As a precaution, leave the screws of the consoles in place during the installation so the fixing holes remain easily identifiable. Make a small incision so that the screws can pass through the liner.

An insulating plate protects the wall while returning heat

An insulating plate protects the wall while returning heat

12. Having an insulating plate behind a radiator is also part of the maintenance work. Insulation (glass wool) with an aluminum vapor barrier has two advantages. On the one hand, it protects the wall (and the cladding) from the heat released by the heater. On the other hand, it sends heat back to the room this function is provided by the vapor barrier which plays the role of reflector.

On the same topic

  • Questions answers
    • Where to get cast iron radiator brackets?
    • How to remove noise in heating circuits?
    • Replace a central heating with electric radiators
    • How to drain a central heating?
  • DIY tips
    • Central heating: pipes, radiators, heated floor
    • Choice and installation of room thermostats
    • Connecting a heat transfer radiator
    • Installing a thermostatic valve on an old radiator
    • Determine the origin of a central heating malfunction
    • Radiator cover
    • How to fix a tablet on a radiator?
  • DIY videos
    • How to install a central heating radiator

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