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How to Completely Turn Off Your Radiator Valves

Updated: Jun 17

A person adjusting a thermostatic radiator valve to turn off the  heat to the radiator

When removing a radiator, for example when decorating, the valves can be used to isolate the radiator and make the procedure more straightforward. Below is a simplified explanation of the process:

  1. Switch the heating system off at the boiler or heating controller.

  2. Turn the wheelhead valve to the 0 or off position. On a TRV it will be necessary to remove the head of the valve and manually close it using a decorator's cap. This is because the freeze protection feature means the valve is designed to not fully close when set to 0.

  3. Remove the cap from the lockshield valve and use grips or adjustable spanners to turn the spindle clockwise until the valve is closed. Providing the valves are fully closed, they will contain the water in the rest of the system, allowing the radiator to be removed without draining the whole system.

  4. Drain the radiator. This can be done by slightly loosening the nut that connects the valve to the radiator and allowing the water to drain out into a suitable container. Start with one valve and then move on to the other.

  5. Loosen the nuts on each valve fully until the radiator can be disconnected from the valve. The radiator can then be removed. It is always advisable to tip the radiator up over a container before it is moved to allow any remaining water to drain out.

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British Thermal Units (BTU) is a measure of the output of heat needed to raise the temperature of a room. Determining the correct BTU will help you get the right radiator for your home.

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