Radiator Repair Cost Guide
Updated: 28 Oct 2021
Updated: Jul 29, 2021
Reviewed by Adam Graham remodeling expert. Written by Fixr.com.
Radiators are found in many homes to heat rooms and spaces. They can last for years and do not require much maintenance. However, electric, hot water, and steam radiators can develop faults and failures that must be fixed, from leaks and damaged valves to cracks and corrosion.
The national average cost range for repairing a radiator is $150 and $500, with most homeowners paying $350 to fix a leaky radiator. This project’s low cost is $100 to bleed a radiator. The high cost is $600 to replace damaged radiator piping in a hard-to-access area.
Cost to Repair a Radiator
|Radiator Repair Price|
|National average cost||$350|
Cost to Repair a Radiator by Heat Source
Different units are available, from steam to electric radiators. Your repair cost may depend on the type because some are easier and simpler to fix than others. The table below shows three heat sources and the average repair costs for each.
|Heat Source||Average Repair Costs (Labor Included)|
|Electric||$100 - $400|
|Hot Water||$150 - $500|
|Steam||$150 - $550|
Electric Radiator Repair
Electric radiator repairs cost between $100 and $400. They are the simplest and much more low-maintenance than hot water and steam radiators because they do not have valves or piping. So, you do not need to worry about valve issues, leaky pipes, high pressure, or bleeding. However, they can still have certain issues like wiring problems or faults with the thermostat that must be fixed.
Hot Water Radiator Repair
Homeowners pay between $150 and $500 for repairs on a hot water radiator. They are one of the most common heating system types in homes across the U.S. and other parts, and they are commonly found in modern homes. Common issues with these units include trapped air, leaks, and valve damage. Common repair methods include bleeding the radiators and repairing damaged valves.
Steam Radiator Repair
The average cost for steam radiator repair averages $150 to $550. Repair costs for steam units can be slightly higher than hot water because steam units often have extra pipes and valves that may need to be checked and fixed. Plus, they can be riskier if steam escapes, so they need a specialist’s attention. Common problems include leaks, banging sounds, and the unit not heating or overheating.
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Cost to Repair a Radiator by Material
Radiators can be made from different materials, with cast iron and stainless steel being the most common. The material used may also impact the total cost of your repairs because certain materials are cheaper and easier than others. The comparison table below shows average repair costs for two of the most common materials.
|Material||Average Repair Costs (Labor Included)|
|Cast Iron||$150 - $500|
|Stainless Steel||$150 - $550|
Cast Iron Radiator Repair
The average repair costs for cast iron radiators are between $150 and $500. Cast iron units are found in many older homes, holding heat and warming homes efficiently. They are also strong but struggle with the usual radiator issues like damaged valves, leaks, and possible clogs or sludge build-up.
Stainless Steel Radiator Repair
To repair a stainless steel radiator, expect to pay between $150 and $550. Like cast iron units, stainless steel units can be affected by a range of common issues, such as leaky valves, high pressure, and the system not heating up correctly or overheating. They can be a little more expensive to repair in some cases because they may require delicate handling and treatment to preserve their appearance.
Cost to Fix a Radiator by Type of Repair
Various issues can arise with your unit. Problems might occur with the valves, pipes, or thermostat. Repair costs vary depending on the problem and repair type. The table below shows common repairs and average costs for each.
|Type of Repair||Average Repair Costs (Labor Included)|
|Valve||$125 - $250|
|Thermostat||$125 - $250|
|Pipe||$150 - $300|
Radiator Valve Repair
The average cost of radiator valve repairs is between $125 and $250. Valves can be damaged in various ways or become loose, leading to leaks beside or underneath the units. Often, the repairs for these valves are simple. A plumber might need to tighten or readjust them to stop the leak, or they might need to cover up minor damages with plumbing tape.
