FAQs

Some of the below information has been reproduced with the kind permission of Feature Radiators: www.featureradiators.co.uk

If you have a query, take a look below and click on a question to obtain the help that you need. If you don’t find the answer then please either phone or email us with your question and we will do our best to help you.


GETTING STARTED

Q. How do I choose the size of my radiator?
Q. Are Eskimo radiators compatible with my existing heating system?
Q. Should I change all of my radiators at once or can I do them one at a time?
Q. Should I keep the radiators in the current position or can I move them somewhere else in the room?
Q. Is there anywhere I shouldn’t put a radiator?

GENERAL

Q. Do you have a showroom where I can see the radiators?
Q. Do you have a brochure?
Q. Do your radiators come with a guarantee?

ORDERING AND DELIVERY/COLLECTION

Q. How do I order?
Q. Why can’t I order online?
Q. When will my radiator arrive if I order today?
Q. Do I need to order anything other than the radiator?
Q. When do I pay?
Q. What type of payments do you accept?
Q. Where do you deliver?
Q. How much does delivery cost?
Q. How does delivery work?
Q. Can I collect?
Q. How does collection work if I collect from my showroom?
Q. What if I change my mind and now want delivery?
Q. What should I do if I discover visible damage to my radiator when I unwrap and inspect it?

CHOICE OF RADIATORS/TOWEL RAILS

Q. Do you sell electric radiators? Do you sell electric towel radiators?
Q. What finishes do your radiators come in?
Q. I need a low-level radiator to fit under a window or unit, what do you suggest?
Q. Which radiators are the most eco-friendly?
Q. I am allergic to dust. Which radiator would be best for me?
Q. I have a limited budget but want stylish radiators. What do you recommend?

VALVES AND ACCESSORIES

Q. What valves do I need to order to go with my radiator?
Q. What are thermostatic valves and what are manual valves and which ones do I need for my radiator?
Q. What is the difference between straight and angled valves?
Q. What valves do I need to order to go with my radiator?

GETTING THE RIGHT HEAT OUTPUT

Q. How do I calculate what heat output I need from my radiator(s) to heat my room?
Q. What are Watts / BTUs?
Q. How do I convert from BTUs to Watts?
Q. How do I convert from Watts to BTUs?
Q. How do I calculate what size radiator I need for my conservatory?
Q. What is the best way to heat a conservatory?
Q. Different companies sometimes state different heat outputs for the same radiators, why?
Q. I am putting electric under-floor heating in my bathroom, but will I also need a radiator?
Q. Why do metal finish Rons have lower heat outputs? Outline outputs are unaffected by finish – see price lists
Q. Will a heated towel rail heat my bathroom?

INSTALLATION

Q. Who should install the radiators?
Q. Where should I position my radiators?
Q. Can I choose whether to hang the radiator horizontally or vertically?
Q. Can I put the pipework in place ahead of receiving the actual radiators?
Q. My installation is already in progress but I have to wait a few weeks for my radiators, what can I do?
Q. Is there anything else I should be aware of during installation?
Q. Any tips for fitting valves?

TECHNICAL

Q. Are your radiators suitable for my existing central heating system?
Q. Can your radiators be used with a combination boiler?
Q. I have a secondary return hot water system, do you have any radiators that would be suitable?
Q. Can your radiators be used with microbore pipework?
Q. Can I swap just one radiator on my system or would I need to change them all?
Q. Can I swap my existing radiators for tall narrow vertical models to save space?
Q. Can I mix radiators made from different metals on the same system?
Q. I want to install aluminium radiators, is there anything particular to aluminium radiators that I need to know?
Q. How do Eskimo’s electric models work?
Q. What are your electric radiators filled with?
Q. Can I run one of your electric radiators on an economy 7 system?
Q. What are the running costs of electric radiators?
Q. What is the relevance of whether a radiator has side or underside valve connections?
Q. What do radiator connections BBOE etc stand for?

TROUBLESHOOTING AND MAINTENANCE

Q. My radiator is noisy, why? and what can be done to stop it?
Q. What is ‘balancing’?
Q. What is an air vent / bleed valve?
Q. How do I bleed a radiator?
Q. What do I do if my radiator is leaking?
Q. One of my radiators doesn’t get as hot as the others on my system, why is this and what can I do?
Q. My radiator has cold spots, why? What can be done to solve the problem?
Q. How do I clean my radiator?


GETTING STARTED

Q. How do I choose the size of my radiator?

A. Firstly, ask your plumber to calculate the heat requirement of the room(s) in question or follow the steps in our heat requirement calculator on our website. Then decide whereabouts you want the radiator and what shape it ought to be. Then look through the price lists to see what options you have in terms of size and finish– with over 300 standard sizes, 6 standard finishes and an infinite variety of special sizes and finishes, you’ll find masses of options, so please call your showroom/stockist or Eskimo if you’d like some assistance.

Q. Are Eskimo radiators compatible with my existing heating system?

A. Yes, Eskimo radiators are designed for use with any central heating system, in any combination of shapes or sizes, and with anybody else’s radiators installed in other parts of the system. The connections are British Standard Pipe connections, which despite the name are used on all radiators throughout Europe. Eskimo radiators have been used in so many diverse locations. As for our electric radiators – again they are compatible with all systems throughout Europe while we can also supply 120v 60hz versions for use in North America.

