A beginner’s guide to radiator valves

valves, radiator

Firstly, what is a radiator valve? A radiator valve is a component of a radiator system that’s purpose is to control the temperature within it. There are many radiator valves which are available on the market (the main types of which are listed below) which can change the temperature in different ways. A crucial part of the radiator system, without it you will have an unregulated temperature which can make the living situation unbearable in drastic climates.

So, what are the main types of radiator valves that are available?

Self-bleeding valves
One of the more modern types, a self-bleeding radiator valve works by automatically venting the air that exists within the radiator. This means that you don’t have to spend time bleeding the radiator manually, which can be a messy job.

Manual radiator valve
On the other end of the spectrum, a manual radiator valve is perhaps the most common type available on the market. To use a manual valve, you simply have to twist the radiator on and off. This has the benefit of allowing the water to flow through the radiator easily but has the downfall that you can’t monitor the amount of water that’s coming through. This can result in your heating bill racking up. It will also mean that you have to bleed the radiator yourself.

Lockshield radiator valve
A lockshield radiator valve is designed with a plastic cap that prevents the valve from being adjusted. The main purpose of these valves is to control the water that goes through the radiator and into the pipes. An efficient radiator valve, it will allow all of the radiators within your property to heat up at the same rate.

Thermostatic radiator valve
Another popular choice within properties and office buildings, a thermostatic radiator valve allows you to control the heat that the radiator is giving out by turning the dial. This also has the benefit of allowing you to monitor your energy bills. They monitor the surrounding air temperature and open and close (as well as regulating the water flow), allowing the temperature to reach the correct level. If you want to install a thermostatic radiator valve, make sure that you don’t put it in the same area as the thermostat. They will counteract each other and mean that the boiler won’t know whether to be on or off due to the regulated temperature.

Angled radiator valve
An angled radiator valve connects to the radiator and pipework at a 90-degree angle. More aesthetically pleasing than other types of radiator valves, they are generally utilised when the pipework within a property comes up through the floorboards or off the wall.

Straight radiator valves
Perhaps the most simple type of radiator valve, a straight radiator valve connects to the pipes horizontally from the floor. It can be also be used when the valve inlets are positioned at the back of the radiator.

How do you know which radiator valve is right for you?
Well, this depends on the type of radiator that you have. As they come in different sizes and designs, the valve that you choose will depend on this. Generally, however, 15mm copper pipes are the most common types of pipes used, therefore you will have to find a 15mm valve. However, this isn’t always the case so you should be aware of the size that you need before you purchase one.

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