Radiator Thermostat Repair
Homeowners pay between $125 and $250 for radiator thermostat repairs. You can usually notice if the thermostat is not working because the affected unit may overheat or keep heating even when the room is already warm. Replacement is needed in most cases, but a plumber could make adjustments to the thermostat, such as tightening the valves or repositioning the thermostat.
Radiator Pipe Repair
To repair radiator pipes, expect to pay $150 to $300. Pipes may need to be repaired around your radiators if they start to leak, and this is usually caused by minor cracks or holes in the pipework. To repair the pipe, a plumber may use a simple epoxy repair kit to seal the crack or damaged area. Or, they might need to use fiberglass resin and cloth tape to cover it.
House Radiator Repair Price by Type of Replacement
In some cases, the damage to your unit might be too much, and certain parts must be replaced. The costs of this vary depending on the part that needs replacing. Some parts are cheap to buy and easy to replace, while others are more expensive and have difficult installation procedures. The table below shows common replacement parts and average costs for each.
|Type of Replacement||Average Replacement Costs (Labor Included)|
|Air Vent||$150 - $250|
|Thermostat||$150 - $350|
|Valve||$150 - $350|
|Pipe||$175 - $600|
Radiator Air Vent Replacement
To replace an air vent, expect to pay $150 to $250. Air vents remove trapped air from traditional hot water and steam radiators and are not found in electric units. They are helpful for bleeding the radiator and dealing with issues like banging noises, trapped air, and cold sections at the radiator top.
Radiator Thermostat Replacement
The average cost for a radiator thermostat replacement is between $150 and $350. Most units have thermostatic valves with the thermostat built into the valve. These parts are simple to swap out and replace. It can be important to have the thermostat replaced if your units are overheating or do not stop heating after reaching a certain temperature.
Radiator Valve Replacement
Homeowners pay between $150 and $350 for valve replacements. Traditional hot water and steam radiators have valves controlling the water flow and steam. They are essential for the general operation of each radiator, but they can become damaged and potentially cause leaks, so they must be replaced.
Radiator pipe replacements average $175 to $600, depending on the pipe size, length, and location. Some pipes are difficult to access, increasing the labor required and leading to higher costs. Pipes must be replaced if they are rusty, corroded, or have large cracks or holes.
Radiator Repair Price by Problem
Many problems can occur with radiators, such as damage from an impact or accident and leaks or cracks. Or, you might notice strange noises coming from your radiators, pressure problems, rust, or a unit that does not heat when it should. Repair costs for these problems vary depending on the work needed and whether replacement parts are necessary. The table below shows examples of problems and the costs to fix them.
|Problem||Average Repair Costs (Labor Included)|
|Banging Noise||$100 - $200|
|Rust||$125 - $275|
|Not Heating||$125 - $350|
|Overheating||$125 - $350|
|High Pressure||$150 - $400|
|Leak||$150 - $600|
|Crack||$175 - $400|
|Clog||$200 - $450|
Radiator Making a Banging Noise
If your unit makes a banging noise, expect to pay between $100 and $200 to have it fixed. It can be very frustrating when your unit keeps making banging sounds, and there are a few possible causes. It might be from corrosion or limescale, or it could be caused by trapped air. Often, bleeding the radiator is a good way to fix this problem.
Repairing a rusted radiator costs between $125 and $275. Most units are made from materials that resist rust, but rust can form on radiators that are not maintained properly or exposed to leaks and condensation. As long as the rust has not penetrated too far, a plumber or repair professional could clean it away with special cleaning products. You could also paint over the cleaned areas to make the radiators more attractive.
Radiator Not Heating Up
If your radiator refuses to heat, expect to pay between $125 and $350 for repairs. A few possibilities could explain why a radiator does not heat up. This problem might be caused by trapped air, which can be fixed by bleeding the radiator. Or, it could be a valve issue, and you may need to repair or replace the valves. In an electric radiator, it could be a wiring problem, which requires an electrician.
