Can A Heated Towel Rail Replace A Radiator?

Can A Heated Towel Rail Replace A Radiator

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Can A Heated Towel Rail Replace A Radiator?

It was in the 1980s when the heated towel rail made its first appearance in the market. By then, it was considered a luxury and was mostly available only in hotels.

However, with time, many people have become more interested in this invention and wanted it to be in their homes.

Eventually, this has come to pass as many homes nowadays have heated towel rails in their bathrooms.

Those who had installed radiators in their bathrooms want to know if they can replace them with the towel rails and still achieve the desired result.

This has, in turn, sparked a debate on the internet, with every concerned individual giving out their opinions based on the experiences they have had doing so.

If you have considered replacing your radiator with a hot towel rail earlier on, you should not feel shy anymore to do so.

It is possible to swap them since these appliances perform the same task.

Can a heated towel rail replace a radiator? Yes, a heated towel rail can replace a radiator.

Once your central heating  is running, they automatically warm up. The heated towel rails can efficiently heat a bathroom the same way a radiator does.

However, it should be noted that this efficiency is based on factors such as the size of the space you want to warm up and the size of the towel rail you want to install.

For example, if your hot towel rail is small and you have a massive bathroom space, then the towel rail will do less when warming up your bathroom during the winter season.

Nevertheless, the heated towel rail is ideal for small spaces, such as small-spaced bathrooms.

Therefore, if your bathroom’s space is arguably small, then replacing your radiator with a hot towel rail is possible and just efficient as well.

One possible reason why most people consider changing their radiators with the towel rails is space conservation.

They take smaller space compared to radiators and accomplish the same desired tasks of warming up.

Since you have already known that different size of towel rail is required to heat different room sizes.

You should also consider other factors such as the type of insulation in place, the size of windows in place, and whether they are single or double glazed.

And even the number of people who will put their towels on the heater.

Do Towel Rails Provide The Same Warmth As The Ones Produced By Radiators?

When a relative warmth comparison is made between that produced by radiators and the one produced by the towel rails, it is noticed that the heat given out by the radiator is higher than that given out by towel rails.

However, if proper sizing between the towel rail and your bathroom has been made, then the heat illuminated by the towel rail should be enough to complete your bathroom warm and cozy efficiently.

Radiators, however, are likely to take more time heating up than towel rails.

Once your central heating is turned on, it takes around 15 minutes for a radiator to heat up and reach its maximum temperature.

For an electric towel rail, five minutes are enough to heat up to the highest temperature.

The bottom line is, your bathroom will still be efficient heating regardless of the method you use, radiator, or towel rail.

Can Towel Radiators Efficiently Heat My Bathroom?

This is one of the main questions asked regarding towel rail’s performance.

People are interested in knowing whether these towel rails are capable of hitting up their bathrooms the same way their other radiators do.

There is only one direct answer to this. Yes. These heated towel rails can perfectly heat the bathroom, thereby making it feel comfortably warm, especially in those cold winter seasons.

However, the only thing you have to put in check is balancing your towel rail size with the room size.

Installing small heated towel rails in relatively larger bathrooms will not yield an ideal result.

How Do I Know The Type Of Towel Rail Which Suits Me?

Towel rails come in different designs and styles to try and accommodate our different tastes and preferences.

Some of these designs include electric and panel towel rails, among others.

  • Flat Panel Heated Towel Rails; This type of towel rail has panels that are flat and wide, helping uniform heat distribution.
  • They are smart and appealing to the eye. They come in different sizes; hence you don’t have to worry if they can comfortably balance your room.
  • Electrically heated towel rails; Perhaps you were not aware of the existence of fully electric towel rails. They are a great option to consider, as they are easy to control and operate.
  • All you require is to connect it to your mains electricity. You then have everything working at the press of a switch or button, depending on the type of controls you have in place.

How Efficient Is A Traditional Towel Rail When Compared To A Radiator?

It is appropriate to say that traditional towel rails are just as efficient as regular radiators. In addition to heating your bathrooms, they also act as ‘normal’ towel rails, hence merging both your radiator and towel rail into one.

How Do I Operate A Towel Rail?

There are mainly two kinds of towel rail; Electric towel rail and plumbed towel rail.

