HOW TO REPAIR A LEAKING RADIATOR VALVE – Plumbing Tips

HOW TO REPAIR A LEAKING RADIATOR VALVE – Plumbing Tips


If you’ve been lucky
enough to stumble across this plumberparts.co.uk video all about how to fix radiator valves, then great, we’re gonna get
down to that any minute. Before we do, I’d like to ask
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of my cat, the big fat G whenever we can. Anyway, I hope you enjoy today’s video and hold tight. – [Narrator] Plumberparts.co.uk. Honest reviews and advice. – Right, lovely. Oh, dearie me, nice cup of tea. Hold tight, and welcome to
this plumberparts.co.uk video. 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 with a male half-inch thread on it 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, and hopefully water should stop 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 olive by using our grips and our adjustables, and then hopefully, we should be able to turn the water back on and find out that we’ve sealed up successfully that radiator insert there. The next leak probably you
might have is on this nut here. The best thing to do is shut
down each end of the radiator, and then use a bleed
key as well to make sure that those valves are holding, just like we did in the first bit. And then, use your set of grips here to undo this nut,
completely slacking it back, and try and expose the face of the olive. Usually, what you’ll need to do is get yourself some PTFE or some Boss White, wrap that round the olive. Again, look at which way, which direction we’re putting this on. We’re putting it on in a way that means that when we tighten our nuts up, it’s not gonna unravel our PTFE. (rattling) Pop this back on there like so. And then, remake up the
joint and union again by grabbing the body of the valve and then tightening the nut up again. And in most cases, that’s all
you’re going to need to do. Now, the two fixes for the
leaks we’ve just done there were nice and easy because
they’re what I call the dead side of the radiator. They’re on the sides of the radiator that you can valve off from
the rest of the heating system because you’ve got the
radiator valves there to do it. But this leak here on the lower nut, unfortunately, you’re not
gonna be able to valve off. Now I would say, every time, if you’re not happy about
doing any of the work on this particular part of the job, then the best thing to
do is to get a plumber in to do this bit for you. Because if you’re not quick enough and you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s gonna require you to drain the whole heating system out. You’re gonna have to
reinhibit the heating system and stuff like that. But if you’re lucky, you might
be able to do this quickly. What you wanna do is set yourself up so if you do start to get a leak, it’s not gonna ruin your whole house. The best thing is is to
get a few towels laid out, get a few paint scuttles laid out as well so they can catch any water
while you’re working on it, and have a bucket there, for you to tip your paint scuttles in, and everything should be okay. What you need to do is if you’re finding that it’s
leaking from this nut here, is firstly, you could
just try and grab the body and just nip the nut up a bit. Give it a wipe down with some tissue and see if it stays dry. If that happens, then
boom, you’ve done the job and everything’s okay. If it keeps leaking, then
what you’re gonna have to do is undo this nut here, take it back. Now, you’re gonna start
getting water come out, but don’t worry, you’re ready. And the idea is is that you have a small length of PTFE ready. Just whip that off like that, and this is gonna be ready
to wrap round your olive. You’re gonna undo this
nut here, expose the olive by lifting the valve up a little bit. You might even need to
lift the whole radiator. But don’t lift the valve right off. If you do that, you’re gonna get a nice little fountain of water, and it’s probably gonna beat
your little paint scuttle you’ve got catching it. Then, get the PTFE, and then try and wrap it round and
round and round the olive as much as you can. Then, bang the nut right
back up onto the body, and with any luck, you should
be able to tighten that up, and hopefully, the PTFE’s made a nice seal on your nut and olive
and everything’s okay. Be aware as well if you do
let quite a lot of water out and you’re on a pressurized system, you’re gonna need to think
about topping up the pressure. And also, it’s always
a good idea, I’d say, that if you’re doing any
work to a heating system to inhibit the heating system as well. We’re gonna leave links
in the description below on how to do those
particular parts of the job. So, the last part of the
leak that you need to fix on a radiator valve is
actually on this nut here. And this particular fix
works for most types of TRVs as well, whereby you’ve
got the numbers on the side and the twiddly bit. All you need to do is know
how to take the head off, and every TRV is different. Definitely if it’s an
old type, dam force one, we need to pull a plastic lug out, and then undo a little Allen key. But anyway, we’ve got
our top off here already. There are two types of fix for this, there’s the quick fix and
the slightly slower fix. There’s the Jenson Button
fix, which is the slower one, and the Lewis Hamilton
one, which is a bit quicker and maybe will get you in pole position when it comes to plumbing. Anyway, the first one is,
you just grab the nut here, this is the gland, the packing gland, and you just tighten that up. If you just tighten that
up by going righty tighty, don’t go absolutely mental with it because the tighter they are,
the harder it is actually to turn the valve on and off. And then, wipe it down with
a little bit of tissue, and you might find that
you’ve fixed the leak and everything’s great. Sometimes, that’s not the case. The best thing you can do
is shut the valve itself, get your packing nut like this, and just undo that totally
and take that away. Now, you’ll see underneath here, you have a little rubber olive. A lot of professional
plumbers will actually have replacement olives for
these and pop them in. I’ve got loads of these
little mini-olives, loads of different types of sizes, and they’re usually the
best way to do that, but you’re not gonna have that facility. What you’re gonna wanna do is
get yourself some PTFE tape, and you’re just gonna wrap
that round the gland like so. Just keep wrapping that around. Try and get four or five wraps on there. If you put too much on, it’s
not gonna work all that well. And then, the best thing you can do is use a small screwdriver
just to poke that down into the gland packing. So, it’s down in there out the way, and then pop your gland cover back on, and then tighten that up. Just give that a nice little tighten up, don’t overtighten it,
don’t go completely mental. And then, you should be able
to open up the valve again, wind over the dam, make sure
everything’s nice and dry, test for leaks, and hopefully,
everything should be okay. So then, guys, there you go. I hope that’s give you a better idea about how to fix any
leaks that you might have on your radiator valve. Remember what I said
about that bottom nut, they’re not easy because they’re on the live side of the system, and you’ve gotta think
about draining down, reinhibiting and treating the system, and making sure that
everything works okay. Similarly, you always have to worry about, if you’re doing work on a heating
system that’s pressurized, making sure that the pressures are okay, and that everything’s all right. Like I said, please do subscribe
to our YouTube channel. We do loads of competitions
where you can win stuff like our van magnets and stickers. We also do weekly videos of
all the plumbing disasters that you guys have sent through to us, our Facebook and our Twitter. The links to subscribe, follow
us on Facebook and Twitter, and some of the other videos as well are available in the cards and
the video description below. Anyway, thanks ever so much
for watching this video. Mr. G, my cat, is now happy now, ’cause this place is not wet anymore, there’s no more leaks, and also, I’ve put a dartboard up, and George is getting
triple 20s every time, that’s how good he is at darts. There we go. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed today’s video. Remember, everyone, to hold tight. – [Narrator] Plumberparts.co.uk. Honest reviews and advice.

