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How to Install a Thermostatic Steam Radiator Valve

Add controls to a steam radiator with these step by step instructions and video to guide you.

In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating contractor Richard Trethewey explains how to install a radiator thermostat.

Using a one-pipe thermostatic steam radiator valve, you can regulate the temperature and make every single radiator it’s own zone. For safety reasons, before you follow the steps below and in the video, make sure your thermostat is turned off.

How Does a Steam Thermostatic Radiator Valve Work?

The head of the thermostatic radiator valve senses the temperature that it is in the room. The radiator pushes the steam through the supply pipe into the valve. When the temperature of the room and the air is the same, it doesn’t vent to prevent the room from over heating. Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey demonstrates how this works in the video above.

How to Install a Steam Radiator Valve in 9 Steps

  1. Close the valve at base of radiator.
  2. Turn off the room's thermostat.
  3. Carefully unscrew the existing air vent from side of radiator.
  4. Put Teflon tape on threads of new thermostatic steam valve.
  5. Thread new steam valve into radiator; tighten with adjustable wrench.
  6. Apply Teflon tape to threads of old air vent.
  7. Thread old air vent into top of new steam valve.
  8. Open valve at base of radiator.
  9. Turn on the room's thermostat.

Tools You’ll Need