Last updated Nov 23, 2021


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How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Radiator Leak

Last updated Nov 17, 2021

Posted in Roofing

Radiators function as heat exchangers that draw heat from water or steam and use it to heat the air surrounding a room. When you turn your radiator on, the hot water or steam will travel through the radiator and its exterior fins will naturally heat up. When those fins heat up, the surrounding air around them will heat up and circulate in the entire room.

These appliances are made from metal to ensure their effectiveness in conducting heat. They are one of the oldest and most effective ways to heat up homes and buildings because they can evenly and comfortably heat space. Plus, radiators are easy and simple to use, making them one of the most sought-after appliances, especially during very cold weather.

Types of Radiator

To understand more about how radiators work, let’s look at two of the most common types of radiators – steam and hot water radiators. How are they different from each other?

Steam radiator

Steam radiators are one of the oldest designs of radiators and they are still commonly used today. With this design, as reported by the radiator is connected to a boiler that heats water until it forms into steam. The steam from the boiler will then travel up to the vertical pipe then to the radiator where the thermal energy is given off through the fins. When the heat is lost from the steam, it will slowly turn back into water and it will flow back into the boiler to be heated once again. This cycle of heating and cooling repeats to spread heat to the room or the rest of a building.

Hot water radiator

Hot water radiators work similarly to steam radiators, except that it does not utilize steam to heat the radiator fins. Hot water radiators have a more active approach to heating spaces as it uses an inlet and an outlet. The inlet takes the hot water in and the outlet lets the water out.

During the operation, water is heated up in a heater. It heats up just enough to warm the radiator fins but not enough to boil. After the water reaches its desired temperature, it is pumped from the heater through the radiator. And as it loses heat, the water goes back to the heater to be reheated. This cycle occurs every time the temperature of the water is increased. The heater and pump are connected to a thermostat. This way, they know when to pump the heated water and when to reheat cold water.

Balancing the Radiator Heating System

Radiator units need to be balanced to get a good level of heat output in a room or a building. This is achieved by controlling how fast the hot water flows through the units. The slower the water flows through the appliance, the more heat is given off. If water flows through the system faster, then less heat will be given off.

If a radiator is functioning properly, it will give off approximately 10 degrees Celsius from one unit before it moves on to the next radiator in a building. To test this, you will need to leave a thermometer on the inlet pipe while water is flowing to see what the temperature is. Then, put the same thermometer on the outlet pipe while water is flowing and gather the temperature. If the temperature difference between the inlet and outlet is more than 10 degrees Celsius, the water is taking too long to flow through the radiator. Hence, it’s giving off more heat. To normalize the temperature difference, try opening up the valve a bit more to let water flow into the radiator faster. If the temperature is not decreasing enough, it could mean that the water is flowing too quickly and you may need to close the valve a bit.

Balancing the radiator system is an important process if you want to achieve a comfortable space. If a radiator is giving off too much heat and others do not give off as much heat, you will end up with spaces with uneven temperature. So, take your time to balance everything out to make sure that each radiator in your home is giving off the same amount of heat and creating a more comfortable living space.

How to Clean Radiators

To make the most out of your radiator, cleaning the unit is important. In fact, it should be a part of your weekly home cleaning regime to eliminate dirt, dust, and grimes. Although cleaning it can be awkward at times, knowing the steps in cleaning your radiator will help you reach the trickiest spots and clean your unit like a professional.

Step one: Turn the heat off

This is the most important step before starting the cleaning process. Not only will this help cool your radiator but it will also ensure your safety to prevent accidents while you’re doing this chore.

Step two: vacuum the inside of your radiator

Take a vacuum cleaner and remove as much dust inside and around the radiator. In this process, getting in the fins of the unit can be difficult. This is why you’re going to need smaller vacuum pipes. Try to suck the dust behind and do not fur get to target the dirt underneath the unit where it meets the wall.

Step three: Use a cloth

Once you have removed the dust, get a towel and place it underneath your radiator. Then, using a cleaning brush, push out the remaining dirt inside the unit. You can use a specialist radiator cleaning brush or you can improvise by wrapping a microfiber cloth around a piece of wood. Insert this inside the radiator and remove any hidden dirt. Experts recommend a hairdryer on the cold setting to eliminate smaller pieces and debris.

Step four: Rinse with water

The next thing you need to do when cleaning your radiator is to your bucket with warm soapy water. Then, use a sponge to wipe the outside to eliminate accumulated dirt. Do not use anything abrasive to scratch the surface of your radiator. Make sure that the cloth or sponge is wet, but not dripping to avoid water from seeping into the unit.

For stains that are difficult to eliminate, use a spray solution on the surface and leave it on for a few minutes. Afterward, simply wipe it away with a cloth.

Step five: Clean the skirting boards

After you’ve cleaned the unit, don’t forget to clean the skirting boards using a bucket of soapy water and a clean sponge. According to experts, this area needs to be cleaned too, as sometimes the heat from the radiator can make dust and dirt stick to the wall. Eliminate any marks and be careful not to damage the paint.

How much does it cost to fix a radiator?

According to experts, the national average cost to repair one unit ranges from 100 to 900 dollars. But most repairs cost between 300 to 400 dollars. Costly, isn’t it?

Despite what people think, fixing radiators can be complex, especially that some of its problems can be tricky to diagnose. So, when you’re planning to have your radiator fixed, always choose a professional to do it. This way, they can assess the problem properly and do the necessary repair.

So, what factors affect the repair costs?

The complexity of the system

Some radiator units have simple builds and processes while others have more complex ones. This depends on the system, the coverage of heated space, the number of radiators in a system, and the building’s size. If only one radiator is involved, repair costs will be quick and be less expensive. But if the whole system needs work, it may take longer to repair, leading to a more expensive cost.

Replacement parts

The usual parts that need replacing include the vents and valves of the radiator. The part itself could cost $10 to $80, depending on the brand, model, and size. But you also need to consider the service fee of the professional in changing the parts which could be fixed or hourly, depending on the company.

The issue of the radiator

Another factor that affects the cost of fixing a radiator is the issue of the unit or the system. Some of the most common problems include leaking, banging noises, clogged vents, overheating, not heating, broken valve, and broken handles. The easier the task, the less expensive the repair cost.

There you have it. These are some of the most important things you need to know about radiators and their maintenance. If you’re planning to have one, consult professionals so they can recommend the best type and models for your home to ensure a comfortable living situation. These experts can also recommend the best strategies to maintain your unit or system to make the most out of your asset. Plus, should there be any problem with your radiator, professionals will help you assess the situation, and they can advise you on the next steps to get your radiator fixed.