  • Plumbed towel rail; Your boiler powers your plumbed rail, which also works with the central heating system. Therefore, for the rail to function, the heating must be operational as well.
  • Also, it is possible to separate the other parts of the system to enable the rail to remain functional without turning on other radiators.
  • This will prove useful, especially during summer, when you do not need a lot of heating in the house.
  • However, to accomplish this task, hiring a qualified engineer to handle these transitions is the best way.
  • Electric towel rail; Electric towel rail is relatively easier to use compared to plumbed towel rail. There is a switch connected to the towel rail to the electricity mains.
  • You turn the switch on when you want the towel rail and off when you want it off. It is quite different from the plumbed towel rail system, which operates by a program.
  • For the electric towel rail, you have to adjust it to perform what you want manually.

How Do I Turn Off A Heated Towel Rail?

For plumbed towel rails, automatically go off once your heating stops. The towel rail will strictly follow this program if you are using a smart thermostat.

However, the electric towel rail is likely to remain on at all times until you manually turn it off by the installed switch.

Some of them can be programmed to perform the task automatically, but this depends entirely on the type of electric rail you are using.

Can A Heated Towel Rail Be Left On Overnight?

Leaving a heated towel rail on overnight is unlikely to pose any danger. As a matter of fact, you can leave your heated towel rail on all the time.

However, you should consider the impact of this act on the environment and the cost you will incur when you practice this.

I bet you don’t want any unnecessary extra charges on your electricity bill.

If your towel rail is on in the middle of the night and the bathroom is not being used, then there is no point whatsoever in leaving your towel rail on.

Can A Heated Towel Rail Replace A Radiator

That would be a waste of energy, which you can easily control by just turning it off.

How Should A New Towel Radiator Be Fixed?

Towel radiators are an additional bathroom luxury. There is a wide range of design options to choose from.

Whether you settle on a simple one or the other with a more stylish look, they all get the job done of warming your towels and heating your home.

Fixing them is not a complicated task as they are also just fixed as the standard radiators.

One of the easiest ways of fitting your new towel radiator is by replacing a radiator that has a matching width. In that case, the process is quite simple—no need to drain the system.

Turn off the heating if it was on, shut off the valves to set your old radiator aside before ejecting it from the wall.

The towel radiator you are installing will connect to the pipework, which already exists. However, suppose you are installing a new towel radiator that differs from the one you are replacing it with.

In that case, you will have to drain your entire system and make several changes to your pipework to accommodate the new system.

Also, ensure you have removed your skirting and flooring as required to access the pipework in place.

With the easily accessible and available modern plumbing options, the task is not challenging to perform. you are at right to select any kind of radiators suits you and you would want to transition to.

What Is Bleeding A Radiator, And How Is It Done?

Bleeding a radiator; Sometimes referred to as bleeding a boiler, is the act of releasing air trapped in your system.

Most unvented heating systems experience this issue. When there is trapped air inside your heating system, water will be deterred from heating the entire radiator.

This, in turn, creates some cold spots within the radiator. Sometimes you may notice clucking or flowing sound within your radiator.

Do not ignore this, as it may be a good reminder for you to bleed your radiator’s boiler system.

One indication that your radiator is operating inefficiently is when you realize that the top section is not as heated as the lower half.

Ineffective performance of your radiator means you are incurring bills you are not enjoying their effects.

It is, however, fortunate enough that you can comfortably perform the bleeding task yourself.

Process of bleeding the radiator.

To accomplish this task, you will need the tools below;

  • Radiator bleeds key-this key is typically used for opening radiator vent valves. Readily available in many hardware stores.
  • Towel or a cloth: You will need this for catching drips.

   Turn on your heating. 

Your radiators should warm-up before bleeding; therefore, turn on the heating and let them warm up. This process is essential since it is where the pressure required for unwanted air is built.

   Identify the radiators you want to bleed

Go through your entire house and vet all the radiators, checking those who have any cold spots on them.

You should also pay attention to any gurgling or clucking sounds since these are also other ways of identifying radiators that have trapped air in their system.

The trapped air prevents the entire radiator from being filled with hot water. Such radiators need bleeding.

