I’m going to ask you a question. I want you to take a moment to think about your answer, and whether you can answer with complete honesty and certainty. It involves something you look at almost every day. Can you tell me, do you know when to buy a new radiator?
It’s as easy as that. If I were to appear in the room with you right now magically, and point at the nearest radiator, would you be able to tell me how well it is working, and when you think you’ll need a new one? Now, I know that you might be stumped trying to give an answer, or you might know that your radiator has a few minor issues, but couldn’t honestly say if it is almost done in. And if you’re suddenly glancing over at your radiators and wondering what to look for, you’ll be glad you’re reading this article. Let me highlight some of the things to look out for which could be a sign you need a new radiator.
The attack of the sludge
If your heating system isn’t regularly checked or maintained to a high standard, you may end up with sludge inside the radiator. Most people notice it for the first time when either bleeding the radiator and see the water is brown and murky, or they notice the bottom middle of the radiator remains cold while the rest is piping hot.
You may think it is a mystery how sludge can end up in a radiator, but it is much simpler than you think. Sludge in radiators is a mixture of rust and dirt. That’s it. The two like to mingle together to cause havoc for radiators. In most instances, getting someone round to power flush the radiator and pipes should see the sludge blasted away, but if the radiator still has the same cold patch in the middle, it has seen better days and should be replaced.
Think of your radiators like your arteries and veins. It needs a good set of pipes to help hot water flow through and keep things running. If you manage to tackle sludge build-up and think your radiators will last forever, I’m sorry to say this isn’t true. Even though the sludge is gone, you could find there’s damage inside the radiators from corrosion.
Obviously, you can’t crack open the radiator to see what’s going on inside, but if you think your radiator is starting to corrode, it will need replacing. And if you’re wondering what a sure-fire sign that the radiator is corroding looks like, if you start seeing water leak out from the radiator (not the valves), it’s done.
What’s my age again?
Radiators are strong and sturdy old things, but age doesn’t play well as an advantage. If you’re in a home where the radiators are older than you can ever imagine, they’ll need checking out. Any radiator is designed with a long lifespan in mind. It’s why cast iron was originally the best material for making radiators as it was seen as the kind of thing which would never break. But as technology developed and different materials like steel and aluminium became the norm for radiators, the average age for radiators dropped too.
If you were to buy a brand new, top of the line radiator from a shop right now, the manufacturer might give it a 20-year guarantee at most. That’s not to say new products are inferior, but rather that old radiators are doing a lot of work to keep going.
This leads on to the most underrated factor for biting the bullet and getting a new radiator. A simple test is to turn every radiator up as high as it can go and let your heating run. You will want to go around the house and then check safely that each radiator is piping hot. You’re not looking for cold patches or signs of corrosion here. You are simply looking to see that the radiator is getting hot.
If you find the valve is cranked to the max, and your flow valve is fully open, but the radiator is only warm to the touch, it isn’t working efficiently anymore. When the radiator is in a room that isn’t used much, that might be ok, but if it is in your bedroom, living room, kitchen etc., it’s time for an upgrade.
Knowing where to look for a new radiator
Now that you know the when, you need to know the where. There’s no better place to start looking than Trade Radiators who have an unbeatable range of radiators on offer, with some great deals on designer brand name radiators and towel rails. See what they have in stock and whether one of their radiators would be a good replacement for any you now know are on the way out.