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Radiator Valves Explained

We find that it is quite common for people to forget to order the necessary radiator valves to accompany their new radiator purchase – something that stops a job before it gets started!

Investing in a new radiator is a great way to improve the look and feel of your home while also passing on massive benefits in terms of efficiency and cost saving.

Due to the huge range of radiator valves available online, it is understandably quite easy to buy the wrong ones if you are not 100% certain about what type you need.

Hopefully our "Radiator Valves Explained" Guide explains everything you need to know to assist your radiator valve purchase.


What type of valve do you need?

There are a couple of different types of valves out there:Manual valve 

Manual Radiator Valves

These more traditional valves can be operated using the same Principals as a tap. You simply turn the top of the valve to allow more or less water to enter your radiator.

Thermostatic Radiator Valve

Commonly referred to as TRVs, Thermostatic Valves control the amount of water that enters a radiator. However the main difference between TRVs and manual valves is that TRVs are able to self-regulate. They can take into account the room temperature to ensure the radiator works towards a maximum room temperature, ensuring maximum levels of efficiency are adhered to in the process, helping you to save money on your heating bills.

Lockshield Valve

These valves are used to control the amount of water that flows out of the radiator into the return pipework. This allows you to "balance” the radiator, ensuring the water is distributed evenly across your property and helping your radiators to heat up at the same rate.

Angled or Straight?

A straight radiator valve joins the radiator to the central heating pipework in a straight, horizontal line.

Angled radiator valves, as the name suggests, allows you to join the central heating pipework to the radiator at an angle. The radiator valve has a 90° bend in it so that the valve inlet can be met in either a horizontal or vertical fashion.

The type of radiator valve you will need is therefore dependent on the position of the radiator valve inlets that your new radiator requires and the position of the central heating supply flow and return pipes that your radiator feeds off.

Radiator Valve Inlet Positions

Finding out where the valve inlets are located on your radiator is fairly straight forward and is defined by the type of radiator you have.

For example, you tend to find the valve inlet on a towel rail radiator located underneath the bottom of the radiator. Therefore if the central heating pipes come through the wall, you would use an angled radiator valve to enable you to join the horizontal pipework to the valve inlet at the bottom of the radiator.

Standard radiators (commonly known as compact radiators) typically have side valve inlets. These are located at the bottom of the radiator too but tend to allow access from the side only (horizontally). Therefore it is likely that you would again need to use an angled radiator valve to join the pipework to the valve inlet.

A straight radiator valve could be used if your radiator had the valve inlets at the back rather than the side of the radiator and your pipework came through the floor. As a general rule, you can follow the table below to establish what type of radiator valve you will need:


Through Wall Pipework

Through Floor Pipework

Bottom Inlets

Angled radiator valve

Straight radiator valve

Side Inlets

Angled radiator valve

Angled radiator valve

Where to buy?

We hope that you have found everything you need to know about radiator valves explained in a really simple & coherent manner, but if you have any further questions please feel free to get in touch with the team here at Direct Heating Supplies.

At Direct Heating Supplies we sell a massive range of radiator valves at fantastic low online prices. Order today for next working day delivery.


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