Why Won’t My Radiator Turn Off? A Guide to Troubleshooting Radiator Valve Issues

by parker
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As the colder months approach, many of us rely on our radiators for warmth. However, sometimes we may encounter an issue where our radiators won’t turn off, resulting in rooms becoming too hot and unnecessary fuel consumption. In this article, we will discuss why radiators may not turn off and offer troubleshooting tips to help you resolve the issue.

Understanding Thermostatic Radiator Valves

Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) play a crucial role in regulating the flow of hot water into radiators. These valves are designed to automatically adjust the temperature of the radiator based on the room’s heating requirements. When the room temperature reaches a certain level, the valve closes partially or completely to reduce the flow of hot water into the radiator.

Troubleshooting Tips for Radiators That Won’t Turn Off

  1. Check the Thermostatic Radiator Valve

The first step in troubleshooting a radiator that won’t turn off is to inspect the thermostatic radiator valve. These valves are responsible for controlling the flow of hot water into the radiator. Start by turning the valve up to the highest temperature setting. Then, remove the valve head and check the pin inside. If the pin appears to be working properly, proceed to the next step.

  1. Replacing the Valve Head

If the pin in the thermostatic radiator valve is not functioning correctly, replacing the valve head may solve the problem. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you choose the correct replacement head for your valve. When removing the old valve head, be sure to turn the valve up to the highest setting. This will allow you to unscrew the nut by hand. Install the new valve head, making sure it is securely tightened.

  1. Adjusting the Valve Setting

If replacing the valve head doesn’t resolve the issue, try adjusting the valve setting. Turn the valve down gradually to see if it affects the radiator’s temperature. If the valve setting has no impact, it may be necessary to remove the radiator valve body.

  1. Draining the System

Removing the radiator valve body involves draining the heating system. If you are confident in your plumbing skills, you can attempt this step. However, it is recommended to seek professional assistance to avoid any potential complications.

The Importance of Proper Valve Placement

There is often confusion about the placement of thermostatic radiator valves and whether they should be positioned on the flow or return side of the radiator. The truth is, as long as the valve is bi-directional, it can be installed on either side. Most valves will have an arrow indicating the direction of flow. If the valve has only one arrow, it should be placed on the flow side. If the valve has arrows in both directions, it can be installed on either side without affecting its functionality.

Understanding How Radiator Valves Control Temperature

A common misconception surrounding thermostatic radiator valves is their ability to directly change the temperature of the water flowing through the radiator. In reality, these valves do not alter the water temperature. Instead, they regulate the flow of water into the radiator based on the room’s heating requirements. By adjusting the valve setting, you control how much hot water flows through the radiator, allowing the room to reach the desired temperature.

Balancing Your Central Heating System

In some cases, adjusting the thermostatic radiator valve can lead to imbalances in the central heating system. As a result, certain radiators may heat up more quickly while others remain relatively cooler. To address this issue, it may be necessary to balance your central heating system. Balancing involves adjusting the flow rates to each radiator to ensure an even distribution of heat throughout the property. If you experience uneven heating, refer to our video guide on how to balance your central heating system.


If you’re experiencing a radiator that won’t turn off, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to rectify the issue. Starting with checking the thermostatic radiator valve and replacing the valve head, you can attempt to regain control over your radiator’s temperature. However, if the problem persists, removing the radiator valve body may be necessary, requiring professional assistance. Remember that radiator valves do not change the temperature of the water but regulate the flow to maintain the desired room temperature. By understanding how these valves function, you can effectively troubleshoot and resolve issues related to radiators that won’t turn off.

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