This past winter, we spent a week in Paris at a fabulous apartment by the Eiffel Tower.

view from kitchen window

In this apartment, we noticed these neat wall mounted radiators/towel warmers in the bathrooms. We were definitely intrigued.

Fast forward a few months, and we decide to get one of those radiators. Myson sells them, but the more affordable ones are made by Runtal (it still costs a pretty penny). They either come in an electric or a hydronic (hot water) version. Most salesmen recommend the electric, because you can have warm towels even on days when the heater is not on (electric ones are probably easier and cheaper to install too). Of course we did not listen to them, and decide to go with the hydronic version, because hydronic heat is more comfortable and cheaper to operate (in the long run).

Fast forward a few more months. Up until a few weeks ago, we had braved the fall temperatures and not turned on the heat. Well we finally turned it on, and had it up full blast to warm the house. Oddly enough, the wall mounted radiator was not hot. I had opened up the valves all the way, and even bled any air out of it. Odd. I give it another week, just tinkering around with it, draining more water out of it, etc. Still can’t get it to work properly. The mechanics should be simple. It’s just a gravity fed hot water system.

I call the plumber. He tinkers around with it a bit like I do. He can’t get it to work either. So he calls his boss, the master plumber. The suggestion is to isolate just that radiator and blast it. He thinks there’s probably some air pocket that is blocking the flow of water. Thirty minutes later, and it’s finally working. Woohoo! Finally… (Nothing is ever as easy as it seems.)

towel warmer and radiator