When and how to change the batteries in the apartment

In what cases it is not worth delaying the replacement any longer and how to understand the monotonous variety of heating devices. batarei-v-kvartire-8f7dbfb.jpg” alt=”When and how to change batteries in an apartment” />

You can listen to the article. Feel free to play the podcast if you like:

Roman Shidlauskas Development Director of the Russian representative office of the Italian manufacturer of radiators Global Radiatori.

Why change batteries

There are five reasons why you should do this.

  1. Batteries are leaking. There is nothing to think about: if even a few drops of water appear on the radiators, they need to be changed . Because sooner or later the drops will turn into a stream that will flow to the neighbors. And then, instead of spending several thousand rubles to buy a battery, you will have to shell out tens of thousands to repair your own and neighboring apartments.
  2. It's cold in the room.If you put on wool socks every October and don't take them off until May, it makes sense to replace your radiators. Maybe the batteries that are in the apartment now are not warming up the rooms enough. So, it is worth replacing them with devices with a higher heat dissipation. Maybe the radiators are designed to heat the premises up to standard 19-21 ° C, and the residents are too heat-loving. Then you should buy larger batteries to warm up the apartment better.
  3. The radiators look shabby.This is familiar to everyone who had classic cast-iron batteries in the apartment, whose paint sooner or later began to peel off. But relatively new radiators can also lose their presentable appearance, for example, if the manufacturer saved money and painted them in only one layer. Or after repair, chips and remnants of building materials appeared on them. All this reduces the reliability of the devices: where the paint has broken off, rust appears faster and a leak forms over time.
  4. The heating system is planned to be upgraded. If 10 years ago, adjusting the temperature in a room using a window was considered normal, but today there are more technologically advanced methods. For example, automatic thermostats or remote control of heating in an apartment via a smartphone are rapidly gaining popularity. Cast iron batteries and convectors, which once seemed to be the crowning achievement of engineers, hardly fit into such systems, so they are being replaced with more modern heating appliances.
  5. The interior is being updated. Including after buying an apartment. This is probably the most common reason for replacing radiators. Sometimes old appliances simply do not visually fit the new design of the rooms. And some apartment owners believe that if repairs are already made, then they should change everything up to the batteries.

When is the best time to do this

Of course, if the radiators began to leak, there is no time to think – you need to deal with the replacement right away. In other cases, you should focus on the heating system.

Most Russian houses are equipped with a riser system – the same pipe that runs from floor to ceiling in each apartment and is sometimes partially hidden in the walls. If during the heating season the batteries are periodically disconnected because the neighbors started repairs, then the house has a stand-alone system. In this case, if it is not lit, it is easier to postpone the replacement for the period from May to September, when the heating is turned off and the process will not cause inconvenience to other residents.

In some new buildings, a different system is used – apartment heating. This means that the riser is located at the entrance and on each floor separate pipes depart from it to the apartments. The plumber can shut off the water supply to the radiators directly on the collector in your corridor, while the neighbors will still receive heat. Thus, when distributing heating for apartments, it is possible to replace batteries at any time.

Is it possible to replace radiators on my own

If the owners of the apartment do not have an engineering education with a specialization in heating systems, it is better to entrust the replacement of radiators to professionals. The slightest mistake can cause the batteries to heat poorly or start to leak.

For example, I know stories when, due to lack of knowledge, batteries were connected to a hot water supply system. It seems to be logical: in order for the appliances to heat, hot water must flow into them. But no, radiators can only be connected to the pipes of the heating system, otherwise they will quickly become unusable.

The fact is that the heating system always has the same water that is used in a closed cycle. And if some harmful impurities are present in it, their effect on the battery metal is limited. In the hot water supply system, water flows in an open cycle and is constantly updated, so new impurities will constantly appear, which will harm the radiators over and over again.

Some apartment owners entrust the installation of batteries to teams that do other repairs: lay floors, plaster walls, glue wallpaper. But they often do not have an engineering education, and they know no more about heating systems than the owner of the apartment.

The best option is to turn to specialists, at least to a full-time plumber of the management company. At the very least, if problems arise, there will be someone to file a claim with. The main thing is to get documents from the plumber or the Criminal Code about the replacement, because replacing without documents is no better than the work of an incomprehensible master from the Internet.

You can also use the services of specialized organizations. When choosing a contractor, it is important to pay attention to a few points.

  • The company must have a license to install heating systems.
  • It is useful to read reviews about a potential contractor and understand how long he has been working on the market.
  • It is necessary to conclude an agreement, which will indicate the terms of work, their list, cost and guarantees.
  • Finally, it is important that, following the results of the replacement, the master pressure test the system (this is also done in the summer). So it will be possible to detect possible leaks that specialists must eliminate. And only after that it is worth signing an act of completion, which will come in handy if there are problems with radiators in the future.

What to consider when choosing batteries

If you look at the descriptions on the websites of manufacturers or listen to sellers in stores, all devices, of course, are equally beautiful. This radiator is good, but this one is the same, only different. In order to understand all this monotonous diversity, it is worth considering the following:

  1. Water quality in the heating system. You can find out about it from the management company. For example, it is useful to pay attention to the pH indicator – acid-base balance. If it is below nine points, as in most Russian houses, then you can safely install aluminum batteries. If higher, water can be destructive to aluminum and it is better to play it safe and choose bimetallic or steel panel radiators. In both of these devices, steel that is resistant to high pH comes into contact with water.
  2. Heat dissipation of the device.Or, more simply, the amount of heat that it gives into the room. Batteries that look the same at first glance, even those made from seemingly the same material, may have different heat transfer. It's all about the surface area of ​​the radiator, the thickness of the metal and its thermal conductivity. Of course, you can’t guess by the look, so you need to look at the technical data sheet of the device and look for the maximum heat transfer rate. For example, for one section (95 millimeters deep) of a bimetallic battery, this is 170-185 W/kg, and for aluminum – 185-195 W/kg.
  3. Pressure, which the radiator can withstand. Russian heating systems, as you know, suffer from frequent pressure drops, and although most modern appliances cope with this, it will not be superfluous to check the indicator. On average, this parameter in central heating systems fluctuates around 10 atmospheres. Exactly the same working pressure for steel panel radiators. For aluminum and bimetallic, it is higher – up to 20 and 35 atmospheres, respectively.
  4. Certificate. This is an item that has become mandatory since June 2018, when mandatory certification of devices was introduced in Russia heating. All batteries must be tested in laboratories to confirm the safety of operation and compliance with GOST. The absence of a certificate is a sure sign of a low-quality radiator.
  5. Reliability of the manufacturer. Here, the period of work on the market is important, and for foreign brands, the presence of an official Russian representative office. Plus, there will be insurance that guarantees reimbursement of expenses if the device turns out to be defective. In general, batteries manufactured at European and Russian factories are distinguished by worthy characteristics. But it is better to refrain from buying Chinese-made products, because they often turn out to be of poor quality.