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Thermostatic valves, allow the adjustment of the heat output and give the user more control over their central heating system. Replacing a radiator valve with a thermostatic radiator valve is an option that more people are looking at.
This task of replacing the valve is relatively simple but we would always advise you to seek professional help if you are ever unsure of what to do.
To begin with make sure you have protective sheeting down below the radiator to protect the surface below from any potential leakage.
Hold the body of the old valve with one of the adjustable wrenches and use the other to loosen the nuts that hold the valve onto the copper pipe and to the adaptor that's fitted into the radiator. You should not be able to remove the valve. Unscrew the adaptor from the radiator. You may need to use a radiator valve, fitted inside the adaptor.
Fit the new adaptor, cap nut and olive (the metal collar) onto the radiator. Clean the internal threads with a clean cloth and wrap some PTFE tape half a dozen times around the adaptor threads, winding it clockwise. Screw the adaptor into the radiator and tighten.
Remove the old olive and cap nut from the copper pipe and replace with the new set. If the old olive doesn't slide off, carefully cut part way through the olive and break the pieces apart with a small screwdriver. Don't let the hacksaw blade touch the pipe.
Fit the thermostatic valve, then tighten the cap nut between the adaptor the valve, holding the body of the valve with one wrench. Finally tighten the cap nut between the pipe and new valve.
Refill the central heating system and check for leaks. Set your living room valve to fully open and your bedrooms to a lower setting. You don't need to constantly change the settings as you use the rooms. If you have a spare bedroom, put the valve on the frost or minimum setting and keep the door closed so that the adjacent radiators don't try and compensate for the drop in air temperature.
As always we recommend that any job you are unsure about should be carried out by a professional and always make sure you take every step to ensure your safety.