• In this how-to video on energy efficiency, This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows how to create mini-zones in your heating system by installing a thermostatic radiator valve to control the heat output of a single radiator.

    1. Drain water from radiator.
    2. Use pipe wrenches to disconnect old valve from radiator.
    3. Remove spud using a spud wrench and pipe wrench.
    4. Apply thread sealant to new spud, then wrap single-strand wicking around the spud threads.
    5. Use a spud wrench and pipe wrench to install the new spud.
    6. Apply pipe dope and single-strand wicking to the threads of the existing pipe.
    7. Install the new thermostatic radiator valve and tighten with a pipe wrench.
    8. Apply pipe sealant to face of spud.
    9. Tighten connection between spud and new valve using a pipe wrench.
    10. Drill hole in radiator cover.
    11. Feed wire through hole, then screw sensor to side of radiator cover.
    12. Connect the sensor’s wire to the valve.
    13. Slide radiator cover into place.
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      Requires basic plumbing skills and the strength to bust loose old threaded fittings

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      Tools List

      • pipe wrench
        Two pipe wrenches, used to loosen and tighten threaded fittings
      • spud wrench
        Spud wrench, used to loosen and tighten spud
      • drill
        Drill/driver, for drilling holes and driving screws
      • Drill bit
        3/8-inch-diameter twist drill bit, for drilling hole in side of metal radiator cover

      Shopping List

      1.Thermostatic radiator valve

      2.Pipe sealant (dope), seals threaded fittings

      3.Single-strand wicking, improves water-tight seal on threaded fittings

      4.Canvas drop cloth, used to protect floor