An overheating radiator averages $125 to $350 for repairs. The thermostat controls the temperature and prevents the radiator from getting too hot. So, it is most likely a thermostat issue if the radiator is overheating. The thermostat in your electric, hot water, or steam radiator must be repaired or possibly replaced.
Dealing with a high-pressure radiator ranges from $150 to $400. Like many other problems, this is not an issue for electric radiators, but it can be a problem in hot water or steam units. You can check the pressure in your system by looking at the gauge on your boiler. If it goes too high, there is a risk of the pipes and valves bursting and leaking. To fix the issue, a plumber usually adjusts the boiler, bleeds the radiators, or adjusts the filling loop.
The average cost of radiator leak repair is between $150 and $600. The reason for this wide price range is some leaks are minor and easy to fix, while others can be much trickier and more expensive. In some cases, a plumber might only need to make minor valve repairs and readjustments. However, they may have to fix extensive pipe damage or cracks in the radiator, taking more time, effort, and money.
Cracked Radiator Repair
Fixing a cracked radiator costs $175 to $400. Minor hairline cracks can appear in units from accidents and impacts. This can lead to leaks, which could damage your home. To repair this damage, a plumber uses epoxy or resin products to fill it. Special metalworking techniques like brazing may also be used. It is worth noting that cracked units usually must be replaced.
The cost to repair a clogged radiator averages $200 to $450. Clogs of rust or sludge can build in radiators and pipes. You can usually spot this problem if the radiator heats unevenly or does not heat. To fix this problem, plumbers usually drain the water out of the unit, remove it, and flush out dirt with a hose. The unit may need to be replaced if the blockage is still not clear.
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Cost to Repair a Radiator by Solution
Depending on your unit issues, professionals might use a range of repair methods and solutions. Simple issues might be solved by bleeding the radiators, or the units may need to be balanced or insulated. The table below shows common repair solutions and their average costs.
|Solution||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Bleed||$100 - $200|
|Balance||$100 - $250|
|Insulation||$150 - $300|
|Paint||$200 - $600|
Radiator bleeding costs between $100 and $200 when done by a professional. This process involves releasing trapped air from the radiators, and it can be the best way to cheaply and simply deal with radiators that are making noise or not heating. Homeowners can save money on radiator bleeding by doing it themselves because the process is simple.
Radiator balancing averages $100 to $250. Balancing is a process that involves adjusting the valves on the units around the home to ensure they heat at the same rate. This can be useful if certain radiators are heating slowly or quickly compared to others and causing heating imbalances throughout the house.
Insulating radiators ranges from $150 to $300. When insulating, a professional typically uses special reflector foil panels or rolls. This foil can be installed behind the radiators and against the wall to reflect the heat into the house instead of being lost through the exterior walls. Insulation saves money and makes your units more efficient.
To have your radiators painted, expect to pay between $200 and $600. The price depends on the unit size and design. Many units have complicated designs with multiple sections, and they must be removed and transported to a workshop to be painted with care before re-installing. You may want to repaint an old unit if the paint has faded or cracked.
Labor Cost to Repair a Radiator
Professional radiator repair averages $100 to $250 per hour in labor costs. Some workers charge by the hour, but others have flat fees for the most common jobs, such as replacing a valve or repairing a damaged pipe. Many professionals also have minimum fees or call-out fees of $75 to $100. You may have to pay an additional fee of $100 to $200 if your repair requires same-day service. You may also need to pay extra for travel costs if you live in a remote location.
A good way to reduce the need for radiator repair is to look after your units and do simple maintenance tasks throughout the year. However, the maintenance you need depends on the unit type. Electric units are very low-maintenance and only need to be cleaned and checked occasionally to ensure they are clean and working correctly. However, steam and hot water radiators usually require additional care.
Apart from cleaning and checking for signs of damage, you may also need to bleed your radiators. Bleeding releases trapped air that prevents the units from heating properly, making the system more efficient. It is also good if your radiators are noisy. Bleeding should be done yearly in most cases. In addition, you may need to check the pressure gauge on the boiler to ensure the pressure in the radiators is adequate.
