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How to adjust hot water radiators for heating

Updated February 21, 2017

If you notice that the rooms in your house are either too hot or too cold, you might need to adjust the hot water radiators. A hot water heating system warms your house by circulating hot water through pipes and the radiators. Depending on your system, there are a number of places where you can adjust the heating to ensure that you're getting the optimum output for your house.

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  1. Ensure that the radiator boiler is on and operating.

  2. Find the wheel valve. This is located at the side of the radiator where the hot water enters. The wheel valve will have a temperature control knob on the end.

  3. Open the wheel valve by turning it counterclockwise to provide more heat. To lessen the heat, shut down the valve by turning it clockwise.

  4. Locate the main boiler for the radiators. This may be in a utility closet in the kitchen, or outside in a boiler shed.

  5. Turn the boiler thermostat up to a higher temperature. How this is done depends on your thermostat model.

  6. Adjust the temperatures on the individual radiators by turning the wheel valves counterclockwise to raise the temperature, or clockwise to lower the temperature.

  7. Warning

    Some radiators might have thermostatic valves installed in place of the wheel valves, in which case you must follow the directions on the thermostatic valve to adjust the temperature.

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Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Radiator bleed key
  • Towel

About the Author

Nathan McGinty

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.

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