Q. Should I change all of my radiators at once or can I do them one at a time?

A. Whichever suits your site best – Eskimo radiators will work happily as a single feature radiator or as the only style of radiator throughout a site. If one radiator only is changed, then the system might require balancing to ensure an equal flow of water to each radiator, but your plumber will do this. If you are installing yourself see the technical help page on balancing on our website.

Q. Should I keep the radiators in the current position or can I move them somewhere else in the room?

A. You can move them anywhere you like, but consider these points:
If you keep the radiator in the current position it will reduce installation costs. Eskimo are the only company who offer radiators tailor made to the nearest millimetre – if you give us your current pipe measurements (centre to centre) we will make a radiator that matches those precisely, reducing installation costs hugely.
If you have a traditional property with single glazing then fitting the radiators under the windows make sense, as the cold air dropping from the window is heated by the radiator cancelling out cold draughts. If you have a modern building or good double glazing, then you can site the radiator in any position and in whatever format (long and low, tall and narrow etc) you fancy.

Q. Is there anywhere I shouldn’t put a radiator?

A. Absolutely, but in terms of installation in a room, think about the movement of air through the radiator. All Eskimo radiators require air to move freely into (from underneath) and out of (above) the radiator. In practice this means that you should allow 100mm above and 100mm below the radiator without any obstructions such as skirting, shelves etc if you want to achieve full performance. If mounting the radiator in a purpose built alcove allow 100mm above and below the radiator, while the sides can be within about 25mm of the alcove wall provided the effects of heat are considered in the construction.


GENERAL

Q. Do you have a showroom where I can see the radiators?

A. Yes we do. We have plenty of dealers who would be very happy to help you, across the UK and Europe. If you click on ‘where to buy’ at the top of our website page and scroll down below the map, you will see a list of showrooms/Eskimo stockists.

Q. Do you have a brochure?

A. Yes, which are inclusive of price lists and technical information. You can also find our contemporary radiator collections and our prices lists on our website. And if you have a quick enquiry and would like to speak with a person you are of course very welcome to contact us and we’ll be happy to help. Your local showroom can also answer any product, design, technical or price questions.

Q. Do your radiators come with a guarantee?

A. Yes. All of our radiators come with a 5 years manufacturer’s warranty. For full details please refer to our Terms & Conditions at the foot of our website.


ORDERING AND DELIVERY/COLLECTION

Q. How do I order?

A. Orders can be made in person, by telephone or via email at any one of our Eskimo stockists/showrooms. Please refer to ‘where to buy’ on our website for a full list of our distributors.

Q. Why can’t I order online?

A. We don’t sell online because we want to ensure that you are helped and supported in every way and get exactly what you need. Although from our point of view it would be cost effective, regular feedback received by our stockists from disgruntled customers of website only operations, backs this up. There are simply too many issues that need to be clarified and explained before you can reach an informed decision. By talking to you, our stockists can ensure that they sell you the right radiators for your project – matching your requirements in terms of heat output, dimensions, design, budget and lead-time.  If your chosen item is out of stock and you’re in a rush, then they can suggest good alternatives, saving valuable time. They can also make you aware of other relevant issues such as how the delivery procedure works or information specific to a particular style.  However limited or extensive your knowledge of radiators and central heating systems, we are here to help.

Q. When will my radiator arrive if I order today?

A. We will be able to give you our estimated time for delivery at the time of order, and this will range from around 3 weeks to 8 weeks. For a useful guide, please see the estimated delivery time for the relevant product (which is listed on the individual pricelist).

If you have a tight time schedule and need radiators urgently, then we are happy to direct you to the radiators that we can get to you the soonest.  Please note that we can provide accurate pipe centre measurements for most of our radiators, which means you can go ahead and have your pipework installed (and floor laid) and connect the radiators later.

Q. Do I need to order anything other than the radiator?

A. For central heating radiators, you will need to order valves (our radiators come with wall brackets and air vents but not valves). Our radiators have standard fittings so any standard valves can be used with them.  Valves add the finishing touch to your radiator, and can dramatically alter the overall look.  We believe it is worth paying a little extra for well designed, good looking valves that will complement your radiator rather than detract from it.  Your radiator showroom/stockist will be happy to recommend the best valves for your radiator.

Q. When do I pay?

A. Your stockist will usually need a minimum deposit to process an order, for stock items this can be 25% of the order value and for bespoke / non-stock items this is 50%. The full balance must be paid before delivery of the radiators is organised.

Q. What type of payments do you accept?

A. Payment can be made by all major credit/debit cards (except American Express), bank transfer, cash or cheque.

Q. Where do you deliver?

A. We deliver to addresses on the UK mainland. If you need your radiator to be delivered anywhere overseas, your showroom/stockist can help and will discuss this with you. They will state to Eskimo that you require ‘export packaging’.

Q. How much does delivery cost?

A. Delivery charges will be confirmed at time of order, and can vary depending on model and location. However as a general rule, we deliver to addresses on the UK mainland for a flat fee of £30 per consignment. There may be a surcharge for deliveries to addresses beyond the usual routes, such as the Highlands of Scotland. In some circumstances, a timed or Saturday delivery service is available, but for an additional charge. It’s recommended that you discuss charges with your showroom/stockist.

