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Thermostatic radiator valves, leaking...


Carl Fimble

Question

Hi, one of our thermostatic radiator valves is leaking, it seems to be from the metal bit with the pin in it, underneath the plastic control knob. 

I've taken the plastic bits off and exposed the valve itself, a little pin in the middle of a brass nut... Tried tightening the brass nut but it's not moving. 

Has anyone ever had any success repairing one of these things, or does it just need replaced?

I'm keen to repair it, mostly so I don't need to drain the whole system and empty the radiator to replace the valve. I'll need to buy another bottle of corrosion inhibitor too if I have to drain the system.

I detest plumbing, especially on a Sunday.

 

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15 answers to this question

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Excellent thread: I think this knowledge base in entirely in keeping with DOSBODS philosophy of manning up, saving money, and self-improvement.

Ironically, though, a man is being taught how to be more manly by a woman.

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16 minutes ago, Bod said:

Excellent thread: I think this knowledge base in entirely in keeping with DOSBODS philosophy of manning up, saving money, and self-improvement.

Ironically, though, a man is being taught how to be more manly by a woman.

Balls to that, plumbing is woman's work!

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55 minutes ago, Bod said:

Excellent thread: I think this knowledge base in entirely in keeping with DOSBODS philosophy of manning up, saving money, and self-improvement.

Ironically, though, a man is being taught how to be more manly by a woman.

Most common fault with TRV's is when shut off completely for a while the pin that controls the valve seizes - people go to turn on their heating en of the summer and a couple of rads not working - just tap the pin lightly with a small hammer/spanner and that usually releases. Also need to be careful when taking rads off to make sure to keep the head on the TRV and shut fully off or better use the a blanking plug screwed in place of the TRV to hold the pin down, otherwise if the TRV opens up with the rad off......

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12 hours ago, ILikeCake said:

 

@Carl Fimble

I find YouTube handy for plumbing videos, in true dosbods style it has saved me a small fortune the last few years.  Check out Dereton33 channel it's excellent. 

He's a proper time-served old pro. I also rate a guy called "plumberparts", although he's a bit cheerful for the morning.

Here's something of his on leaking radiator valves

https://www.plumberparts.co.uk/advice/radiator/how-to-repair-a-leaking-radiator-valve

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2 minutes ago, Carl Fimble said:

Hi, one of our thermostatic radiator valves is leaking, it seems to be from the metal bit with the pin in it, underneath the plastic control knob. 

I've taken the plastic bits off and exposed the valve itself, a little pin in the middle of a brass nut... Tried tightening the brass nut but it's not moving. 

Has anyone ever had any success repairing one of these things, or does it just need replaced?

I'm keen to repair it, mostly so I don't need to drain the whole system and empty the radiator to replace the valve. I'll need to buy another bottle of corrosion inhibitor too if I have to drain the system.

I detest plumbing, especially on a Sunday.

 

Happened to a couple of ours. Just drained the system and replaced them. I think that the top bit you describe is sealed. I’m not a plumber though, so might have wasted money and they might be fixable 

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13 minutes ago, One percent said:

Happened to a couple of ours. Just drained the system and replaced them. I think that the top bit you describe is sealed. I’m not a plumber though, so might have wasted money and they might be fixable 

Thank you 1%, I suspect you are right. I have a spare one somewhere in the garage but have not been able to find it yet, and have been looking for more than an hour now. 

Here's a photo of it, in case that helps in any way :

 

WP_20181014_14_25_03_Pro.jpg

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Looking at the thermostat and staining on carpet reckon is knackered and deffo replacement job.

If you don't want to drain down the freezer spray does work. Turn central heating off, allow to cool down. Turn off lock shied on other end of rad, reattach thermos valve or special blanking cap that depresses the pin, undo one end of rad and drain rad (that is the messy bit). Then freeze down pipe at thermostat end, you often hear a noticeable click when the ice core in the pipe has fully formed, but if you follow the instructions should be ok. Gingerly undoing the bottom of the thermo valve will also tell you if the plug has formed ok. Gives about 10 minutes working time to whip off the old thermostat body and replace with new. 

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26 minutes ago, ILikeCake said:

Hope you got this sorted @Carl Fimble

I find YouTube handy for plumbing videos, in true dosbods style it has saved me a small fortune the last few years.  Check out Dereton33 channel it's excellent. 

Thank you very much, I will check out that channel, I could do with becoming a better plumberer, at the moment I'm awful!

I have still not managed to find the spare valve I have, will have (yet) another look today, I need to find it as I reckon the valve just needs replaced, I was just going to buy another last week but they're £20 and I know I have a spare one in the garage somewhere.

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2 hours ago, Carl Fimble said:

Thank you 1%, I suspect you are right. I have a spare one somewhere in the garage but have not been able to find it yet, and have been looking for more than an hour now. 

Here's a photo of it, in case that helps in any way :

 

WP_20181014_14_25_03_Pro.jpg

Yeah, exactly where ours leaked from.  I was told by someone that you should alter the setting periodically and it stops it from happening. Dunno. 

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Austin Allegro

I had this problem. Tried tapping with a hammer and using WD40 but it didn't work and so I got it replaced. The plumber told me to leave the valve open (ie on the highest setting) in summer (turn the thermostat down to 14c so that the heating doesn't actually come on) because then there's less metal stuck in the valve and it will be less likely to corrode and stick. Whereas what most people do is turn the radiator off at the valve and leave it off all summer which means the pin is stuck all the way in the valve.

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40 minutes ago, One percent said:

Yeah, exactly where ours leaked from.  I was told by someone that you should alter the setting periodically and it stops it from happening. Dunno. 

Ball...... still not managed to find the spare one. I reckon replacing it is the answer, was yours a "Danfoss" one too?

Thanks for the tip re changing the setting, that's not ideal though- the whole point of these is that you can set them to a temperature you want for each room and then just leave them to do their thing. I'm wondering if other brands are better, they're probably all foreign shite these days though!

 

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14 minutes ago, Carl Fimble said:

Ball...... still not managed to find the spare one. I reckon replacing it is the answer, was yours a "Danfoss" one too?

Thanks for the tip re changing the setting, that's not ideal though- the whole point of these is that you can set them to a temperature you want for each room and then just leave them to do their thing. I'm wondering if other brands are better, they're probably all foreign shite these days though!

 

Drayton. Apparently the best. Still failed though. 

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13 hours ago, InLikeFlynn said:

He's a proper time-served old pro. I also rate a guy called "plumberparts", although he's a bit cheerful for the morning.

Here's something of his on leaking radiator valves

https://www.plumberparts.co.uk/advice/radiator/how-to-repair-a-leaking-radiator-valve

Thank you!! He makes it sound fixable, I've got (a shit load of) PTFE tape too, and I even know where it is!

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