Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Removing Recessed Radiator

Jakek Member Posts: 55
edited July 2019 in Strictly Steam
I have this sizable recessed radiator (see photo) which I'd like to remove. Suggestions on the best way to get it out of the wall once the pipes have been removed?


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,272
    Work under an assumed name? More seriously -- can you raise it in the enclosure at all? Perhaps just enough to slip some pieces of carpet under the legs? Then pull it right straight out. Otherwise, if you can't raise it, you're going to have to pull it straight out anyway -- and the floor will have some damage. The walls may have some damage, too, anyway. You may need to resort to a comealong to do the pulling.

    Once you get it to where you can raise it, get it up on a heavy duty mover's dolly and you can roll it away.

    It's going to be heavy -- several hundred pounds, min.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,512
    Plywood to protect the floors. Some scrap sheet metal under the legs extending out onto the plywood, pick up with a pry bar to put sheet metal under legs, it should slide out on the sheet metal
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,828
    What are you replacing it with, or are you relocating it?
  • BoilerBoss
    BoilerBoss Member Posts: 5
    edited July 2019
    I would disconnect supply pipe and then remove whatever screws there are holding it in place. Finding all the points of attachment will be a challenge.

    Take some pictures of the process. I'd like to see how you do it.
  • Jakek
    Jakek Member Posts: 55
    Thank you everyone for the suggestion. This community is great.

    I'm trashing it because it's leaking slightly between the fins and it's a poorly insulated hole in the exterior of the house. The house was built with a freestanding radiator fed with a 1.25" pipe. That was reduced to 1" under the floor when they put this thing in. Thankfully, I think I can remove the reducing coupler, put back the elbow, and knock out that plug in the hardwood floor to run to a replacement.

    I'd really like to replace it with a Steamview wall mounted radiator but they are $$$$ so might go with a craigslist special for the moment. That is, if I can get this thing out of the wall.

    Anyone know where the usual attachment points are for these? I haven't tried to move or lift it yet. I'm going to need to repair the wall anyway once it's gone so I don't care much about damage.
  • moneypitfeeder
    moneypitfeeder Member Posts: 249
    I'd start by trying to remove the baseboard on either side, and then cutting an inch or two of the wallboard/plaster around the unit, you'll have to patch a big rectangle anyway, a small bit larger won't make much difference. You might be able to slide a rolling car jack (protect the floor!!) under it and lift it enough to get something under the feet to allow you to drop it back down and "slide" it out. I have almost the same rad in my bath, but it is free-standing, so there aren't any attachment points holding it. Best of luck!
    steam newbie
  • Jakek
    Jakek Member Posts: 55
    edited July 2020
    OK, this project took a year to get around to it but the radiator is out. Didn't take too many photos of the process but as others said, it was pretty simple. I used a rotary tool to cut around the drywall which exposed the shell they had created. At some point they had replaced the plaster wall with drywall so that helped. (Although I prefer plaster.)

    It turns out the radiator was resting entirely on the front feet and leaning against the exterior sheathing. The weight was so much as to really warp the one corner of flooring that wasn't above a joist.

    I put two pieces of MDF near the feet and used a hand trolly to lift it enough to slide the MDF under the feet. Once on the MDF it was fairly easy to side around. The biggest regret was that cheap furniture dolly left slight wheel marks in the floor until I noticed and added MDF runners for the dolly too.

    This radiator has a small leak between two of the sections which is too bad as it seems fairly new. (Is there a way to age these?) But I'm shocked and appalled anyone would put this into an exterior wall regardless. Only 3/4" of T&G sheathing + vinyl siding separated the radiator from the outside. No surprise, the room became an icebox minutes after the steam cycle had ended.

    Plan is to insulate the hole, put in plywood blocking, and install a new 24"x60" Charleston Pro radiator. (Anyone have one they'd like to sell?)
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    I had one of these (but much less wide, about 14") in my bathroom. I too was shocked and dismayed that it was in the stud bay with very little insulation to the exterior. But when these were put in, fuel cost just wasn't a big deal (apparently).

    When I pulled mine I insulated the hole really well and that bathroom stayed warm enough last winter without it (although I am doing a radiant floor).

    I can see you have a plug in your floor which I'm sure you noticed and maybe mentioned, so just like mine, yours was put into service to get the original radiator out of there.

    I think the radiator is probably older than you think (?), like many decades.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,477
    I've got a 5 section version of that radiator in my bathroom on an inside wall. For it's size it puts out a lot of heat.

    When I came home from Korea (Feb 1970) I was buying oil for 14.9 cents a gallon, others in the area were charging 17.9 cents a gallon. The guy that delivered my oil was the guy who serviced that steam boiler every year.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Jakek
    Jakek Member Posts: 55
    For the sake of completion, here is the finished install. I still have yet to fire up the system for the year but everything seems in order. The new radiator was very $$$ but looks nice. Can't say I'm looking forward to winter but I am curious how the room feels when it's cold out.

    Alan (California Radiant) ForbesErin Holohan Haskellluketheplumber
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,272
    Very nice!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • nassiblutfi
    nassiblutfi Member Posts: 1
    Great job on replacing that radiator. I have the same type of radiator, bur smaller in my bathroom. It seems like water is trapped inside. Is there a way for me to bleed that type of radiator? Thanks
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,272
    @nassiblutfi -- might be better as a new thread, however -- is the radiator you are asking about steam (the one in the picture above is) or hot water? And if it is steam, is it one pipe or two?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England