Q. How does delivery work?

A. When your order is ready for dispatch, our transport department will contact you to arrange a suitable day for delivery.  Depending on the product and the method of delivery used, they may be able to give you some idea of time although usually deliveries will be anytime from 8am to 6pm and the Eskimo driver will call you an hour before your delivery slot to give you some warning. Timed or Saturday deliveries may be available for a surcharge.

The process of delivery varies from one product to another. To avoid any misunderstanding it is important that you read the information, sent out with your paperwork from your showroom/stockist, so that you know exactly how your particular delivery will work.

Access – Deliveries will be made by a large transit van. If access could be a problem, please let your showroom/stockist have an alternative delivery address, failing that please call them to discuss.

Meeting the delivery – Someone will need to be at the delivery address on the pre-arranged delivery day to meet the delivery.  In the unlikely event that your goods do not arrive before 6.00pm on the delivery day, please let us know ASAP.

Radiators will be delivered to the nearest hard standing which is easily accessible and closest to your property.  The driver is not allowed to enter your property for insurance reasons. Accordingly, please arrange for the delivery to be met by persons capable of lifting the goods inside, unless the goods can be left outside in the short term.

When you or your agent sign for the goods please:
Mark the goods “unchecked” or similar and delete any reference to the goods “being received in good condition”; and only sign for the number of parcels you actually receive.

Failure to comply will mean that any later claims for transit damage or missing items will not be considered.

Inspection of goods and reporting – Please unwrap and thoroughly inspect your goods immediately upon receipt. Please bear this obligation in mind when arranging a delivery date. Any visible damage/faults or missing parts must be reported to us within the timeframe specified on your information supplied by your showroom/stockist (24 hours from delivery for some brushed stainless steel products and 3 days from delivery for other items) to enable us to claim a replacement or the missing parts from our supplier.

Q. Can I collect?

A. Yes, you can discuss this and arrange with your showroom/stockist to have your radiator delivered to them so that you can collect at a more convenient time.

Q. How does collection work if I collect from my showroom?

A. We will contact you to let you know when your goods are ready for collection. To avoid any misunderstanding it is important that you read the information, sent out with your paperwork, from your showroom, so you know all relevant.

Inspection of goods and reporting – Please unwrap and thoroughly inspect your goods immediately when you collect them or once you get them home as your showroom/stockist will not unwrap your delivery. They have found the majority of customers prefer to receive the goods with the original packaging intact.  Any visible damage/faults must be reported to them within the 3 days of collection to enable us to claim a replacement.

Q. What if I change my mind and now want delivery?

A. Please call to advise your showroom/stockist as soon as possible so that they can endeavor to intercept your order before your order has been dispatched. Then they will be able to re-arrange delivery direct to site for our standard delivery charge. However, if the goods have already been delivered or are en route, then they will need to arrange for delivery to be made by a dedicated man with van or by a commercial fragile carrier.  This is likely to cost more than our standard delivery charge.

Q. What should I do if I discover visible damage to my radiator when I unwrap and inspect it?

A. Contact your showroom/stockist immediately to report the damage, retain all the original packaging and do not plumb the radiator in.

As detailed on the information that will have been sent out with your paperwork, goods must be unwrapped and thoroughly inspected immediately upon receipt.  Any visible damage/faults must be reported to them within the timeframe specified on your information (24 hours from delivery for some brushed stainless steel products and 3 days from delivery for other items) to enable your showroom to claim a replacement.

When you call to report the damage, it is helpful if you can provide them with your order reference number and a digital photograph of the damage.

We cannot accept back any radiator, on the grounds of visible damage or a visible fault, if it has been plumbed in.

All of our radiators go through a strict quality control process, part of which involves the radiator being inspected for visible faults/damage by the naked eye from a distance of 2 metres.  The 2 metre test is standard across the industry.


CHOICE OF RADIATORS/TOWEL RAILS

Q. Do you sell electric radiators? Do you sell electric towel radiators?

A. Yes we certainly do. We offer them in our ‘Outline’ radiator collection and our ‘TowelClip’ is an electric radiator design. Go to ‘Collections’ on our website and click on Outline or TowelClip for more information.

Q. What finishes do your radiators come in?

A. We know how incredibly important, and personal, colour and finish is, depending on the environment that your new designer radiator is going to be placed. So, with this in mind we have made sure that our radiators are available in a good variety of colours and finishes.  Each price list specifies which finishes are available for the relevant model. You can see a range of colours and finishes on our site in ‘Technical’ and then click on ‘RAL chart’.

Your showroom/stockis will also be happy to send out colour swatches.  Please note that shade variations may occur from one paint batch to the next.  Where it is imperative that radiators are exactly the same colour, such radiators should be ordered at the same time.

Unless otherwise stated our white radiators usually come in RAL 9010 – pure white.  If the exact shade of white is a determining factor in your order choice, please check before ordering.

Q. I need a low-level radiator to fit under a window or unit, what do you suggest?

A. The starting point is getting the correct heat output from your radiator.  Key to heat output is surface area, the greater the radiator’s surface area, the higher its heat output for a given temperature.  So, if you have limited height to work with, then the surface area can be made up (and more heat output obtained) by opting for radiator sizes that are wider and/or deeper.

