What is the Difference Between a Lockshield and Radiator Valve?

Diagram identifying lockshield & radiator valves

Radiator valves are something that are easy to overlook when you are new to redoing a central heating system in a house. Often, novices will look at a radiator and decide upon a model depending on what it looks like and if it fits into a relevant space.

While these are key considerations, it is important to look at what valve is needed to attach the radiator to the original pipework into the space. Some spaces will require certain types of valves, and have very little wriggle room to use any other sort. Then, some radiators will only work with certain valves, which is why it is crucial to know what radiator valve you need first before you even start looking at radiators.

One particular valve that causes some confusion is the Lockshield valve. The Lockshield valve restricts hot water flow to radiators to help balance the entire system as a whole. Other radiator valves can be used to help adjust the temperature of a radiator to help heat or cool a room.

Here, we look at a Lockshield valve in comparison to other valve types available on the market. In doing so, you will be able to pick the radiator and radiator valve that is most suitable for your needs.

What are the different types of radiator valves?

Knowing what types of radiator valves are available can help you decide what type of radiator you can have in a room, or what radiator may work best depending on the size of wall or location in the house. Depending on how far a radiator is from a boiler may have ramifications on what valves are needed to pump pressure through a radiator. Some radiators may work better with different valves attached. Some radiators may only be fixed to a wall and pipe work through certain valves, which certain spaces in some homes may or may not allow.

Straight valve

A straight radiator valve is one that comes straight out of the ground and will meet a radiator head on. All the pipework will be straight as a consequence so it is a good option if you need a vertical connection to a pipe - i.e straight up from the floor.

Thermostatic valve

A thermostatic valve is one that allows users to adjust the temperature of a radiator directly at the unit itself. By turning it up or down, it adjusts the amount of hot water that can flow through the radiator - thus increasing or decreasing the temperature of a room.

Manual valve

A manual valve is one where you can turn the temperature of a radiator up or down, but without the numbers or dials that a thermostatic valve has. You are almost turning your radiator up or down 'blind', but it is still possible to adjust the heat with this type of valve.

Angled valve

An angled valve is a valve that attaches to the radiator at a right angle. It may be suitable for radiators that access the water system through a wall as opposed to straight up from the ground.

What is a lockshield valve?

We've separated out the Lockshield valve as it is important to all radiators. As previously mentioned, a Lockshield valve is a valve on a radiator that is used to help in balancing the radiator and the central heating system as a whole. It can be opened to differing amounts to let in a certain amount of pressure - depending on where the radiator is in the house. Radiators further away from the boiler will need more pressure in them to help water pump round the radiator more efficiently.

What side of the radiator is the lockshield valve?

Lockshield valves are a type of manual radiator valve that are opened or closed by hand/tool. You usually find them at the bottom of radiators that are modern, though older style radiators may have the Lockshield valve at the bottom or top - depending on where the opposite valve is.

Knowing what Lockshield valve types are and what valves you need for your radiator is fundamental to big a new radiator. Some radiators will require certain valves to work, while some locations of a potential radiator may call for certain valves. The two may not always work together. For that reason, it is crucial to know what valve is needed in the space you intend to put a new radiator, and see what radiators are then compatible with that valve.

At GreatRads, we have a huge selection of radiators for all types of valve, so it should be easily possible to find a radiator that works both for your space and central heating system, as well as one that you like visually too. Check out our range of radiators today.


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