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What is a radiator valve?

Firstly, let’s look at the valves on a radiator.

On a radiator, there are three valves: a lockshield valve (located at the bottom of the radiator on the left), a bleed valve (located on the top right or left) and a control valve (located at the bottom right).

Control valves are usually the ones that need replacing and can either be thermostatic or manual.

What Radiator Valves Are Available?

Let’s take a look at the different radiator valves that are available and how they all differ and what they do.

Manual radiator valves

Manual radiator valves are typically found on most radiators. By simply turning the valve, you can control how much water flows into your radiator, with options ranging from 0 to 6, with 6 being the hottest.

Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs)

In addition to setting the temperature manually, TRVs also have small LED displays on each radiator that allow you to control it. Your home’s temperature is now more easily regulated in individual rooms.

Lockshield valve

This valve keeps the level of hot water in your home’s radiators balanced. The flow of hot water can be stopped for some radiators and directed to others should this be required, which makes this a useful valve within your home.

Bleed valve

If any air is trapped within the system, this valve can be opened to allow it to escape. You might notice that your radiator has a cold spot which can lead to the radiator not heating up properly. This could be caused by too much air causing a blockage and that can be easily released as a way of solving the problem.

When Should I Replace A Radiator Valve?

Unless a radiator valve is broken, then there is not usually a need to replace it. If you do have a broken radiator valve then this can cause problems when it comes to regulating the temperature of the radiator while it could also lead to a leak.

In order to prevent damage and to keep your home warm, you should make sure that you replace or repair your broken radiator valve as soon as possible. In contrast, you might find that you want to upgrade your manual radiator valves with TRV’s that provide you with greater control of the temperature of each radiator. To add to this, by replacing your manual valves with TRV’s, you could also help to drive down your energy bills.

If you are someone who likes to keep their home looking smart and modern, then you can also find radiator valves that match the colour of your room. There are many options out there, so if you are considering redecorating and changing the look of your home, you might want to consider the range of radiator valves that are available.

Is it Possible to Change the Valve Myself?

We always believe in giving you the opportunity to fix problems yourself because sometimes, these jobs are easy to solve. So, if you are wondering whether a radiator valve is possible to change yourself then it is. If you have the right tools and an understanding of what is required then it is possible. However, we do recommend calling an engineer to take care of the job for you.

The process can take time and it can be challenging which is why it is important to use an engineer who knows what they are doing. There are certain steps to follow and things to think about, so missing out on some of these could lead to problems.

When Replacing a Radiator Valve Will the Heating System Need to Be Drained?

This is one of the main reasons for leaving this job to the experts because in most instances, this job will require the heating system to be drained. However, there are instances where an engineer will be able to replace certain radiator valves without the need to drain the entire heating system.

How Do I Find the Right Size Radiator Valve?

You will need to understand the diameter of the connection and pipework in order to determine the right-sized radiator valve. Commonly, most sizes are 15mm pipes so you will probably find that most radiator valves are made to fit these. Prior to purchasing new radiator valves, it is always worth checking the size of your pipes as they can range from 8mm to 28mm, so it’s important to find the right size.

Saving Money With Radiator Valves

As we have mentioned, if you choose to replace your radiator valves, then you can make the move from manual valves to thermostatic valves. If you understand how to use these correctly, then you could see a significant drop in the amount of energy you use and your bills too.

The difference between manual and thermostatic radiator valves isn’t just about control and ease. A TRV will have the ability to detect the temperature of the room and that is something that manual valves cannot do.

So, the temperature that you see on the LCD display in your TRV is the temperature of the room and not the actual radiator. This means that you will have greater control over the temperature of your home and specific rooms too. Therefore, you will not have to turn to radiator valves to maximum so often, which is something that happens frequently with manual valves.

When you do decide to turn the valve to the highest setting, you could be turning that radiator on until it reaches the highest temperature, which could be 30 degrees, a temperature that is way too hot for modern homes. If you find that this is something you do regularly, then you are going to see an increase in your bills but once you stop, you will see your bills drop.

However, one of the main advantages of installing thermostatic radiator valves to all of your radiators throughout the home is that you can switch off the heating in those rooms that are not being used. Therefore, you won’t be needlessly heating up rooms that don’t require heating, which in turn will help you save energy and money on your bills.

Do You Need Your Valves Replaced?

The easiest way to replace your valves is to call in the experts as this will guarantee a safe and professional job. At Prime Time Boilers, we are experts in this and because we are Gas Safe Registered, you can put your trust in us to complete this job to a high standard.

So, let us take care of this for you so you can sit back and benefit from having greater control over the temperature of your home and your bills!

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