While carrying out this process, be aware that the radiators will be hot. Take safety measures to ensure you don’t get hurt.

For instance, wearing thin gloves could protect you from burning yourself and let you know the radiator’s heated and unheated parts.

   Turn off the central heating system. 

Always ensure your central heating is off before bleeding the radiator. Failure to this will result in you scalding yourself or ending up flooding the floor.

   Set up the area 

You need to set up the area where you will be performing this task. Sometimes when bleeding a radiator, mostly the old ones, water that comes out is often discolored.

Putting some old towels strategically could help avoid unplanned cleaning jobs, especially for those with light carpets in their homes.

   Open radiator bleed valve

This is where the radiator bleed key comes in. You insert it into the bleed valve, which is mostly found on radiator tops to the sides.

If you have a hard time spotting it, you should for a round hole with a square inside. Inserting the radiator key in the bleed valve results in a locking feeling and sound.

You should then turn the valve anticlockwise carefully. You are likely to hear a hissing sound when the trapped air starts coming out.

You should be careful of the escaping air as it may be hot. Always ensure you maintain a safe distance.

Tip; In case the radiator vent key is unavailable, a flat-headed screwdriver can perform the same task on more recent radiators, the modern ones.

    Bleed your radiator

You should never fully open the valve. A turn is just sufficient to get the job done. Fully-extending the valve is not right since once the trapped air has been let out, what follows is water gushing out.

Carry on with this process with the radiator valve key on your hand until trapped air is eliminated.

You will know the bleeding process is complete when you realize that water is coming out from the radiator.

Once this is done, you should turn the bleed valve clockwise to fasten your radiator.

It would be best if you were careful not to over-seal it as you will need to perform the process sometime again in the future.

Be more cautious with modern radiators as they may often release water suddenly and vigorously with high pressure. Always be on the ready with your valve key to avoid any surprises.

   Perform the task on all radiators  

Once you decide to bleed your radiators, you will have to repeat the process on all radiators in your house.

It is suggested that you begin from bleeding radiators on the ground floor as you move upwards since air rises.

   Confirm your heating system’s pressure

Once you are done with bleeding your radiators, your heating system has to be re-pressurized. Bleeding a radiator typically reduces the amount of water in the boiler system.

If the system lost a lot of water during the process, it would incur heating floors above. Sometimes, this can lead to the total failure of your central heating system.

How Do I Know The Best Time I Should Be Bleeding My Radiator?

It is advised that bleeding radiators should be done when the heating season begins. During this time, you don’t need your radiator.

Carrying out this duty at this time is preferred since you will have enough time to ensure that your radiator system is operating efficiently early enough before the season you need it sets it.

How Can I Maintain My Heat Costs At The Possible Minimum?

Since a lot of electric power consumption is experienced when heating radiators, experts have recommended that you not turn the temperatures too high to save on electricity cost when the bills are sent.

The temperature on storage rooms, hallways, and kitchens should be sufficient and comfortable at between 16 to 18 degrees Celcius.

Can A Heated Towel Rail Replace A Radiator

The temperature in the living room, when set at 20 degrees, is also just enough. 23 to 24 degrees is standard for children’s rooms as well as bathrooms.

Why Is My Radiator So Noisy?

A noisy radiator produces the following sounds; the radiator is either gurgling, making a banging noise, or making an uncomfortable clicking noise.

Gurgling noise is one of the major complaints received on radiators. However, this noise develops typically due to trapped air in the radiator system during the water pumping process.

To solve this, you will need to bleed your radiator following the steps we discussed above.

Banging noises are mainly caused by boiler kittling. This condition affects radiators in places where hard water is used.

The central heating system experience limescale builds up, thereby blocking pipes which lead to the radiator.

To solve this problem, your system should be power flushed by a qualified professional to remove the clog. Once this is done, your radiator system will operate smoothly and quietly as new.

Clicking noise caused by a radiator is relatively standard. This occurs due to the expansion of pipes and other radiator parts when it is heating up or cooling down.

There is, however, no remedy for this problem as it is entirely normal.

In conclusion, if you want to replace your previous standard radiator with a heated towel rail, then nothing deters you from doing so.

Just make sure you have all details worked out to obtain one that will adequately suit your room.


Hi! I I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

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