On our website go to ‘Technical’ and click on our ‘heat calculator’ for further help using our very simple and quick calculator.

If you also take a look on our site in ‘Collections’, click on ‘Outline’ and you will spot in the thumbnail images an example of our ‘Outline ‘Lie Down’. This is a fabulous example of a low-level radiator with excellent heat output.

Also our new ‘floor mounted Ron’ is a gorgeous alternative solution for a low-level radiator space. Again, take a look on our site in ‘Collections’ and click on Ron where you will spot in the thumbnail images an example of our floor mounted Rons.

Q. Which radiators are the most eco-friendly?

A. Eskimo products are made from 100% recyclable aluminium and are very thermally efficient – this means that you can use a much smaller Eskimo to heat your space than you would with a radiator from other manufacturers – making Eskimo radiators green.

Q. I am allergic to dust. Which radiator would be best for me?

A. Avoid radiators that work by convection, as these circulate air and accordingly will cause dust to be circulated around the room.  Such movement of dust will aggravate the allergy.  Radiators that work by radiating heat cause less air and dust movement so are a better choice.  Speak with your showroom to gain more advice and discuss the best radiator for your room.

Q. I have a limited budget but want stylish radiators.  What do you recommend?

A. We believe that great design and great radiators should be achievable with a smaller budget. That’s why we have ensured that we offer as many sizes and finishes to suit many pockets. Take a look on our website in ‘Collections’ and also speak with your showroom/stockist, who will be able to advise on the best Eskimo radiator solution for your budget.


VALVES AND ACCESSORIES

Q. What valves do I need to order to go with my radiator?

A. You will need one pair of valves for each central heating radiator (electric radiators don’t need valves of course).  Your showroom/stockist will sell valves in pairs – one valve is the temperature control, the other is called a lockshield valve and is used to help “balance” the system.

You will need to decide whether to order manual or thermostatic valves, and whether you need straight or angled valves.  But if in doubt, just have a chat with your showroom/stockist.

Our central heating radiators have standard fittings so any standard valves can be used with them, including those from plumber’s merchants or DIY stores (but be aware that these can be ugly and obtrusive tending to detract from overall look of the radiator). 

Q. What are thermostatic valves and what are manual valves and which ones do I need for my radiator?

A. An overview of each type of valve is set out below.  Whether to choose thermostatic or manual valves is up to you (see note below about building regulations).  As a general rule, thermostatic valves tend to be larger than manual valves (as they need to accommodate the thermostatic mechanism) but are more energy efficient.  Manual valves on the other hand, tend to be smaller and more discreet, so are often chosen for their neat minimal look.  See the explanation below to help you decide what’s best for you, or ask us, we’re here to help.

Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) come with an in-built temperature sensor.  The thermostatic valve will maintain the room at the temperature you have selected, by automatically adjusting the heat output from the radiator.

This means that you can make the most of any “free” heat the room receives, such as that from the sun or from electrical appliances.  As the valve is controlled automatically, it turns itself up and down, ensuring the radiators perform as efficiently as possible, reducing energy waste.  For this reason, TRVs are the environmentally friendly valve choice as they prevent energy being wasted by overheating a room.

Please be aware that building regulations require TRVs to be used for all new builds except:

-          for one pair of valves on a system which can and should be manual, so they can be left fully open at all times.  This is needed to allow the system to function properly. Usually such manual valves will be put on the radiator/towel rail in a bathroom or entrance-way as more constant heating is needed in these areas;

-          in rooms where there is a room thermostat that controls the boiler.

Although not essential, we recommend TRVs for larger radiators (above 1800 watts, or where the radiator is oversized for the room) and for use in kitchens where temperatures tend to go up and down dramatically (due to additional heat from ovens, fridges and other appliances).

Manual valves act simply like taps as they directly control the flow of water into the radiator and consequently how hot the radiator gets, regardless of the surrounding room temperature.  With manual valves, you can turn the heat up or down, but you will need to physically go to the valve to make the adjustment.  Manual valves have no labelled settings – simply turn the valve head until the radiator is giving the amount of heat desired.  The smallest most discreet valves available are manual valves.

If you are still not sure which valves would be best, please ask us or ask your showroom/stockist. We’re all very happy to help you.

Q. What is the difference between straight and angled valves?

A. If your radiator has side valve connections it will require angled valves where conventional pipe work is used (in this scenario you will need to allow a further 150mm to the width of the radiator to accommodate the valves). If your radiator has underside valve connections it will require straight valves where the pipe work comes up from the floor; and angled valves where the pipe work comes out of the wall. If in doubt, please ask your showroom/stockist. There are also helpful installation diagrams which will give you further information and formulas on calculating pipe centres. Go to ‘Collections’ and then look on the page of the radiator design that you have. You will find a PDF download of installation guidelines.

Q. What valves do I need to order to go with my radiator?

A. You will need one pair of valves for each central heating radiator (electric radiators don’t need valves of course).  Your showroom/stockist will sell valves in pairs – one valve is the temperature control, the other is called a lockshield valve and is used to help balance the system.

You will need to decide whether to order manual or thermostatic and whether you need straight or angled valves. But if in doubt, please call your showroom or stockist for help.

