How much does home radiator repair cost?
$100 – $500 average cost to repair a unit
$700 – $1,300 average cost to replace a unit
$700 – $1,300 average cost to replace a unit
Get free estimates from radiator services near you, or view our cost guide below.
March 15, 2022Reviewed by Tom Grupa and 2 expert radiator services on HomeGuide.
Home radiator repair cost
Home radiator repair costs $100 to $500 on average, depending on the type and problem. Replacing a radiator valve costs $100 to $350. The cost to bleed a radiator is $150 to $300. Hire a plumber or HVAC technician to fix a radiator.
|National average cost||$340|
|Average cost range||$100 to $500|
Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.
Cost to repair a radiator by service
Radiator repair costs $100 to $900, depending on the problem, difficulty, and number and type of radiators. The following table shows common radiator repairs and prices.
|Service||Average repair cost|
|Replace valve||$100 – $350|
|Repair pipe||$100 – $300|
|Replace pipe||$200 – $700|
|Replace thermostat||$130 – $500|
|Bleed radiator||$150 – $300|
|Replace air vent||$100 – $320|
|Balance radiator||$100 – $300|
|Insulate radiator||$100 – $200|
|Paint radiator||$200 – $900|
Cost to replace radiator valve
Replacing a radiator valve costs $100 to $350 for professional repair or $10 to $60 for the part alone. Commonly replaced valve types include:
- Manual radiator valves control the water flow to the radiator to regulate the radiator's heat.
- Bleed valves control the release of trapped air.
- Diverter valves are found in combination boiler/hot water systems. Diverter valves open and close to direct hot water to the radiators.
- Lockshield valves balance the hot water level in all the radiators throughout the home.
- Thermostatic valves automatically adjust water flow in the radiator to reach the temperature setting on the thermostat.
Cost to bleed a radiator
Bleeding a radiator costs $150 to $300, including labor. Bleeding or flushing involves opening the valves to release the trapped air from each radiator. Labor costs depend on the number and location of radiators.
Cost to fix a busted or leaking radiator pipe
Repairing a radiator pipe costs $100 to $300 for materials and labor. Tiny pinhole leaks are repaired using cold-weld epoxy on the outside of the radiator. Larger holes require pipe replacement costing $200 to $700, depending on the pipe size and location.
Radiator thermostat replacement cost
Replacing a radiator thermostat valve costs $130 to $500 with professional repair or $40 to $200 for the part alone. A thermostatic radiator valve provides individual temperature controls to maximize comfort and energy efficiency.
Radiator air vent repair cost
Repairing a radiator air vent costs $100 to $320 and typically involves replacing rather than fixing the part. Steam vents or valves are only found on one-pipe steam boiler systems and automatically close to trap steam in the radiator during the heating cycle to warm the space.
Radiator balancing cost
Balancing a radiator costs $100 to $300 and involves leveling the water flow so all the radiators throughout the home heat up at the same speed. Water flow is directed to the colder radiators and restricted from radiators that are too hot.
Cost to insulate a radiator
Insulating a radiator costs $100 to $200, including $10 to $70 for materials and $50 to $80 per hour for a handyman's labor rate. A heat reflector sheet is placed behind each radiator, directing heat away from the wall and into the room.
Cost to paint a radiator
Painting a radiator costs $200 to $900 and involves painting the unit in place or removing and refurbishing it elsewhere. Refurbishment requires sandblasting the radiator in a workshop to remove the old finish, polishing or replacing rusty valves, and repainting with a powder-coated finish.
Cost factors to fix a home radiator
The following factors affect the cost to fix a radiator:
- Repair type – Valve and thermostat repairs are often simple replacements. Pipe problems take longer to diagnose and repair.
- System size and complexity – Multiple radiators cost more to repair than one radiator.
- Steam vs. electric radiator – Steam and hot water radiators are prone to clogging, corrosion, and leaks, requiring more labor to locate and repair. Electric radiators have more working parts that may require replacement.
- Unit's age – Finding replacement parts for older units may be more difficult and costly.
- Unit's material – Steel radiators must be handled with care to avoid damaging their appearance. Cast iron radiators are durable but finding replacement parts may be difficult.
- The extent of damage – Leaks may cause major damage to the surrounding floors and walls, increasing repair costs.