In some systems, you might also have to add a chemical inhibitor liquid into the system. This prevents certain chemical reactions from occurring inside the pipes and radiators to stop rust and corrosion build-up. You should top up the inhibitor supply yearly for best results.
Another useful maintenance tip is to ensure the radiators are used regularly and are not left off for too long. Even in the summer when it is warm and sunny, it is a good idea to turn the radiators on for about half an hour every few weeks to keep the various system parts moving and working. Inactivity is a major source of radiator problems and boiler issues, so try to avoid it.
Radiator Inspection Cost
A professional radiator inspection should cost between $100 and $200. During this process, a radiator specialist or plumber inspects the units around your home. They check the key components, such as the valves, and inspect them closely for signs of damage or problems. They can spot leaks or identify rusted or corroded areas that could require repair.
Repair vs Replace Radiator
In some cases, you may want to consider replacing your radiator rather than repairing it. Replacement is sometimes the only option if the damage is too extensive, but you can sometimes choose between a new unit or fixing the existing one. Consider the different factors to make the right decision.
The main factor to consider is cost. Costs average $1,000 to $3,500 to replace a radiator. So if the estimated repair costs are close to $1,000 or higher, consider a new unit. Another factor is age. Radiators can last for several decades without needing replacement, but if yours are old and require regular repair, it may be time to replace them.
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Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Old Unit Removal
It costs between $75 and $150 for radiator removal. This price usually includes the disposal cost. When removing an old and damaged unit or replacing it, you may have to pay this fee. Typically, repair companies dispose of old units by taking them to recycle facilities.
Radiant Floor Heating Repair
Radiant floor heating repair costs $100 to $1,000. The price depends on several factors, including the damage location and type and whether system parts need replacing. Minor repairs can be carried out inexpensively, but larger jobs like cracks and damages to the copper tubing can be more complicated and expensive.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Warranty. Many radiators come with warranties, so check if your warranty is still valid before repairing.
- Lifespan. Traditional cast iron hot water radiators can last for several decades or more than a century. Modern electric units, however, may last for around 20 years.
- DIY. You can do some basic repair and maintenance tasks, such as bleeding and balancing radiators. However, if you do not have much experience or have doubts, call the professionals.
- Troubleshooting. In most cases, radiator problems are relatively minor and easy to fix. So, it is a good idea to call a professional and have your units inspected to address minor issues as they appear.
- Licensed professional. Hire and work with licensed professionals whenever you need repairs to avoid unnecessary risks.
- Danger. Certain problems, such as leaks or excessively high-pressure build-ups, can be dangerous and require same-day repair.
- Can home radiators be repaired?
Yes, you can repair home radiators. Plumbers and repair specialists perform these fixes.
- Can you remove a radiator and still use central heating?
Yes, you can continue using the central heating system when a radiator is removed as long as the correct valves are capped and turned off to prevent leaks.
- How do you check if a radiator is working?
To check that a radiator is working, turn on the central heating system and give the unit time to warm up.
- Can you connect one radiator to another?
It could be possible to connect radiators, but there is no benefit in doing so. Radiators are usually connected to the same network of pipes via the main central heating system rather than to each other.
- How do you fix a crack in a radiator?
It depends on the materials and crack size. Usually, cracks in cast iron radiators can be repaired with special epoxy glue suitable for metal objects.
- Can leaking radiators be repaired?
Yes, you can repair leaking radiators. Damaged valves can be repaired or replaced, and cracks can be sealed.
- What causes a radiator to leak from the bottom?
There are several possible causes. It could be caused by a crack, corrosion eating at the inside, or damage to one of the valves.
- Are broken radiators dangerous?
They can be. Leaking or burst radiators can release steam and hot water, potentially causing burns and damage to the surrounding areas.
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