How do I fit this radiator?

Any plumbers on the 'Dope?

As previously mentioned, I have a leaky radiator. The replacement arrived and I prepared to fit it. Unfortunately, it’s not quite the same. Both have two panels, but the new one is a double convector whereas the old one is a double panel plus. I ordered the wrong one. So the existing fittings are about 1.5 cm out of place, too near the wall.

A plumber will charge about £150 to fit it. A new radiator will cost about the same. Returning the radiator will also be costly (it was mail-order), but not so expensive.

But maybe a Doper knows of a better and quicker and cheaper way out?

Is it threaded pipe? Can you post pics.?

What do you mean by threaded pipe? The radiator currently sits on two water pipes, which are probably brass under the paint. The radiator itself is 1400mmx600mm. Here’s a graphic showing the differences between the types (the one I bought was not a Stelrad but the design is the same).

I located your model on the link, but when I try to click on the specs. for that model I get a “not found” page. (actually I get the “not found” page for other models too) I’m just guessing, but I think you’d best return the rad. and order the proper model. I’d also suggest you call them and explain the problem, so you make sure the next one will fit your configuration of piping.

Do the feed and return pipes come up through a wooden floor?

If so you can lift the floorboard and extend the slot the pipes emerge through, there is generally enough play on the pipework under the floorboards to allow quite a lot of adjustment, both laterally and vertically.

Failing that and if you have relatively limited plumbing skills the simplest thing would be to cut the pipes below floor level and attach a pair of flexible braided hoses. Not as neat and tidy as a proper rigid copper connection but cheap and easy.

This sort of thing - be aware that there are hundreds of variations on this basic theme. In your case a 15mm female connector at the radiator end and a push fit connector at the other would probably be the simplest solution.
You would need a pipe slice to obtain clean cuts through the pipes - these can be had for about £3 - your local hardware/DIY shop or B&Q/Wickes etc. (the staff there will generally give reasonable advice on the problem too) will stock them and the flexible pipes.

Another alternative would be speedfit plastic connectors and piping.

Just a quick addition to the above - you are aware that if you need to cut any pipes you will have to drain the system first, then refill it when you have installed the radiator. Simple enough.

The floor is concrete and there is no play

If you wish to keep the cost to a minimum and are prepared to compromise on the aesthetics you can still use the braided hose.
Cut the feed and return pipes allowing a long enough stub to connect either a push fit or compression connector - about 5-8cm should be sufficient.
Hang the radiator and select a hose of suitable length - you will most likely have to loop it behind the radiator or between the panels.

The other alternative would be to use a series of push-fit elbows to ‘crank’ the feed and return, calls for much more precision though.

Ideally you would cut the feed and attach a properly bent 15mm copper pipe sweated on with yorkshire couplings but this is not for the inexperienced especially in a confined area such as yours.
Damage to paintwork and unwelcome leaks being the least of your worries.

I would imagine a reasonably skilled DIY-er could manage it without much bother, and I’m rather surprised at the plumbers estimated costs, it isn’t much of a job - about an hour to an hour and a half including draining and refilling/testing the system, I’d have estimated about £60 but you may have to shop around for that level of charges.

Sounds like the best bet is to simply send it back and get the right radiator.