The radiator replacement cost is between £145 to £865 based on size, quality and job factors. Most homeowners pay an average of £320 to replace a radiator. The labour cost to replace a radiator is between £100 – £200 per radiator, depending on additional cost factors. Costing details and factors affecting the cost are below.
This radiator replacement cost estimate includes cost factors and prices for common radiator replacement scenarios.
Overview of Radiator Replacement Cost
Here are cost ranges for the most common radiator replacement jobs, these prices include the cost to remove and replace a radiator, with labour prices included.
We explain the details in the Cost Factors.
|Radiator||Supply Cost||Installed Cost||Standard Ave.||Designer Ave.|
|Small: 500 – 3000 BTU||£20 – £600||£145 – £785||£260||£440|
|Medium: 3000 – 5000 BTU||£28 – £635||£190 – £800||£285||£475|
|Large: 5000 – 8000 BTU||£40 – £650||£210 – £840||£310||£525|
|X-Large: 8000 – 10000 BTU||£55 -£785||£235 – £865||£325||£540|
Radiator replacement price is broken into supply of the radiator and the labour involved plus whether VAT must be paid. The process is explained and the time involved is discussed to give you a clear understanding of the work involved.
Factors Affecting Cost to Remove & Replace a Radiator
The cost to replace a radiator depends on these factors related to the work.
- Radiator Type – In the list above, you’ll see that so-called Designer radiators are much more expensive than Standard radiators. If you want something stylish for your home, expect to pay more for it. The same is true with towel rails. Some are basic and affordable; others boast beautiful design and cost more.
- Radiator Size – As you can see, as radiators get larger they get more expensive. However, the cost between the smallest and largest isn’t great. Other factors have a larger impact on cost.
- Radiator Quality – As with all goods, some radiators are better than others. They last longer, are easier to maintain and are less likely to have mechanical problems. Quality can affect price by 50%.
- Material – Standard steel radiators are the most affordable. Stainless steel and aluminum cost more. Radiators with anthracite coating are sometimes, though not always, among the most expensive.
- Who Installs the Radiator – Most homeowners hire a plumber to replace a radiator. However, radiators have become easier to switch out. We discuss the DIY option below.
- Additional Materials and Labour – If the fittings are changed, a thermostatic radiator valve is changed or installed or pipes must be added or removed because the new radiator is a different size, cost will be higher than for a quick like-for-like replacement.
- VAT – If you choose a smaller company for the work, it might trade below what is required for VAT registration, so that tax won’t be included.
- Where you Live – Prices in and around London and in the South East are higher than elsewhere in the UK, especially in the North.
Common Costs for Radiator Replacement Projects
There are many scenarios in which radiators are replaced or added to a system. Here are common projects with prices.
The ranges represent the price factors just discussed.
- Like for Like Cost for Radiator Replacement: £145 to £450
The average cost for this cost is £295 for a standard radiator and about £400 for a fancy one.
This is an easy job. The water is shut off to the radiator, and the fittings are loosened. The radiator is drained and removed from the wall bracket. The new radiator is installed in its place.
- Cost for Replacement of a Radiator with a Different Size: £225 to £675.
The average for this job is £360 for standard and £525 for a designer radiator.
In this project, piping will be added or removed. For example, let’s say you have a standard radiator that is 1000mm wide in the bath and want to replace it with an upright tower rail just 400mm wide. About 600mm of pipe will need to be installed. The piping isn’t expensive, but the labor to fit it does raise the cost significantly.
- Cost of Adding a Radiator to the System: £350 to £750
The average for this job is £475 for standard and £680 for designer.
The first step for the plumber is to determine that the boiler and system can produce enough heat and circulation to add a radiator.
If the boiler system has the capacity, then a bracket is fastened to the wall. The radiator is hung on it, and piping is plumbed to the radiator. However, if the boiler doesn’t have capacity and you still need the additional radiator heat then it might be time to consider a boiler replacement.
Cost of Additional Materials and Labor
This chart shows radiator labour costs associated with radiator replacement and repair or maintenance.
|TRV Valve||£15 – £25|
|Piping Installation||£3 – £6 per metre|
|Bleeding All Radiators||
£65 – £140 based on number of units
|Flushing the System||
£80 – £175 based on system size
Bleeding Radiators: This is the process of removing air from the pipework. Air in the pipes reduces energy efficiency. If it builds up in a specific radiator, that room will be cold. The air also causes rattling, pings and other noise.
A plumber can bleed radiators in 1-2 hours. The first step is turning off the system. Then the plumber opens the bleeding valves are one at a time to allow air to escape. The plumber turns the water on at a trickle, and the incoming water forces out the air.
Flushing Radiators: If you’re replacing the radiator because you want a different size or style, this won’t apply.
And, of course, if it is an old radiator and clearly beyond repair, leaking from corrosion, for example, then it must be replaced.
But if the radiator seems in good repair, it might need to be flushed rather than replaced. Sludge builds up over time. The debris can block a radiator altogether. It also takes up room in the pipes and radiators with the result that not as much hot water is being circulated.
If your radiators aren’t as hot as they once were, or if your home is chilly despite the central system running, then this might be your issue.
Plumbers flush systems with a chemical agent that loosens sludge and other debris. They flush each radiator individually while tapping them with a rubber mallet to loosen debris.
Finally, the system as a whole is flushed until the water coming from it is clear of debris, rust, sludge etc.
The cost of flushing a central heating system is £275-£425 based on its size and number of individual radiators. This general maintenance is recommended for systems every 5-10 years or as needed based on system efficiency and effectiveness. In short, if your home is toasty and your gas bill isn’t rising, then the system probably doesn’t need flushing.
This page offers sound advice on when to flush your system.
DIY Radiator Replacement
While it isn’t extremely difficult, there are minor and major things that can go wrong. Potential pitfalls include:
- Staining flooring with leaked, rusty water
- Damaging flooring or walls by dropping the radiator
- Causing water damage by not fitting the radiator properly and having it leak whilst you’re sleeping or away
Not properly bleeding the system after installation which can lead to reduced efficiency and/or having to call a plumber to solve the problem
This isn’t a radiator replacement how-to guide, here are the basic steps.
- Turn off the central heating system
- Close the valves on the old radiator
- With a tray or towel beneath the plumbing connections, loosen the connections
- Open the bleed valve with a bleed key or flathead screwdriver, and drain out the water
- Loosen the radiator from the bracket and remove it
- Clean the connections on the piping to remove corrosion and debris
- Wrap the threads in PTFE tap to help secure the new connections and make them watertight
- Switch wall brackets, if necessary, and hang the new radiator
- Connect the radiator, but don’t overtighten the connections, and open the valves
- As water enters, open the bleed valve, and close it when the air has been forced out and water starts coming out
- Keep a tray or container under the connections for several days until you’re sure they are not leaking
If you have good DIY experience and are willing to take the risks, then doing it yourself should be considered. This video from Wikes department store may be of use:
Otherwise, our recommendation is to hire an experienced plumber to ensure the work is done properly the first time.
Getting the Best Price on Radiator Replacement
The cost to replace a radiator is going to vary based on the area you live and the company you choose, so the key is to get competing estimates for the work. When you do, ask the plumber to break down the estimate into the cost of the radiator and the cost of labour. Then you can compare what you are getting for the money. Of course, you can buy the radiator and just hire the labour.