“Underheat” and “underweight”: what shows the testing of aluminum and bimetal heating radiators organized by the APHR within the “Fair Radiator” action

Since 2015 the APHR has been conducting the “Fair Radiator” action.

The action objective is to bring out and eliminate declaring misleading and unreliable information on the major features of heating radiators: weight and heat transfer.

The “Fair Radiator” action has several stages.

The first stage (fall 2015 – spring 2016) – express-analysis of the easiest to measure index – the radiator mass (in 30 regions of the country: from Kaliningrad to Omsk).

In stores the mass indexes of radiators were measured simply by weighing them on electronic balances and, further, collating the results with the features declared by the manufacturer on the package and in the supporting documentation (the heating device passport).

In 75% of cases the declared weight did not coincide with the actual feature – but was 20-30% overstated.

The second stage (summer 2016) – test purchase of sample radiators to check the reliability of their features as declared by the manufacturer and their compliance with the GOST (state) standards 31311-2015 “Heating devices.General technical terms”.

The third stage (fall 2016) – the “Fair Radiator” action will develop in two ways:

deeper research  –  conducting inter-laboratorial  testing (inter-laboratorial collation) of  sample aluminum and bimetal heating radiators of particular brands in  a few leading Russian and foreign laboratories, which will allow assess the comparability and enhance the representativeness of the testing results;

– wider research – diversification of the APHR testing portfolio through steel panel heating radiators and convectors.

In July-August 2016 the sample heating radiators were tested in leading Russian laboratories, provided with both the needed technical equipment (climatic chambers, certified booths) and highly qualified staff.

The sample aluminum and bimetal heating radiators tested represented 17 trademarks.

The testing was aimed at bringing out the conformity between the GOST requirements and the following features of the sample heating radiators:

  1. Heat transfer (nominal heat stream) – the major consumer characteristic of a heating radiator, simply speaking, the ability of one section of the product to heat certain square and space of a living or other room to comfortable temperature.
  2. Impermeability and static durability – major safety features, the capacity of the radiator to bear pressure differences, typical of the worn-out Russian heating systems, without breaking.
  3. Weight – the declared mass of the radiator that has to agree with the actual feature, because “underweight” is sure to tell negatively on the functional characteristics of the radiator (“underweight – underheat”) and safety (“the thread breaks where it is the weakest”).

We have to conclude that out of the 17 sample import radiators tested only one trademark conforms to all GOST requirements (6%).

Thus, the overwhelming majority of the tested samples have their heat transfer indexes 15-20% overstated as compared to the actual features (while GOST allows a maximum deviation of as much as 4%).

In practice it means that if, basing on the square of their flat, a customer purchases a heating radiator with a quarter overstated heating capacity, the temperature of his housing in the cold season will be less by 4-5 degree Celsius.

Three samples out of 17 (18%) fall short to meet the static durability requirements.These radiators are simply unsafe, because over pressure differences they can depressurize and damage property, hurt and even kill people.

Besides, the overwhelming majority (81%) of the sample heating radiators tested show the actual mass disagreeing with the declared feature.At that in most cases the samples mass overstatement amounts to 15%, which proves thedirect causal relationship between “underweight” and “underheat” of a heating radiator.

The table below summarizes the testing results.




Non-conformity Average deviation

from the declared

Maximum deviation from the declared Minimum deviation from the declared
Weight (mass) 81% -6.24% -21.18% -1.85%
Heat transfer (nominal heat stream) 94% 20.86% -36.63% 0%
Impermeability under excessive pressure 6% Drip leak at three section junctions No leak, impermeable
Static durability 18% Drip leak at all section junctions No leak or destruction

The testing results show that at selling import heating radiators in Russian retail stores several requirements of the Russian Federation legislation are systematically not met:

  1. Violated are the requirements of the Consumer Protection Law of the Russian Federation (p. 1 art. 10), according to which the information declared by the manufacturer shall agree with the actual features (such inaccurate data on the major consumer feature (heat transfer) are revealed in 16 out of 17 cases, which is 94%).
  2. Violated is the requirement of the federal law on standardization (p. 1 art. 31), which forbids declaring conformity to GOST if, in fact, such conformity is not secured (all sample heating radiators by some way had certificates of GOST conformity).

Worth mentioning is that manufacturers and suppliers that allow heating radiators with inaccurate declared characteristics enter the market run the risk of being held administratively liable for breaching the legislation on consumer rights (according to part 2 of art. 14.7 and part 1 of art. 14.8 of the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offences legal entities shall be fined for up to 500 000 RUB for such actions).

Information on the revealed instances of legislation violations and the testing results were forwarded by the APHR to local offices of Rospotrebnadzor (Russian Consumer Rights Watch) for further control-and-monitor actions, eliminating the chance of misleading declaring.

Besides, the APHR addressed the RusAccreditation with a proposal to conduct an unscheduled audit of testing laboratories that had provided data to certify radiators that had proved to be below standard.

Still, the testing results have not only a negative side, but also a bright one.

Despite the revealed instances of GOST violations and non-agreement between the declared and the actual characteristics, a sustainable trend of narrowing the gap between the actual and the declared features is to be observed.

Thus, we have considerably leveled down the “underweight” problem – non-agreement between the weight declared on the package and the actual feature. Thus, while at the beginning of the year the APHR representatives would regularly detect radiators with 25-30% overstated mass in retail sale, the recent testing has shown as much as 5-10% underweight in most cases.

Also the declared heat transfer characteristics have become more realistic. While in 2014 certain models and trademarks had this feature 30-35% and even 40% overstated, in 2015 – 20-25%; in the July 2016 testing the same samples have shown a smaller difference – 15-20%.



of testing
















Weight (mass), average deviation from the declared, in % n/a n/a -11.24% -10.80% -6.24%
Heat transfer, average deviation from the declared, in % -30.56% -20.92% -20.10% -27.90% -20.86%
Samples whose heat transfer characteristic does not meet the GOST standard 100% 91% 100% 100% 94%
Heat transfer, maximum deviation from the declared, in % -69% -34.75% -33.2% -37.1% -36.63%
Heat transfer, minimum deviation from the declared, in % -8% +1.67% +1.10% -15.2% 0%
Static durability, non-conformity, in % n/a 0% 11% 0% 6%
Static durability, non-conformity, in % n/a 11% 44% 60% 18%

Another positive trend is that, compared to the results of testings held in previous years, there is a reduction in the share of heating radiators not complying with the basic safety requirements: impermeability and static durability under excessive pressure.

Yet, unfortunately, we still come across violations of GOST and misleading of consumers.

In this connection, the APHR is determined to continue running the “Fair Radiator” action till the “victorious end” – securing that only GOST-compliant radiators with accurately declared characteristics can be found on the market.


You can find the information on the heating radiators testing results on the APHR website in the “Documents” section.

You can also follow the “Fair Radiator” action on the APHR’s Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/aproea/