65 thoughts on “HOW TO REPAIR A LEAKING RADIATOR VALVE – Plumbing Tips

  1. most people would put to much packing in the gland … and not be able to restart the nut or cross thread them .. best get a plumber is .. because you are never more them ten meters away from a plumber

  2. I recently got a brand new heating system installed, a valliant combi and 9 rads, everything's good but one rad only gets hot at the top but freezing at the bottom, any ideas what it could be? the lock shield side is cold.

  3. I'd love to see a video of how to first fix a shower valve, keep up the good work and surely Leicester won't win the league (scratching my head)

  4. Hi Jamie, great post, I wish I had a paint tray that went up above the skirting that had a bit of a seal on it!

  5. Hi James, Does it not matter which way you wrap the PTFE around the top of the lock shield above the rubber olive? you wrapped it anticlockwise in the vid, I understand there is no thread but would it not still unravel?.

  6. Hi, I always enjoy your tips & advice and feel empowered to tackle 'some' jobs but have the knowledge from you to know when to call in the experts. As a result I have more respect for your trade, it's a great PR exercise, well done👍

  7. I tried to turn off the water flow to my radiator by trying to turn the lockshield valve off, but as  I turned it clock wise, (I like tighty righty better! lol!)  even a slight bit, water started leaking out of it. Any suggestions? And yes, I have already subscribed!

  8. Cheers mate, saved me a wee cost. Had a leak on the nut to the up pipe, as usual stood on a wet carpet late at night after moving into a new house, probably due to a knock while moving stuff in. Anyway, nipped it up a quarter of a turn and job done.

  9. this guy definitely should be teaching plumbing. so many of his vids have helped me and he's got such a great manor about him. good work.

  10. Why is it whenever I have to do a fooking rad ( I hate the gits) the pipes move so much it concerns/worries me too much.
    Also, I don't get what you are saying about bleeding the rad! Surely the rad is full of water so even when you turn the valve off water will come out of the rad??!

  11. Just recently fitted a new radiator, I replaced the old tail valves for some adjustable extendable tails, made the job alot easier!. Just wondering if you use them in the trade much?

  12. I've managed to sheer the lockshield valve head off trying to turn it. No idea if it's on or off as was trying to see why the radiator wasn't heating up. Presumably I'll have to replace the valve. Any vids or advice on this?