Our central heating radiators have standard fittings so any standard valves can be used with them, including those from plumber’s merchants or DIY stores but be aware that these can be ugly and obtrusive tending to detract from overall look of the radiator.  Again, your showroom will be able to advise.


GETTING THE RIGHT HEAT OUTPUT

Q. How do I calculate what heat output I need from my radiator(s) to heat my room?

A. Your plumber or heating engineer is always the best person to do this if they have been or are coming to your property.  Alternatively either your showroom/stockist can do this for you, or you can work it out yourself using our quick and simple heat calculator on our site. Go to ‘Technical’ and click on the ‘heat calculator’ and follow the instructions.

Much more complex methods for calculating the precise heat requirement of a space are adopted by technical experts and architects, taking account of a many different factors and variables in detail. However, in our experience the Heatcalc provides a good result.

Q. What are Watts / BTUs?

A. These are two different units for measuring the heat output of a radiator.  Like feet and metres, they measure the same thing, just on a different scale.

Q. How do I convert from BTUs to Watts?

A. The rule of thumb is to divide by 3.412. But we have a useful unit converter on our site. Go into ‘Technical’ and click on ‘unit converter’.

Q. How do I convert from Watts to BTUs?

A. The rule of thumb is to multiply by 3.412. But we have a useful unit converter on our site. Go into ‘Technical’ and click on ‘unit converter’.

Q. How do I calculate what size radiator I need for my conservatory?

A. As there are many factors affecting heat loss in conservatories, your conservatory provider or heating engineer is best informed to work out how much heat is needed to keep your conservatory warm.  Failing that, we, and your Eskimo showroom/stockist, are used to working the approximate heat outputs required for conservatories, based on the information provided by you – e.g. dimensions, materials etc.  Please call and speak with your showroom/stockist who will work it out for you.

Q. What is the best way to heat a conservatory?

A. There are several heating options, as set out below, and the best choice will depend on various factors particular to your project. Conservatories have high heating requirements when the sun is not out, due to large expanses of glass, outside walls and high ceilings. Greater heat loss will occur through glass (even specialist glass such as Pilkington glass, or gas filled glass) than through a standard interior or exterior wall).

Central heating radiators – a good option provided you already have a central heating system that can be extended and we have radiators with high heat output coupled with space saving dimensions popular for heating conservatories, where wall space is limited. Including our ‘floor mounted Ron’ and ‘Outline lie down’.

Electric radiators – a good and easy heating solution for your conservatory:

- if there isn’t already a central heating system in the rest of the house;

- if you don’t want to extend the existing central heating system from elsewhere in the house to the conservatory; or

- if you need additional heat in the conservatory.

We have electric radiators in our ‘Outline’ collection and also in our ‘TowelClip’ electric radiator design. Both prove popular for heating conservatories, where wall space is limited.

Under-floor heating – available in electric and central heating formats (wet systems).  Installation of central heating under-floor heating can be expensive and is often only an option if you are still at the design stage of the build.

As with any heating solution, it is key to ensure that the under-floor heating has capacity to adequately heat your conservatory. Conservatories tend to have high ceilings and big expanses of glass relative to their floor area, so under-floor heating often isn’t sufficient to heat some conservatories during the colder months (unless some form of supplemental heating is used).

Under-floor heating generally takes longer to heat a room than radiators, and if the conservatory gets too hot it will take many hours to cool down, so its suitability will depend on how you will use your conservatory.

Q. Different companies sometimes state different heat outputs for the same radiators, why?

A. This is because some companies, ourselves included, state heat outputs calculated using the original British rating (Delta 60 (Δt 60ºC)), whilst others state heat outputs calculated using the newer European rating (Delta 50 (Δt 50ºC )).  In our experience, most domestic plumbers and heating engineers still calculate heat requirement using the original British Delta 60 rating.  To comply with this and avoid confusion, our heat outputs are also calculated to Delta 60.

To convert Delta 50 to Delta 60 multiply Delta 50 heat output by 1.264
To convert Delta 60 to Delta 50 divide Delta 60 heat output by 1.264

Q. I am putting electric under-floor heating in my bathroom, but will I also need a radiator?

A. Yes, if you want to have warm dry towels. If you are concerned that the under-floor heating will not keep your bathroom quite as cosy warm as you would like, then add a towel radiator to give some additional heat.

Q. Why do metal finish Rons have lower heat outputs? Outline outputs are unaffected by finish – see price lists

A. The ability of a radiator to radiate heat to the room will vary depending on the make up of the radiator’s surface finish. Generally speaking, shiny finishes do not emit heat as effectively as coloured or matt finishes (emissivity). However, if you want shiny with great heat output then look at our Polished aluminium Rons or Supermirror Outlines perhaps?

Q. Will a heated towel rail heat my bathroom?

A. Yes it will it you choose an Eskimo heated towel rail, provided it’s the right size for your bathroom.

If you intend to use a towel radiator as the sole source of heating in your bathroom, then be sure to choose one that gives out enough heat for your room.  You can calculate the required heat output using our heat calculator in ‘Technical’, click on ‘heat calculator’.  Be aware, bathrooms need to be a lot warmer than other rooms in the house, to counter-act the lack of clothing!

Towel radiators fall into two categories: those used solely to warm towels (where a separate radiator is used to heat the bathroom); and those used to warm towels and heat the bathroom. Our radiators warm towels and heat the bathroom.

