Getting to know the different parts of your radiator can be more complicated than you’d first think. Whilst radiators may be designed to blend in, a lot goes into them, and their inner workings are uniquely complex.
This is definitely the case with radiator valves at least, which has to fulfil a range of functions whilst also maintaining the look of your radiator. Whether you own a modern or a traditional radiator, each one will be equipped with radiator valves, and so it’s a good idea to get to know them a little better.
Below is a quintessential guide to the radiator valve, and some of the properties, functions and designs that they come in.
What Does a Radiator Valve Do?
A radiator valve is responsible for allowing the pressurised water into your radiator. The radiator valve controls the water that flows into your radiator, allowing for the effective and efficient heating of your home.
The radiator valve comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, also holding a variety of functions for the different radiators out there.
Thermostatic Radiator Valves
Thermostatic radiator valves, or TRV’s, are a certain species of valve that hold a small piece of wax inside. This can be controlled through a dial on its body that allows you to set a maximum temperature that your radiator can heat up to. When the radiator hits this maximum, the piece of wax inside the valve expands and allows less hot water through the pipe and into its body.
The lockshield valve is the valve on a radiator covered by a plastic cap. This valve has a spindle underneath it, a protruding piece of metal which is turned by a spanner to adjust the flow of water into a radiator. This valve is only really used in the process of radiator balancing. This is the process in which each radiator in your central heating circuit is adjusted to have the same amount of water pressure running through it. These are especially useful for vertical radiators, which must rely on more water pressure to power the water up and through the higher body of the radiator.
Where Are Radiator Valves Located?
Whether on a traditional or designer radiator, the valve is usually found at the bottom corner of the radiator. This is where the piping from the central heating usually connects to the body of the heating unit.
Different Types of Radiator Valves
Radiator valves are usually designed to correlate with a certain kind of pipe. Depending on where your radiator pipe is running from, you’ll need one of four shapes of radiator valve.
The most common is angled radiator valves which connect at a 90-degree angle to your radiator, usually from the wall adjacent to your heating unit. These valves allow for a neater look, the valve connected from behind the unit.
The corner valve is an aesthetic alternative to the angle valve and faces inwards towards the wall. The corner valve, however, gives your radiator a little more shine, and for the right radiator is certainly worth the sometimes awkward installation.
Straight radiator valves are best used for piping that comes out of the floor rather than the wall. This means that the straight valve travels directly up to the radiator, which is usually fastened to the wall rather than to the floor.
A space-saving alternative, the H block allows you to save space on the sides of your radiator as it is connected directly below the centre of it. The water runs through into the radiator from the middle, rather than from the sides and is much easier to install than the other types.