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Hot Water Radiator isolation best practices

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DJDrew
DJDrew Member Posts: 89
Hi,
My wife and I are slowly fixing the plaster and paint issues in each room of our house. The previous owners added wooden radiator covers over all the radiators to hide old wall cracks/defects and sloppy painting behind the radiators. My wife has mentioned she might like the look of a clean wall and painted radiator in each room instead of the covers.

The problem is, there is no way to isolate each radiator. I’d have to drain the entire system (~118 gallons) each time to remove and cap each radiator line as we move from room to room.

These are all pipe directly to the main lines in the basement, nothing daisy chains. Is it reasonable to just drain the system once and add in isolation valves to each circuit? Should the isolation valves be in the basement as the lines go up? Or should they be on each side of the radiator? Or am I overthinking this and is there a better way to set these up so the walls can be patched and painted? What are the best practices?

Appreciate any thoughts.

Attached are two pictures of what is existing.

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,540
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    "These are all pipe directly to the main lines in the basement, nothing daisy chains. Is it reasonable to just drain the system once and add in isolation valves to each circuit? Should the isolation valves be in the basement as the lines go up? Or should they be on each side of the radiator? "

    yes. Drain the system down (once). Add valves on the outlet (you already have them on the inlet side). Refill the system. Paint happily.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    DJDrew