  13. My radiators leaking round the thread of the bleed valve on the top of the radiator, can you make a video on this as my pressure keeps dropping.

  14. Hiya mate,

    In your video at 4:10 when I try to undo the same nut it doesn't undo and my pipe moves! Pipe looks like a flexible pipe.. How do I stop that pipe from moving / bending?.
    Thanks.

  15. How durable is such a repair with PTFE wound around the spindle? I have stopped leaking from lockshield in my rad but I think I need to drain down the system and replace the lockshield as soon as it gets warmer.

  16. hi im a student, not quite getting the flow and return principle. everyone explains that the TRV allow the flow to the rad, but they also explain the same for the lockshield. i thought there would be neggative pressure at the lockshield …help!

  17. Note Well @03:50 James is actually winding the PTFE in opposite direction >> ptfe ANTI clockwise > NUT clockwise O O<!!

  18. Thank you for your knowledge and advice – it has helped me solve a problem and save money at the same time. You are a gentleman sir.

  19. Hi,enjoyed the videos thanks. What do you advise for a rounded off bleed screw? Is in the outer panel facing inwards with about an inch clearance between the two.
    Regards Richi

  20. Can you repack the gland of a trv valve that has a much thinner spring loaded pin?

    I just don't want to undo it and have absolutely rogered myself in the process

    All information i see on repacking gland valves on radiators shows the valves with much bigger pins

  21. Mate I'm a big fan, watched a lot of your videos this saved my carpets tonight rebalancing the system and the non lock shield side gland started leaking followed your guide and boom heating balanced and a happy wife. Cheers pal

  22. I tried using PTFE in Lithuania. . . .needless to say, it doesn't work here, because we have very high pressures and the threads are non conical as per standard, so you either put on half a roll on single thread or use hemp, like slavic people did for hundreds of years. I think I'll stay with hemp.

  23. Links to the tools I use everyday here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/shop/plumberparts

    Plus, follow my Vlog “TimesWithJames”: http://www.youtube.com/c/timeswithjames

  24. I have 8mm microbore under the radiator valve and it leaks from underneath the nut which is about 15mm. Will undoing this nut and wrapping the ptfe tape still work in the same way. I am a bit wary incase i lose the seal altogether and end up with a big leak due to the time its been on and painted over. Thx in advance.

  25. Very helpful – my leak was the final one on your list and your first fix fixed it. Obvious in many ways but for those of us who aren't plumbers very good to be told how to do it.

  26. Can anyone help me, the thermostat I spinning around and leaking. It's flooded my kitchen ceiling, ive had to turn the water off, I removed the radiator completely, is this normal?

  27. You saved me tonight…. tightening the nut to stop the leak. I will be able to sleep tonight, thanks a ton from Canada.

  28. Hi. I’ve found that over the years the lock shield valves can leak due to being left in the on position for years and then you do a job you shut them off. The problem then arises when you turn them back on they go. Particularly on the cheaper builders/ B&Q style stuff. Would the PTFE tape or washer insert be the best fix for that and save a full drain down/ inhibitor performance? I was wanting to take a few radiators off in the new house and try and remove some sludge with a hose out in the garden and at the same time replace the service ports at the top with new ones/ bleeding point etc as most are covered in paint due to new house and had painters in. I know should have done this in summer lol but who actually puts heating in full blast in July to find out it’s always winter lol

  29. hello. of left alone, can the leaks be damaging or unsafe? I dont have the tools and I don't like my super and I don't want my father to travel all the way to my apt. for a little leak.. thank you!

  30. A handy tip: before draining the radiator, open the air bleed so water runs (into a bowl) until the pressure dies down, it’ll make undoing the tails a lot less stressful as the water won’t now be pressurised

  31. In the past I have just drained down my system when doing any repairs. If you close off both radiator valve ends and start unscrewing anything isn't there a lot of water inside the radiator that will start coming out?

  32. Brilliant video! As always from this guy, helped many of times in the past. Aways informative yet chucks in the odd laugh too, a brilliant chap! I wasn't so lucky this time, had a leak in the threadded rad insert. Didn't have enough play in the copper work to do a quick live fix, had to drain system to fix. Bit of a PITR but got the job done. Will reprssurise and inhibit the system tomorrow, should be dead easy to add inhibitor as I have a tall vertical towel rail in bath room, highest point on system…happy days! 😃

  33. THANK YOU @plumberparts. You just saved my ass! Came home to find a soaking wet carpet, top of the valve had failed. Packed with ptfe as suggested at the end of your video. Bone dry now. Will hopefully hold until the oil to gas conversion and trv upgrade next week by a local plumber. Thanks again!

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