If your bathroom is compact and well insulated, you shouldn’t have a problem in finding a towel radiator that will heat your bathroom and keep your towels warm.  If on the other hand, your bathroom is large and/or poorly insulated, most conventional towel rails will not have the capacity to heat it on their own.  The best solution would be a powerful radiator, with integral hanging rails for your towels.

Remember: towel rails don’t just have to go in the bathroom, why not go for one in your kitchen as well?


INSTALLATION

Q. Who should install the radiators?

A. Our central heating radiators should be installed by a competent plumber or heating engineer. Our electric radiators should be installed by a qualified electrician.

Q. Where should I position my radiators?

A. Radiators are usually positioned in the coldest part of the room, often against an outside wall or under a window, where the cold air drops to the floor.  However, you can position them wherever suits your room design.  For example, if you have full length curtains, then the radiators should not be placed under the windows as much of the heat will be shut behind the curtains when they are closed.

Eskimo radiators offer so many different size solutions (tall and slim, low and long etc), that there is likely to be several possible places where you could put your radiators. For example, in a kitchen where most available wall space has been taken up by units, the best solution may be a tall slim radiator, to fit behind the door or fill a space that you previously considered unusable.  Positioning of radiators may also be used to make a feature, for example, by placing two identical radiators symmetrically, one each side of an entrance or window.

And don’t forget that we now offer our beautiful ‘SuperMirror’ Outline radiator. A superb radiator and a mirror in one!

Q. Can I choose whether to hang the radiator horizontally or vertically?

A. We offer a very large choice of sizes to accommodate your preference in the horizontal or vertical and it’s advised that you decide up front, for cost efficiency.

Q. Can I put the pipework in place ahead of receiving the actual radiators?

A. Yes, we can provide accurate pipe centre measurements, which means you can go ahead and have your pipework installed (and floor laid) and connect the radiators later. Your showroom/stockist can assist with this and you can also take a look at our installation diagrams which will give you further information and formulas on calculating pipe centres. Go to ‘Collections’ and then look on the page of the radiator design that you have. You will find a PDF download of installation guidelines.

Q. My installation is already in progress but I have to wait a few weeks for my radiators, what can I do?

A. We can provide accurate pipe centre measurements for most of our radiators, which will enable you to go ahead and have the pipework installed.  The radiator can be connected later.

Q. Is there anything else I should be aware of during installation?

A. The most important thing is to follow any instructions supplied to the letter. Failure to do so could invalidate the manufacturer’s guarantee.

Your radiators must be installed in accordance with BS5449, section five commissioning, which is a process your installer should be fully aware of. This means on completion of installation, the system should be properly flushed and filled to remove debris and minimize the presence of solid particles and chemical residue that may cause corrosion and damage within the system.

Corrosion inhibitor should be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations and should take into account the particular metals within the system.

Q. Any tips for fitting valves?

A. Wrap at least five turns of PTFE tape around the threaded tails of the valves to help seal the joint between the tail and the radiator at the valve connection point.  Make sure the PTFE tape is embedded into the thread (to secure it in place) before turning. If it is not secure it could run round and round in which case undo the valve and roughen the thread slightly with a hacksaw blade then re-tape the thread.

TECHNICAL

Q. Are your radiators suitable for my existing central heating system?

A. Yes, unless your system is very unusual eg steam rather than water.  All of our central heating radiators are compatible with normal central heating systems and have British Standard fittings. On an existing system you can replace all the radiators or just the ones you want.

Q. Can your radiators be used with a combination boiler?

A. Yes, any kind of central heating boiler can be used with our radiators.

Q. I have a secondary return hot water system, do you have any radiators that would be suitable?

A. Yes. Radiators and towel rails made of inert metals such as stainless steel, brass or copper can be used on such a system.  We now have a great choice of radiators and towel rails that would be suitable.  Please contact your showroom/stockist who can recommend the best products for your system.

In a secondary hot water circuit, the water that runs through the radiators is the same water that comes out of your taps.  So obviously, the water needs to be clean and free from chemicals.  Accordingly radiators made of mild steel, aluminium and cast iron, which need to be used in conjunction with corrosion inhibitor, are not suitable.

Q. Can your radiators be used with microbore pipework?

A. Yes, you will need adapters and your plumber will provide these.  If your entire system uses only microbore, then be aware that because microbore piping is smaller in diameter, radiators positioned at the end of a long run, will take longer to warm up.  The preferred way around this is to use wider pipe for the long runs (22mm or 15mm).

Q. Can I swap just one radiator on my system or would I need to change them all?

A. On an existing system you can replace all the radiators or just the ones you want.

Q. Can I swap my existing radiators for tall narrow vertical models to save space?

A. Yes, no problem, but please note that if you have a central heating expansion tank, the top of the radiator(s) must be at least 1metre below it.  If you have a combination boiler, then this is not an issue.

Q. Can I mix radiators made from different metals on the same system?

A. Yes, no problem. Corrosion inhibitor should be added to a standard central heating system irrespective of what metals the radiators are made of, and failure to do so will invalidate the manufacturer’s guarantee. The only circumstance when corrosion inhibitor must not be used is on a secondary hot water system.  On such a system the radiators need to be made only from inert metals (which do not corrode) such as stainless steel, brass and copper.

