He seems to have the same valves as you
Thanks I did see that video earlier, but he’s doing a completely finished job though which is definitely beyond my ability as I’d need to do pipework.
Ultimately I guess I’m wondering if there are any types of flexible hosing that I can join the old and new valves together with (temporarily), and if so, what’s the score with thread types and that kind of thing.
Think it’ll just be easier to switch them
But I’ve only replaced radiator values so this could be entirely different. So don’t listen to me
Looks like you just need to take the old valve off and replace it… seems simple enough.
Depends if there is an isolator on the pipe otherwise have to drain the system down
There’s a few considerations here: the diameter and screw size on the existing pipes (coming up from the floor) when compared to the inner diameter and screw size of the new valve/coupler - and - the distance between the existing pipes coming up from the floor when compared to the distance between the water entry/exit holes in the new towel rail. You may also need to extend the current pipes ‘up’ if the towel rail would be too low, by using suitable ‘extending’ couplers.
With all that considered, you have to take some precautions and prep for getting rid of the water in the system, as you’ll be taking the existing valves off, which will allow any water at a higher level in the heating system to run down via gravity and help flood your bathroom…
On the valve that currently still is fitted to the pipe coming up from the floor, there’s a drain spout. You’ll have to drain down the water to that level first to be able to change that valve and also the one on the other pipe.
Turn off the main water supply, to stop the header tank from re-filling itself while you work
Connect a hose to the drain spout and secure it with a jubilee clip, or similar and run the hose into a lower outlet (an outside drain or a large container which is physically lower than the level of the bathroom - to let gravity do the job of draining the water contained in the heating system and header tank)
Turn the drain spout on the valve anti-clockwise until water starts running through the hose into the drain/lower container
When the water level in the heating system matches the level of that valve, the water will stop draining enough to not get soaked when you take the valve off (of note, there is no pressure with heating systems like there is with a tap - only gravity induced pressure - but watch out for the water to be hot/warm if you’ve recently had the heating on)
Unscrew the nut on the bottom of the existing valve anti-clockwise (where the pipe from the floor goes up into the existing valve) - once it has been fully unscrewed off the threads on the valve it should drop down the pipe - so be careful it doesn’t drop down the pipe out of reach!
Take the bottom nut off the new valve, this isn’t needed if the pipes/nuts are the same diameter/types*, and place the new valve onto the pipe. Bring the older nut up the pipe and screw carefully clockwise onto the threads of the new valve (you should use a sealing tape on the new valve threads at this point)
Repeat for the other side
*It’s tricky to see the sizes involved from your photos there - but to me the new valve looks larger than the existing pipe. If the new valve is a larger diameter then it won’t fit on the existing pipe properly and the older nut on the pipe will be too small to screw into the threads on the new valve. If this is the case, you’ll need to (a) re-pipe it from 15mm to 22mm - a big job! or (b) use a 15mm to 22mm adapter to go between the existing pipe/nut and the new valve/thread - assuming the existing pipe is 15mm diameter and the new valve is 22mm diameter. A suitable coupler is here: https://www.screwfix.com/p/flomasta-compression-reducing-coupler-22-x-15mm/68500 (you’ll probably need 2, one for each side of the rad)
Oh, and have lots of towels around just in case the water involved decides it has found a gravitational advantage…
looks like micro bore feed to me - 10mm feed pipe - 15 mm radiator valve inlet - so 10-15mm compression reducer - put small 15mm pipe section between reducer nut and radiator valve nut - dont over tighten it
- Fit the new towel rail where you want it securely on the wall, with those new valves in it. Ignore the old valves/pipework but do it just above in the space between. To put the valves into it put PTFE tape on the big thread and screw into the radiator. Usually that bit comes off first - see instructions. Ideally tighten with a big hex radiator valve key (your plumber will have one if you do not).
- Ask your plumber to move the pipework and join it up with some nice copper pipe - inevitably they’ll need to adjust the position of the pipework anyway and they’ll be able to do it neatly. If you have a plumber in anyway do this!
