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How to Install Thermostatic Radiator Valves

We show you how to add a manageable control to your old radiator by installing a new thermostatic valve.

This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey gives an old radiator manageable controls with a new thermostatic valve.

Add a new control to your old radiator by installing a thermostatic radiator valve.

What Does a Thermostatic Radiator Valve Do?

Thermostatic radiator valves control the heat output from a single radiator for better energy efficiency. In doing so, you also create mini-zones in your heating system.

Thermostatic Valve Installation in 13 Steps

  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.