Q. I want to install aluminium radiators, is there anything particular to aluminium radiators that I need to know?

A. You need to make sure that the corrosion inhibitor used in aluminium friendly.  Most corrosion inhibitors are aluminium friendly and details of which metals any particular inhibitor is suitable for, will be detailed on its container. We recommend Fernox MB-1 or Sentinel X100.  Corrosion inhibitors are available from most plumbers’ merchants and DIY stores.

Aluminium radiators are viewed as the eco-friendly radiator option, providing rapid heat when needed, and a welcome reduction in heating bills.  Examples of our aluminium radiators are the ‘Ron’ collection.

Q. How do Eskimo’s electric models work?

A. All our electric radiators are filled with Glycol.  This means they are designed like a normal central heating radiator but instead of having valves to connect the radiator to a central heating system, the radiator contains an element that is inserted into the radiator and is then connected to the electricity supply. You then have the ability to turn the power on to heat the element, which in turn heats the water which then radiates heat.  You can either have the radiator wired into the wall or just have a 13 amp plug.  All electric radiators should all be installed by a qualified electrician.

Electric radiators are not supplied with adjustable thermostats as standard unless otherwise stated.

Q. What are your electric radiators filled with?

A. All our electric radiators filled with Glycol.

Q. Can I run one of your electric radiators on an economy 7 system?

A. Yes. However, you will only benefit from cheaper electricity when the radiators are being used during the set Economy 7 hours (usually through the night). Outside of these hours, the electricity consumed will be at the full price. It may be worth asking your supplier about Economy 10, which includes some more sociable usage hours.

Q. What are the running costs of electric radiators?

A. Our electric radiators come in five different power ratings. The output is the power consumed by the heating element in a one hour period otherwise known as a kilowatt hour (kWh). Your electricity supplier will be able to inform you of the cost per kWh.

Please bear in mind that simply multiplying your proposed consumption by the cost of each kWh will result in the absolute maximum cost as, in reality, for the majority of our electric radiators, the heating element will switch off and on as the temperature in the room rises and falls.

Q. What is the relevance of whether a radiator has side or underside valve connections?

A. The location of the valve connection points:

-          will determine whether you need straight or angled valves; and
-          will determine the total width of wall space needed to accommodate your radiator once installed.

Radiators with side valve connections (bottom opposite ends) need angled valves where conventional pipe work is used.  Add around 150mm to the width of the radiator to give the total width needed to accommodate the radiator once installed.  Many of our radiators (and all of our cast iron radiators) have side valve connections.

Radiators with underside valve connections need straight valves – where the pipe work comes up from the floor; and angled valves – where the pipe work comes out of the wall.  Radiators with underside valve connections are a good choice where only very narrow wall space is available. Most of our towel rails have underside connections.

Q. What do radiator connections BBOE etc stand for?

A. BBOE – Bottom Bottom Opposite Ends (like most standard radiators)
TBOE – Top & Bottom Opposite Ends (many old cast iron radiators were connected this way)
TBSE – Top & Bottom Same Ends (many old cast iron radiators were connected this way)


TROUBLESHOOTING AND MAINTENANCE

Q. My radiator is noisy, why? and what can be done to stop it?

Noise from heating systems is usually due to poor installation and only very occasionally is caused by faulty products. None of our radiators should cause noise. Descriptions of the noise and the likely causes, other than poor insulation, are set out below.

-  Whooshing/whistling water – the pump set too high and/or the radiators are not balanced.

- Clanking from pipe-work – there is insufficient space for pipe expansion (copper expands 1mm lengthways per metre), so if pipes are trapped between floorboards and joists then as the pipes expand you may get “clanking” noises.

-  Clanking from radiators – usually a result of:

  • the pipes not having sufficient space for expansion/movement (the noise is created within the pipes and travels up the pipes to the radiators); or
  • the radiators being too tightly wedged onto their brackets.

Many noise problems can be avoided if plastic rather than copper pipe is used.  Plastic pipe needs more room to expand than copper pipe, but is flexible so can “snake” between fixings to take up this expansion.  Whilst plastic pipe does have some obvious advantages, we always recommend using copper pipe for the final connection up to the radiator for aesthetic reasons.

Q. What is ‘balancing’?

A. Balancing is adjusting the flow of water through each radiator on a system so that   all radiators are running at equal temperatures and take an equal amount of time to reach their operating temperature. Your plumber should ‘balance’ the system after installing your radiators.  Lack of balancing within a system is often the cause of cold spots on radiators, radiators failing to heat up properly, or radiators making noises.  These symptoms are rarely due to manufacturing faults.

Q. What is an air vent / bleed valve?

A. An air vent (also called a bleed valve) is a small valve, which enables air* that has accumulated at the top of a radiator to be let out or ‘bled’ from the radiator using a special air vent key. All our central heating radiators will have an air vent, which will be sent out with the radiator, and should be fitted as part of the installation. Bleed/Vent keys are not included as standard, but can be purchased from a plumber’s merchants or a home improvement store – with most of our bleed vents a screwdriver can be used.

* on first filling the system it is air that is vented, the periodic venting of systems is actually releasing hydrogen which is the by product of rusting in the system, if regular bleeding is required this is a strong indication that the system requires draining and refilling incorporating a corrosion inhibitor.