- There is no step 3.
If you want to do the pipework yourself:
- Take up a bit of floor if you possibly can so you can see what’s down there and what space you have
- Get all the bits you need - a bit of copper pipe for two copper tails about 80-120mm each, a pipe cutter, pushfit joints and corners, plastic pipe for under the floor. Plastic bag, rags for leaks. Invest in some push fit cap ends of the right size.
- Try out joining all the bits in the orientation you want, cut them roughly to size
- Set aside a day (a warm day!)
- Ideally get your radiator on the wall with valves in and copper tails in the valves sticking down below floor level
- Drain the heating system at the lowest point
- Cut the old pipes at the point you want to connect (under floor is ideal but make sure it is drained first!), get those caps on to seal them off while working.
- Do your joints under the floor to connect to existing pipework
- Spend all day (maybe two if first time) getting it all right and the floor back in
- Admire the nice neat shiny copper tails coming straight up from the floor in the right place then cost out your time and weep.
So having done both I’d get the plumber in for the pipes, all you need to do is mount the radiator and have it ready to connect.
I am tempted just to get someone in but already had a quote from one guy to do the whole bathroom and it was ridiculously expensive so kind of what to tackle as much as I can myself.
I don’t mind spending my own time on it at all.
I’ve hung the towel rail and been watching YouTube videos all day and feeling more confident about it now. Might be a project for next week once I’ve got everything I need.
For a DIY job look at https://www.diy.com/ideas-advice/how-to-fit-a-new-towel-radiator/CC_npcart_400179.art
It obviously won’t look as good as a pro job (changing the existing pipework) but with some chrome pipework it won’t look too bad.
Some great technical advice. But if in even the slightest doubt…… don’t. The damage water can do……
If you go for it - good luck
So I finally got around to tackling the towel rail.
Basically yes it was a 10mm feed so I got a push fit 10mm to 15mm straight through connector, put on 15mm elbow and then used 15mm copper pipe to go up into the valve. Same on the other side.
Thanks for all of your replies
Just a ‘from experience’ comment regarding this pic…
The feed pipe (10mm copper) is fed through a notch in the left-most joist under the floorboard above it. The new white-plastic push-fit pipe assembly is then in the void between the joists, but very close to the right-hand joist (and extra wooden 1/2" batten to its left) It is also possibly touching the debris underneath.
Water, when heating and cooling, likes to ‘move’ pipes and introduces noise (taps, bangs, clanks) at every opportunity. I’d ensure that all visible pipes in that pic are surrounded by pipe insulation, not only for heat-efficiency, but also to stop noise from expanding or contracting pipes against non-moving joists/floorboards/debris. Do the same on the other side too.
You’ll never stop upstream/downstream pipe noise unless treated, but if you do insulate on the new sections you’ve installed, you won’t be introducing any new noises. Well worth the effort.
EDIT: **Disclaimer - the recommendation above is related only to the modification to feed heating-circuit water to/from the new towel rail and how to stop potential ‘noise’ from expanding/contracting pipes due to temperature changes within said pipes. From the image shown, the electrical wiring underneath the floorboard level needs immediate attention to protect it from potential damage from above (nails/screws driven into floorboards and into unprotected 13 amp wiring) and also from water ingress should a water joint fail (13 amp junction box immediately below the new push-fit water assembly)
Be very careful here.
It may just be the angle but it’s not touching the debris underneath.
It is very close to the joists though but could only move it so far before bringing the pipe on the other side of the towel rail closer to a joist in turn.
Thanks for the advice on the insulation though!
I did observe the wiring too (I was an electrician many moons ago) and will try and neaten things up a bit now that I’ve seen it.
Just realised I never shared the final results of the bathroom.
Ended up doing everything ourselves apart from the shower, which ironically was the only thing that leaked. But we got that sorted in the end.
Still got a few tiny bits to finish off but I’m very happy with what we’ve done.
And knowing you’ve probably
saved not spent an additional several thousand ££££ by DIY is a great feeling.