I want to permanently remove the radiator picture belowd. The home has been retrofitted with central air and a few mini splits and the radiators are no longer in use. The boiler has been removed from the home already. My questions are:

  1. Is there any good way to tell if the pipes still have water?
  2. What kind of mess should I expect to come out of these?
  3. I unscrewed what I believe to be a air bleed value, and there wasn't any water or air coming out. Does this mean I'm ok to remove the pipes?
  4. Should I just cut the copper pipes? I tried getting some movement on the compression fitting with a crescent wrench but that thing is on there really tight.
  5. Any other recommendations on preparedness before I take these out?

Other notes: there are no cut off valves before the copper hits the radiator.

closeup of radiator

  • Update: after taking advice, @Ecnerwal suggestion was the correct one. I just cut the copper pipes. There was only a small amount of blackish water that came out. Radiator is now removed.
    – Andrew
    Oct 8, 2019 at 22:26

1 Answer 1


With the boiler removed, if there is any water it will be minimal and not under pressure. Have some towels handy unless you want to go to the bother of figuring out where to connect an air hose or shop vacuum to the presumably disconnected pipes where the boiler used to be. And then have some towels handy anyway, but either of those will help get some of the remaining water out, if there is any.

You'd expect possibly some dirty and/or rusty water if the system has not dried out since it was disconnected. They often don't dry all the way out, as water ends up trapped somewhere.

Cutting the pipes should be fine.

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