How to Adjust a Radiator Valve

Written by neal litherland | 13/05/2017
How to Adjust a Radiator Valve
Adjusting radiator valves can turn into a pain without the right tools. (white radiator image by Ekaterina Sidorenko from

Radiators play a role in a steam heating system. The boiler heats water in the basement, and the heated water then climbs up through the pipes and into the radiator. The radiator heats up and transfers heat into the room. Radiators sometimes require adjustment, however; you use the radiator valve to make these adjustments. If you know how to grab it and adjust it, you can make the temperature in your home as comfortable as you wish.

Locate the radiator valve on your model. The lockshield valve, which controls the temperature, should be capped and locked in place. Some models have a screw in the middle you must remove with a screwdriver.

Remove the screw holding the cap onto the radiator's valve. Take off the cap to reveal the actual valve.

Tighten or loosen the valve with a crescent wrench or set of pliers --- whichever is easiest. Tightening the valve means less steam will come in and the temperature will drop. If you open the valve, the opposite occurs: More steam will come in, which will raise the temperature in the room. Reattach the cap to lock your new adjustment into place.

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers or crescent wrench

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