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Hot water Radiators..new wood floors

We just purchased a new home, originally built in the 1920's and it came with functioning hot water radiators, which we want to keep. Unfortunately, we have found ourselves in the position of having to install new flooring.

We have purchased 3/4" hard wood flooring and my question is....Can we wedge the heater up with a scissor jack to allow us the room to install the flooring underneath? OR Should we attempt to remove the radiators and reinstall them once the flooring is in place?

I appreciate any help you can provide :confused:

Re: Hot water Radiators..new wood floors

It is likely that there will not be enough "play" in the piping connected to the radiator to simply jack them up and insert the flooring.

Re: Hot water Radiators..new wood floors

I agree---serious damage can result if you attempt to move the risers in such a way---often to a sub-floor inaccessible section that will cause a lot of damage.

Re: Hot water Radiators..new wood floors

Thank you both for your input. WHat is the best way to temporarily remove a hot water heater without damaging the unit?

Thank you again!:)

Re: Hot water Radiators..new wood floors

I recently hired a plumber to move a radiator from one corner of the kitchen to another. I'd get a professional to disconnect them and then install your new floor.

Re: Hot water Radiators..new wood floors


This is much more convenient to do on a diy basis---the strategy is to do one radiator at a time when you're ready to install the wood flooring in that room.

Check your local library in the 697 stack numbering--nearly every library has a few books that have diagrams of this procedure (or ones a lot like it) in the Time-Life Heating/Plumbing books---also check the big box book stores.

Select a day when the daytime temps will be above freezing & start around noontime.

The procedure is to shut down the boiler (flick the on/off switch to off), you must also shut off the water inlet valve to the boiler that lets in fresh water to the boiler system.

Drain a gallon or two of water from the faucet-like drain at the base of the boiler.

The bleed valve at the top of the rad is opened with a screwdriver (or special key in some cases), & air is allowed in to drain the rad.

Depending on the rad connectors (risers) you have now going thru the floor (they can be either compression (screw-on) nipples or soldered 1/2" or 3/4"copper tubing), these are loosened with a wrench or unsoldered, & the rad is moved about 10 feet away while you put in the slightly raised metal pieces to accomodate the new height of the wood.

Usually, 2 large plumbing wrenches are needed to grasp & loosen the large nuts at the base of the rad on either side---apply some penetrating oil or WD-40 to the joints the day before you attempt this.

Cast iron rads can weigh 400 lbs or more---it's a lot easier to move them with a six foot piece of 2 X 4 wedged under the base---lift one side first to drain the black goo (iron oxide) into a flat pan to avoid a mess on your floor.

Home Depot/Lowe's has all sorts of steel & copper short metal fittings (called nipples) that can be used to raise the supply piping an inch or so--the counterman at plumbing supply houses in your area usually charge less & have a wider selection & are more likely to offer better advice & help, if needed.

The new wood flooring is installed only immediately around the area that will hold the rad & the rad is then slipped back onto the new wood & reconnected to the modified piping.

The water inlet faucet valve at the boiler is then re-opened to allow replacement water in to fill the rad---check for any pipe leaks & correct any leaks.

The radiator bleed valve is opened to vent any air in the rad & the boiler switch is turned back on--check for proper operation of the heating system.

The idea is to get the boiler back in operation as soon as possible so you have heat---you can then finish the wood installation for the rest of the room.

This procedure can be followed for each subsequent room that has rads.

Post some photos if you have them, feel free to contact me if you need further info.

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