Mats Bengtsson

Adding radiators to the heating system

Mats Bengtsson mib over the years

Adding a radiator

A radiator which has been mounted on a wall where previously no radiator existed.Adding a new radiator is actually almost as simple as replacing a radiator. To add a new radiator it is necessary to find a suitable supply pipe for getting to the heating water and to the return path of the heating water, and then add a t-connector onto those pipes.

Connecting the new radiator to that added t-connector is the same work as replacing a radiator, only the connection probably needs a lot longer pipes than for the simple replacement.

The picture shows an old radiator mounted on an old wall. But in the morning, this wall had no radiator at all. The radiator was a left over from replacement of radiators in the house to bigger radiators. This radiator together with two more was thus placed in the cellar, to improve the heating, for a very small investment cost (some pipe connectors). Interestingly enough, the wall behind it is freshly mortared, and the floor below still has no lining since it has been freshly built.

Cutting the heat pipe

The heat pipes in our cellar is quite accessible, they are placed under the roof, and not concealed in any other way than having isolation around them.

I could not find a suitable place for the connection where there was already a mounting point on the existing pipe, so what I had to do was to:

  • Remove the isolation around the pipe
  • Empty the heating system of water
  • Cut one of the long pipes going across the washing room into two pieces.

The cut was made using a jigsaw. I could also have used an angle grinder, but believed the cut would be nicer using the jigsaw. There was no surprises, and only very little water left in the pipe when it was cut off.

After the pipe is cut, it has to be shortened a little in order to make the t-connector fit between the two ends of the pipe. Once again, this was done using the jigsaw.

Threading the old pipe

When the pipe now has a gap that is suitable to fit a t-connector between, it has to be threaded in order to screw the t-connector onto the pipe. This is theoretically an easy operation.

I bought a cheap tool used to create the thread (SCANTOOL), but that was probably a mistake. Although using threading oil, it was hard work, and it was neccessary to hold on to the pipe very hard during the htreading. At one time, the pipe itself started to disform.

I have done this threading operation a couple of times since then, and I have bought a better threading tool as well. Still not an expensive one, the tool cost around 30 Euro, but this one seems to be a lot better and there has been no problem with the threading since then.

Adding a t-connector

When the pipe is threaded, the t-connector must be scewed onto the pipe, in both ends, thus allowing the water to flow in the original direction just like before, but at the same time allowing water to flow also through the t-connector, onto the new radiator.

One end of the t-connector is used to cover the gap between the t-connector and the pipe. This end is threaded like the other, but the nut is in fact a long internally threaded pipe. Thus, when the t-connector is screwed onto the pipe, it extends itself until the gap between the t-connector and the pipe is covered.

When the isolation is back in place, the t-connector is only a little thicker part of the original pipe, except for the additional pipe that it connects. After painting, it can fit in quite well in the surroundings.

t-connector in placet-connector after painting









Fitting the new pipes to the t-connector

The new pipes are made to go parallell to the roof, thus fitting well in in the environment. The pipes are rather small compared to the main pipes they are connected to. Thus they were deemed to look better if they were higher up to the roof than the main pipes.

To achieve this, they are connected to the t-connector in a 45 degree angle, and then bent in 45 degrees. Thus, they are closer to the roof than they would be if connected straight out from the t-connector, but still parallell to the roof.


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