There are a number of reasons why you might want to change the radiator valves in your home. After all, fitting a new radiator valve can change the look of your radiator, improve its performance and help stop a leak. But, is fitting radiator valves an easy job? Well, in this post, we’ll explain exactly how to do it. As well as showing you how to fit radiator valves in your home, we’ll also discuss the tools you need and whether it’s worth upgrading to thermostatic radiator valves in the process.
What tools are required for fitting radiator valves?
Thankfully, you don’t really need many tools to change a radiator valve and you’ll probably find most of the equipment you need in your existing toolbox. To remove a radiator valve and fit a new one, you’ll need:
- A wrench
- A radiator bleed key
- Jointing compound
- A hose
- A towel (just in case there’s a leak or drip).
Once you have all the equipment you need, you’re ready to get started. Regardless of whether you’re fitting towel radiator valves or swapping valves on radiators in your living room, you just need to follow these six steps:
1. Drain your central heating system
You need to remove the water from your central heating system before you start work. This way, if something goes wrong, you don’t need to worry about leaks. If you have a combi boiler, cut off the water supply to your system. Then, turn down all the thermostats and turn off the electricity to the boiler.
Once everything is turned off, find the nearest drain-off valve and plug in your garden hose. Put the other end of the hose outside where the water can drain and then loosen the drain cock. Once the water starts draining, open the bleed valves on your radiators one floor at a time. Your system will drain completely in 10-15 minutes.
2. Loosen the nuts on the valve
Once your system has drained, undo the two nuts that connect the valve to the radiator. Use your grips to hold onto the body of the valve and then loosen the nut closest to the radiator with your wrench. Turn it anti-clockwise slowly, but don’t fully remove it. When this is done, do the same with the nut at the bottom until you can wriggle the valve and remove it. For simplicity, it’s best to reuse the existing nuts and olives.
3. Clean the pipes
Once you’ve removed the valve, wipe and clean the area where the new valve will sit.
4. Apply a jointing compound
Now everything is clean, add a jointing compound to the two olives on your radiator. This will create a strong seal that will keep the valve in place.
5. Install your new valve
Now, it’s time to install your new valve. First, check the arrows on the valve you’re looking to install. If this valve shows water flowing in both directions, it’s universal. If it only has one arrow, then the arrow should point in the direction that water will flow into the radiator.
Position the valve over the pipe and then tighten the nuts by hand. Once you’ve tightened each nut as tightly as possible using your hands, use the wrench to finish the job.
6. Check your system
Once the valves have been fitted, double check all the nuts are tight. Then, go round and close all the bleed valves you’d previously opened on all your other radiators. Finally, close the drain cock and disconnect your hose.
Once you’re happy, turn the water supply back on and wait until your radiators refill. While they’re filling, it’s best to monitor the new valve and the other radiators in your home to make sure there isn’t a leak.
When all the radiators are full, bleed them to make sure that there’s no air trapped in the system. Then, you’re good to go.
Is it worth fitting thermostatic radiator valves?
If you’re replacing old valves on your current radiator, then you may find that it’s worth fitting thermostatic radiator valves in their place. This is because thermostatic radiator valves (also known as TRVs) allow you to control the temperature in individual rooms. This means you can set the temperature lower in rooms you don’t really use and save money on your heating bills.
TRVs work by using an air temperature sensor that automatically regulates the flow of hot water into your radiator, meaning that the temperature stays at the number set on the dial. Turn the temperature to ‘*’ or ‘off’ and the radiator won’t heat up, but the TRV will still allow enough warmth to pass through so that the pipes don’t freeze.
Wondering how to fit thermostatic radiator valves? Well you’ll be pleased to know that you can follow the step-by-step process outlined above. The only difference is that you fit the TRV head at the end of step five.
If you’re thinking about fitting radiator valves, then we recommend that you seek professional advice before you start the project. However, if you’re ready to get started, then you’ll find a great range of valves and accessories when you shop online with us. Alternatively, if you’d like some more advice on whether it’s worth fitting thermostatic radiator valves, then please feel free to contact us. Our experts would love to help you.