Broken thermostatic radiator valve, or something else?


I

Ian Chard

Hi,

I've just moved into a new (to me) house, and I can't get the radiator
in the kitchen to warm up at all. There's no air in it (or any of the
other radiators), and the pipe up to the TRV is hot. All the other
radiators work.

Is there anything that could be wrong apart from the TRV? If it does
need replaced, is it something reasonably simple (I've never done any
plumbing)? The pipes come up from the floor, so presumably I wouldn't
have to drain the whole system to do it.

Thanks for any advice
- Ian
 
A

adder1969

Ian said:
Hi,

I've just moved into a new (to me) house, and I can't get the radiator
in the kitchen to warm up at all. There's no air in it (or any of the
other radiators), and the pipe up to the TRV is hot. All the other
radiators work.

Is there anything that could be wrong apart from the TRV? If it does
need replaced, is it something reasonably simple (I've never done any
plumbing)? The pipes come up from the floor, so presumably I wouldn't
have to drain the whole system to do it.
If they're left off (as in closed) for a long time, like over summer,
they can stick in the off position. You might get lucky hitting them
with a hammer etc otherwise you might need to remove and clean it which
would require some sort of draining. This is assuming that the outlet
valve isn't closed of course.
 
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E

EricP

Hi,

I've just moved into a new (to me) house, and I can't get the radiator
in the kitchen to warm up at all. There's no air in it (or any of the
other radiators), and the pipe up to the TRV is hot. All the other
radiators work.

Is there anything that could be wrong apart from the TRV? If it does
need replaced, is it something reasonably simple (I've never done any
plumbing)? The pipes come up from the floor, so presumably I wouldn't
have to drain the whole system to do it.

Thanks for any advice
- Ian
Remove the body of the TRV by turning the ring at the base.
You should see a little pin that the TRV pushes up and down to open
and close the valve.

This should move up and down with reasonable pressure. If it doesn't,
it may be stuck closed and need freeing.

Do this by tapping very gently with somethingto free it.
 
C

chris_doran

EricP said:
Remove the body of the TRV by turning the ring at the base.
You should see a little pin that the TRV pushes up and down to open
and close the valve.

This should move up and down with reasonable pressure. If it doesn't,
it may be stuck closed and need freeing.

Do this by tapping very gently with somethingto free it.
Pulling the pin up and down a few times with a pair of pliers usually
does it (they only move a few mm), but be careful not to burr it where
it enters the valve body.

Google this group on "stuck trv" for more advice, e.g.
http://groups.google.co.uk/group/uk.d-i-y/browse_frm/thread/da3d7ec16457c197/8209689e031238bf?lnk=gst&q=stuck+trv&rnum=2#8209689e031238bf
describes a way tthat may free them without draining down.

The valve at the other end often silts up too. Try opening it up for a
while, but mark its position and count the turns to return it to where
it was, as they are precisely set to "balance" the system.

Chris
 
D

Dave Plowman (News)

Is there anything that could be wrong apart from the TRV? If it does
need replaced, is it something reasonably simple (I've never done any
plumbing)? The pipes come up from the floor, so presumably I wouldn't
have to drain the whole system to do it.
Remove the control top - it should have a collar that simply unscrews by
hand. Underneath you'll see a 'pin' sticking up. That is the actual valve.
It should push down under thumb pressure and spring back up again unaided.
Check with a working one to see what I mean. Your faulty one is almost
certainly just stuck. Tap it gently down with a hammer handle etc and it
will hopefully free.

If it's very old there may be signs of a water leak from around the pin.
If so best to have it changed rather than attempt to free it as it will
leak even more when freed.

Some cheaper TRVs have a life of only about 5 years.
 
I

Ian Chard

Remove the control top - it should have a collar that simply unscrews by
hand. Underneath you'll see a 'pin' sticking up. That is the actual valve.
It should push down under thumb pressure and spring back up again unaided.
Check with a working one to see what I mean. Your faulty one is almost
certainly just stuck. Tap it gently down with a hammer handle etc and it
will hopefully free.

If it's very old there may be signs of a water leak from around the pin.
If so best to have it changed rather than attempt to free it as it will
leak even more when freed.
Thanks Dave and everyone else for your advice -- I'll have a play with
it and see what I can see. I just had a quick look at one of the TRVs
at work and I see what you mean about the pin.

Cheers
- Ian
 
R

raden

EricP said:
Remove the body of the TRV by turning the ring at the base.
You should see a little pin that the TRV pushes up and down to open
and close the valve.

This should move up and down with reasonable pressure. If it doesn't,
it may be stuck closed and need freeing.

Do this by tapping very gently with somethingto free it.
Rather ...

put something like a spanner on top of the pin and tap the spanner

it's kinder to the pin
 
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I

Ian Chard

Note that the pin only moves a little - about 3-4mm.
Thanks to all that replied -- I sorted this out on Saturday. Tapping
the valve and pin gently didn't have any effect, so in the end I very
gingerly got hold of the pin with a pair of pliers and pulled
ever-so-gently, and it just popped back up. After that, it's moving
(relatively) freely.

Thanks again, you saved me a plumber's callout!

- Ian
 

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