HOW TO REPAIR A LEAKING RADIATOR VALVE – Plumbing Tips
How to repair and fix a leaking radiator valve, pipe or TRV without the need for a plumber. All you need is a roll of PTFE, something to catch a bit of water from the radiator and an adjustable spanner and grips. We’ll show you how to isolate the radiator valve, the different leaks you can have on a radiator valve, on the insert or tail, the compression fitting and on the packing gland nut. This video will help you out!
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Obviously, you’re here because you’ve got a leaking radiator valve like the one we’ve got here. This is called a lockshield valve, and they’re really, really easy to fix if you’ve got a small leak on ’em. But we’re gonna do is firstly, look at the valve from side on, and there’s gonna be a few different points on the valve that could leak. And what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna address each one of those points in succession, and you’ll hopefully be able to fix your valve and go on and have a nice dry floor or carpet. So, without further ado, let’s go and see how we can stop your radiator valve from leaking. Here’s what a standard radiator valve looks like when it’s in situ on the radiator. There’s a few different points at where it can leak. We can leak on the thread of this insert as it goes into the radiator. We can leak on the nut and olive here where the body of our radiator valve goes into the insert of radiator as well. We can leak on the nut and olive just on here as well, on the pipe that comes up into the radiator valve. Or, if we lift up this piece here, you should be able to find as well that it can leak from this little nut here. What we’re gonna do is address the leaks and how to fix them here, here, here, and here in order. Problem number one is that we’ve got a leak on the thread that goes into the radiator insert. Now, these are generally really quite easy to fix because you don’t have to worry about draining the whole heating system out. Before we have a look at how to fix it, it’s a great idea to know how they work. All you have is a radiator insert going into a female half-inch thread on your radiator. That’s sealed up using PTFE, hemp and Boss White, or some Loctite. It really depends on what the plumber used back in the day when your radiators were installed. The great thing about this is to seal off the system and not to have great worries about any leaks. All you need to do is shut off the radiator valve at each end of the radiator, and you do that by turning the radiator valve clockwise, or as we call it in the trade, righty tighty. And this also goes the same for if you’ve got a thermostatic radiator valve on the radiator as well. The next thing you wanna do to make sure that those two valves are holding, get yourself a radiator bleed key and just slack it off the radiator bleed at the top of the radiator, pretty much straight away. Once there’s no water or air coming out, it’s very important that you shut that radiator bleed valve key before you move on to the next stage. Now that you’ve got the radiator valves turned off and you’re happy that they’re both holding, what you need to do is get a set of grips, just hold the valve body here, and then, just slacken that nut off. You’re probably gonna need a small paint tray or a towel underneath just to catch any drips. But you’re gonna watch all this first, then you’ll know exactly what to do, and you’ll be really quick at it as well. You shouldn’t get a lot of water out, and what you need to do once you’ve slackened this nut off here, you want to get your adjustable spanner on this hex here and start unwinding it. Unwind it and try and expose four or five threads at least, and then as soon as you’ve got those threads exposed, you wrap your PTFE round. If you want beforehand, try and clean off any of the old sealant that was on there, that’s sometimes a good idea. Now, you can obviously see there I did the safe option and exposed just three or four threads, maybe five threads, or if you wanna let the whole of the radiator wall out of this radiator just here, you can completely remove the insert if you like, and then work with that on your lap. But the thing is, once we’ve got this out here, you can get all the old sealant off here, pop your new sealant on. Now, take notice well as to how we wrap the PTFE onto the thread. It’s very important that you wrap the PTFE on the thread, so that when you screw back in the insert, it doesn’t actually start pushing the PTFE out and doesn’t actually do any work. We’ve put our sealant back on now,all we need to do is just rescrew in our insert, and then tighten up the nut and oliveby using our grips and our adjustables.