It’s always good to sit back and admire something you’ve created yourself, something you can be proud of.
Radiators for renovators. Many people consider renovating radiators themselves and this can be a satisfying and fulfilling experience. As experienced radiator renovators we know that it’s never as easy as one would imagine. Quite apart from the tools and know-how, getting to know what works and what doesn’t, you also need to consider the time and just the sheer weight of many radiators; they’re not just going to pop on the back seat of your car and you will need a few friends and a sturdy back.
Now you’ve considered all this and have decided to go it alone your first obstacle is to buy the right carcass at the right price from the right place.
Radiators for renovators
Most of you will turn to Ebay, and make no mistake, Ebay is one place to catch a bargain. However it’s definitely a case of buyer beware. The first thing to ask any seller is “Are you sure they’re cast iron?”. So often we’ve been asked if we’d like to purchase some “cast iron radiators” only to travel some distance to find they are in fact steel.
You’ll probably be most interested in price…. if it’s cheap it must be good? Well, yes and no. No matter how much of a bargain you get it’s no good if it’s broken and there is no returning broken items on Ebay. Our experience tells us that at between 25-40% of carcasses are broken and end up with the scrap man (or woman). Often the only thing holding them together is the old paint and sheer will power, if they haven’t already given up the ghost they sure will by the time you’ve finished bashing them about.. but on a positive note if they survive that they’ll likely survive a good while longer.
Always ask if the seller can send you full photos of the items, often parts are missing, there is obvious damage or the actual item you are buying is not the one you see in a photo.
Never let someone persuade you that a cracked radiator can be repaired. We know may professional and well respected welders who will run away from cast iron. Welding cast iron is notoriously difficult, not impossible but difficult. Either way the difficulty it presents just makes renovation nonviable. Never buy a cracked radiator!
Always look at the small print… are you buying that full set of cast iron radiators you thought you were or are you just buying one? or even worse, are you just buying the bleed valve? Beware also the seller who though you got too much of a bargain and refuses to sell.
Make sure you check the location. Often radiators are kept away from where the seller has registered their location. Enquire especially if they’re ready for collection in a place you can get to them or even move them. You don’t want to be left alone struggling to get these things down stairs or out of some building where access is limited. We have had instances where radiators have not only been up two flights of stairs, along narrow corridors but have not even been disconnected from the system prior to collection. Just as a side note, be ready for filthy water to pour all over your car no matter how much you thought you’d drained the radiator.
Finally (for now) don’t get carried away… remember many of these things are broken. It’s a real risk. Always set your limit, don’t get carried away and don’t keep chasing that bid.
Radiators for renovators? If after some consideration you would prefer to get your radiators renovated by an expert then get in touch.