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How to: Change a Radiator Valve

How to: Change a Radiator Valve

Is your radiator struggling to warm up even after fiddling with the radiator valves? It may be possible that your valves have stopped working and need replacing. If your valves look outdated or are leaking, it may also be a good time to swap them out with new ones.

Whatever reason you have for replacing your radiator valves, our step-by-step guide will show you how to do it properly. As with any type of DIY, we recommend hiring a professional if you have very little DIY knowledge, or if you're not feeling 100% confident in carrying out the job yourself.

What new valves should I buy?

The kind of valves you need will depend on your pipework:

  • Angled radiator valves connect the pipework to the radiator at a 90-degree angle, so they are used if your pipework is coming out of the wall.

  • Straight valves have no bends or curves and connect the pipework horizontally or vertically. They are used if your pipework is located beneath the floor.

  • H-block valves are H-shaped to join the pipes and inlets that sit close together on middle connection radiators.

At Bathshack, we offer valves in a range of styles and finishes. It means you can choose between a more traditional tap look or a sleek and modern finish – whichever suits the style of the room.

Bear in mind that your setup may differ, so you should check with your valve manufacturer's instructions before proceeding. If you are unsure of anything, then please consult a professional plumber.


What do I need to change a radiator valve?

Make sure you have the following at hand:

  • Towel
  • Container for collecting water drops
  • A long hose
  • Plumber's wrench
  • Adjustable spanner
  • Wire wool
  • PTFE tape (also known as thread seal tape) to help stop leaks if they arise. Apply PTFE tape to your radiator pipework in a clockwise fashion so it stays on when you screw on the valve.

All of these tools can be found in most hardware stores. You may not require all of these, but it's best to be prepared for any issue.

Once you’ve chosen new valves and prepped all the tools you need, it’s time to get the job done!


Step 1: Switch off the heating system and shut off the water

First of all, shut off your water supply. You will then need to switch off the heating right away, as when there is no water entering the boiler, it could cause it to overheat and burn out the pumps.

Use the following method if you have a combi boiler system. If you have a conventional cylinder tank system, you’ll need to hire a registered heating engineer.

  1. Electrically turn everything off


  1. Turn down all room thermostats


  1. Make sure the boiler programmer/timer is not set to turn the heating on


  1. Make sure the system won’t start up


Step 2: Bleed your radiator and drain out any water

To bleed your radiator and drain out any water, connect your hose to the drain cock and run the hose outside. Once connected, you can release all the water in the radiator; make sure you lay some towels or a container under the valve to collect any water that may leak from the valve.

Use your radiator bleed key to bleed the radiator and ensure that it is filled up with air. It should take around 15 minutes to drain completely.


Step 3: Remove the old radiator valve

Keep your towels down to catch any dripping water that may be left over after draining and bleeding your radiator. Unscrew the cap and take off the radiator valve.

Next, hold the body of the valve with a wrench and use an adjustable spanner to unscrew the cap nuts. Once you’ve unscrewed the nuts, you can remove the body of the valve from the radiator. Use wire wool to clean away any excess gunk.

Step 4: Fit the new radiator valve

Position your new valve in the right place. Align the valve cap-nut and sealing components over the end of the pipe and attach the new valve, being careful not to tighten the cap-nut too early.

Using the wrench, align the valve with the adaptor and tighten the cap-nut that joins them together. Now, ensure you tighten the cap-nut that holds the valve to the water pipe. You can now proceed to the next step.


Step 5: Turn the water back on

Close all the radiator valves, including the bleed valve at the top of the radiator.

Turn the water back on and refill the system, keeping an eye on the new valve for leaks. Next, open the new radiator valve to allow the water to flow into the radiator, checking again for leaks.


Step 6: Bleed the radiator again

Once you’re satisfied that there aren’t any leaks, bleed your radiator again to release trapped air to allow your radiator to work properly. Make sure you also turn your heating back on.

Your radiator should now be heating the room nicely, complete with stylish new valves! If your radiator still isn't working, you may need to call a plumber or replace it with a new one. At Bathshack, we stock a wide range of radiators in a variety of sizes and designs to suit both modern and traditional spaces. To shop the full range, click here.


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