Do you have a radiator that will not warm up? Want to find a simple solution? A Lockshield Valve is the obvious choice!
Before you write off the idea because you think that the process will be too complex to complete, take a look at our simple guide and find a way to get the heat you need during the colder months.
Lockshield Valves – What Are They?
Lockshield Valves or LSVs are a type of valve that can control the hot water flow of each of your radiators. They are installed on the return pipe and work to control the water return so that your radiator can stay warm when you need it the most.
Once installed, the LSV will stay in a fixed position, ensuring that the amount of hot water that moves through the return pipe doesn’t cause the radiator to cool down when you want it to stay hot. If you need to adjust your LSV when it is in place, you just remove the cap and turn the value to the position required. If it is stuck, then you can use a spanner to help you move it into the right position. Remember, an LSV is closed when it cannot turn anymore towards the left!
The Difference Between Bleeding Your Radiator and Balancing Your Radiator
If you have a radiator that won’t warm up, then the first piece of advice that you would usually try is to bleed the radiator to remove any air in the system. If this is the problem, then bleeding will help the radiator to stay hot and stay full of water.
Sadly for many people, bleeding the radiator doesn’t solve the issue, and the radiator remains cold despite working your way around each radiator and trying to remove trapped air. In these instances, you will probably find that your radiators are unbalanced and, therefore, will heat up at different speeds, with some not heating at all.
Balancing Your Radiators to Improve the Warmth in Your Property
If you have come to the realisation that your radiators are unbalanced and want to resolve the issue yourself, then you will need to get the right equipment together to start with, including an LSV key, a bleeding key, a thermometer (digital works best) and a screwdriver. With all your kit ready to go, you can start the process of balancing your radiators:
- Turn Your Heating Off – this is an important first step as you will need your radiators to be cool to do the work. You can switch your heating off by turning your thermostat down or by turning your radiators off by switching the radiator dial down.
- Bleed Your Radiators – if you haven’t bled the system, then now is the time to do it. Go to each radiator and remove any trapped air that is lurking around.
- Find Your LSVs and Uncap Them – once you have bled the system, take the time to locate the LSV on each radiator and uncap it, ready for rebalancing. You may need to use a screwdriver to do this.
- Open All Your LSVs – with all your LSVS located and uncapped, turn each one to open and then switch your heating back on. As your heating comes back on, you will need to measure the temps of each radiator to work out which ones are getting hot first. If you have lots of radiators in your property, then you may need to enlist some help for this step.
- Balance the Radiator That is Quickest to Heat – when you know which radiator heats up the quickest, close the LSV on it and then reopen it by one-quarter of a turn.
- Balance the Temperatures – the final part of the balancing task is to take temperature readings from the return pipe and the flow pipe on each radiator. You are aiming to get a 12o C difference in temperature between the two and will need to turn the LSV and then retest each temperature until you achieve the 12o C difference.
This process is not difficult, but it can take a lot of time if your radiators are all unbalanced. However, having the patience required to complete the task will pay off in the long run as a balanced system will heat everything at the same speed, getting your property warm without any stress!
I’ve Rebalanced My Radiators, and it Didn’t Work – What Now?
The great thing about rebalancing your radiators is that it usually resolves the issue of cold patches. However, if you have properly rebalanced your radiators and you are still getting cold results, then there is probably a more complex problem that needs to be resolved.
In these cases, we would advise that you seek support from a Gas Safe registered engineer who can assess the system and locate the source of the problem, as well as providing you with a quote to fix it. It is wise to be prepared that you may find a new boiler is the only way to resolve the issue, and this will require a significant investment of money to complete.
The good news is that there are some great boilers and installation services that don’t charge ridiculous amounts of money to help you solve your problem – you just need to know how to find them! At Boilers Prices, we offer a quotation service that aims to find you quality boilers and quality installers without breaking the bank. Simply complete all your requirements and details in our simple-to-follow form and let us do the hard work for you – it really is that easy!