There are lots of radiator valves available on the market – we offer hundreds to choose from! Sometimes it can seem a bit overwhelming and difficult to know exactly what you need. Keep reading to find out what to look for, and how to know what’s right for you.
What is a radiator valve?
Firstly, what is a radiator valve? A radiator valve basically works like a tap, controlling the flow of water in and out of a radiator. A wheel-head valve will be fitted to the point where the water flows in, controlling the amount of water that enters the radiator and the heat it emits. A lockshield will be fitted to the point where the water flows out, to balance the system. They work as a pair to control your radiator and keep it at the right temperature.
Do I need a manual or thermostatic radiator valve?
The type of valve you need will depend on where you are installing your radiator, your requirements, and your preferences.
Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) contain an inbuilt temperature sensor. They will automatically control your radiator and its temperature. You can choose the setting (usually numbered values from 0 – 5) and once your radiator reaches the corresponding temperature, they will stop it from heating up any further. This is good for reducing energy consumption, so TRVs are ideal for anyone looking to make an eco-friendly home. With TRVs, you can set your preferred temperature for each radiator, room by room. They are a simple way to set your preferred temperature, controlling your heating system for you.
Manual radiator valves are controlled by the user. Manual valves are the best choice for bathroom radiators, or heated towel rails. In these areas, the moisture in the air can affect the operation of a TRV causing them to work incorrectly. It also means that the radiator or towel rail will stay warm, drying out your wet towels, instead of switching off when they reach a set temperature. You should also use manual valves if you are installing a radiator in the same room as your system thermostat. This is because they do not compete for control, as a TRV would – the reading of the thermostat and the valve may be slightly different, as the valve is closer to the radiator, where it is warmer. In this instance, a manual valve would be the best choice, so that only one reading is being used to control the radiator.
Should I get an angled, corner, or straight radiator valve?
There are three main types of valve: angled, corner, or straight. The type of valve you require will depend on the radiator you are installing and where the pipework is. It is important to get the right orientation.
Angled radiator valves are used where the pipework for the radiator is at a 90 degree angle to the radiator, such as from the floor as seen in this image. The side of the valve connects to the radiator, and the bottom to the pipe. These valves are best paired with matching pipe sleeves, to give the perfect finishing touch and ensure every detail matches.
Corner radiator valves are used where the pipework comes from the wall behind the radiator. The valve will connect the pipework at a 90 degree angle to the radiator as seen in this image. These valves are perfect for a tidy, discreet radiator installation as there should be no visible pipework.
Straight radiator valves are used where the pipework runs along the wall, or directly up from the floor into the radiator. The valve connects the pipe and the radiator at a 180 degree angle, in a straight line, unlike the previous choices. We recommend installing these with matching pipe sleeves, for the neatest and best-looking installation.
If you aren’t sure what style of valve you need, or what would best suit your radiator installation, then get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team on 02394 216 216 and they’ll be happy to offer advice and help you find your perfect radiator accessories.