Q. How do I bleed a radiator?

A. Bleeding a radiator means getting rid of any air (see * above) that has accumulated at the top of radiator, using the air vent/bleed valve. Ideally radiators should be checked for air accumulation at least once a year.  Bleed keys (vent keys) can be purchased from a plumber’s merchants or home improvement store. The necessity to bleed your radiators much more frequently than this is indicative of a problem with your system (which can often be rectified by cleaning out the system and refilling it in accordance with BS5449 section five commissioning).

To bleed a radiator, which is a simple process:

1). ensure both valves at the bottom of the radiator are open;

2). attach the bleed key (vent key) onto the bleed valve (air vent) at the top of the radiator;

3). unscrew the air vent and have a cloth ready to catch minor drips;

4). Listen for the change in sound from a hissing noise (the sound of air escaping), to a steady squirt.  At this point you can retighten the air vent.

Q. What do I do if my radiator is leaking?

A. Firstly, isolate the leaking radiator by closing both valves, open the air vent to release the pressure in the radiator – this will stop, or at least slow down, the leak. Then contact your showroom to report the fault.  We will need to match up your report to the original order so we can work out exactly which radiator you are referring to. It would be helpful if you could provide your showroom with the original order reference number.  Failing that they can search using the name the order was made under.  We will also need to know:

-          if you have ordered more than one radiator, which radiator is it;

-          where the leak is located on the radiator; and

-          when the radiator was installed.

Once we have the relevant information we can determine the cause of the leak (manufacturing fault, problem caused on installation or system health) and the best way to resolve the problem (e.g. a replacement radiator or your showroom may send out a tool to fix the problem in situ etc).  Every scenario is different but we will do our utmost to minimise the inconvenience caused and resolve any problems as effectively as possible.

Q. One of my radiators doesn’t get as hot as the others on my system, why is this and what can I do?

A. If one radiator doesn’t warm up properly, whilst all others on the system do, it is likely that the water is not flowing properly through it.  Please note it is highly unlikely that the problem is caused by a blockage. The following steps set out below should rectify the problem.

-          Make sure the radiator has been bled properly and no air is trapped in the radiator.

-          Make sure the valve is fully open, to ensure water can flow into the radiator.  Certain radiators need flow diverters, to ensure the water flows in the right direction.  If required, this will be sent out with your radiator but occasionally installers forget to put these in.

-          Check whether your radiators need ‘balancing’ (see above) and if so, balance it accordingly.

IF YOU HAVE PAID A PLUMBER TO INSTALL YOUR RADIATOR(S) THEN UNLESS THERE IS A MANUFACTURING FAULT WITH THE RADIATOR (WHICH IS RARE), THEN ANY NEWLY INSTALLED RADIATORS SHOULD FUNCTION PROPERLY BEFORE YOUR PLUMBER LEAVES.  YOUR PLUMBER SHOULD ALSO ENSURE THAT THE PERFORMANCE OF ANY EXISTING RADIATORS ON THAT SYSTEM HAS NOT DETERIORATED IN ANY WAY AS A RESULT OF THE WORK CARRIED OUT.  THIS RELATES TO BALANCING YOUR SYSTEM WHICH SHOULD BE INCLUDED AS STANDARD AS PART OF THE SERVICE PROVIDED BY YOUR PLUMBER.

Q. My radiator has cold spots, why? What can be done to solve the problem?

A. Cold spots indicate the water is not flowing properly round the radiator.  You should be able to rectify the problem by following the steps below.

-          Make sure the radiator has been bled properly and no air is trapped in the radiator.

-          Make sure the valve is fully open, to ensure water can flow into the radiator.  Certain radiators need flow diverters, to ensure the water flows in the right direction.  If required, this will be sent out with your radiator but occasionally installers forget to put these in.

-          Check whether your radiators need ‘balancing’ (see above) and if so, balance it accordingly.

Please note that it is highly unlikely that the problem is caused by a blockage.

IF YOU HAVE PAID A PLUMBER TO INSTALL YOUR RADIATOR(S) THEN UNLESS THERE IS A MANUFACTURING FAULT WITH THE RADIATOR (WHICH IS RARE), THEN ANY NEWLY INSTALLED RADIATORS SHOULD FUNCTION PROPERLY BEFORE YOUR PLUMBER LEAVES.  YOUR PLUMBER SHOULD ALSO ENSURE THAT THE PERFORMANCE OF ANY EXISTING RADIATORS ON THAT SYSTEM HAS NOT DETERIORATED IN ANY WAY AS A RESULT OF THE WORK CARRIED OUT.  THIS RELATES TO BALANCING YOUR SYSTEM WHICH SHOULD BE INCLUDED AS STANDARD AS PART OF THE SERVICE PROVIDED BY YOUR PLUMBER.

Q. How do I clean my radiator?

A. The surface of the radiators should be cleaned using warm water and a small amount of washing up liquid. Abrasive, solvents and spray cleaners – such as those intended for cleaning sanitary ware, tiles and counter tops – should never be used as they can have a damaging effect on the finish of radiators and valves.  If you have a specific mark on a radiator that cannot be removed using washing up liquid, please speak with your showroom for advice.