- Home warranty – Most home warranties cover heating systems. Check the warranty policy for coverage details.
Labor cost to repair a radiator
The labor cost to repair a radiator is $45 to $150 per hour, depending on whether a plumber or HVAC specialist performs the service.
- Plumbers charge $45 to $150 per hour.
- HVAC repair technicians charge $75 to $150 per hour.
- Most contractors have a service call-out fee of $50 to $200 that covers the first hour of work.
- Expect higher labor costs for emergencies, after-hours service, and repairs in confined crawl spaces.
Radiator inspection cost
A boiler inspection service costs $70 to $125. The plumber or radiator specialist checks the boiler and radiator heating system for leaks and rust, performs valve and heat source safety checks, and identifies other potential repairs.
Old radiator removal cost
Old radiator removal costs $75 to $400. Contractors typically include removal and disposal costs in their estimate for radiator replacement. Follow-up repairs such as refinishing damaged floors or walls and capping or removing old pipework are charged separately.
Home radiator repair vs. replacement costs
Radiator replacement costs $700 to $1,300 per unit with installation. A new radiator provides better heating and reduced energy costs, especially if replacing a radiator that is more than 10 years old. Frequent or costly repairs signal that it's time to replace the radiator instead of making repairs.
Signs and problems of a broken radiator
Signs of a broken radiator include noises, leaks, lack of heat, and overheating. Regular maintenance prevents extensive repairs or property damage.
The following table includes problems and common fixes:
|Sign or problem||Potential cause||How to fix|
|Leaking||Sludge and debris buildup causes corrosion and tiny holes.||
|Rust||Poor maintenance and sludge buildup||Perform regular maintenance and flush the system to remove sludge and debris.|
|Clogged air vents||Mineral deposits or rust accumulation||
|Squirting water from air vents||Obstruction by mineral deposits or other debris||Clean or replace the vent.|
|Broken knob||The screw holding the knob in place is loose or worn out, allowing the knob to spin freely and do nothing.||Remove the knob and gently turn the valve with pliers until it stops. If the radiator gets cold, the knob is stripped and should be replaced.|
|Broken valve||Erosion over time causes the valve to stick.||Check the valve by spinning the knob clockwise until it stops. If it is stuck, try spinning in the opposite direction. Do not force the valve.|
Frequently asked questions
Who to call to fix a radiator?
Call a plumber or HVAC specialist to fix a radiator. Many companies employ both to deal with radiator and boiler heating problems.
Can home radiators be repaired?
Home radiators last for 10 to 20+ years with regular maintenance and repairs. Common repairs include fixing small leaks, bleeding the system, and replacing failed thermostats or valves. Larger leaks and failures often require replacement rather than repair.
Can you repair a cracked cast iron radiator?
You can repair hairline cracks in a cast iron radiator with epoxy glue. More substantial cracks require a full refurbishment, including replacing old fittings, flushing and testing the system, sandblasting the surface, welding any leaks, and refinishing.
Can you repair a hole in a radiator?
You can repair tiny or small holes in a radiator. Bigger holes cannot be repaired and require immediate radiator replacement instead.
- Repair tiny pinholes by pouring a leak sealer solution into a nearly empty central heating tank and circulating it through the entire system.
- Repair small holes by applying cold weld epoxy to the outside of the radiator.
Hiring a radiator repair service
When hiring an HVAC company or plumber near you for a radiator repair service, be sure to:
- Get at least three estimates to compare.
- Look for licensed technicians with experience repairing radiators.
- Browse their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
- Select insured and bonded companies that have been in business for more than five years.
- Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.
- Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.
- Never pay in full before the project starts. Follow a payment plan instead for work completed.
Questions to ask
- Do you make radiator repairs as well as replacements?
- How many radiator repairs have you completed in the last year?
- Do you charge an hourly rate or flat rate?
- Do you charge a service call fee to diagnose the problem? If yes, do you apply that fee to the repair cost?
- Should I repair the radiator or replace it instead, and why?
- Do you offer radiator inspection and maintenance services?
- How often should my radiators be inspected or serviced?
- Do you guarantee your work or offer an extended warranty?
- May I have a copy of your insurance policy for my records?
- Can you provide a list of references with contact information?
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