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Complete newbie - question on heating a towel radiator

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by floob, 6 Mar 2021.

  1. floob

    floob

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    Hi,

    I've just had a bathroom towel heater replaced in my bathroom. The old one had two pipes going into it (as does the new one), one of the had a numbered thermostat on it so I could change the temperature on it.

    I should mention that the towel radiator runs on the hot water as opposed to central heating like the rest of the radiators I have. Its a gas boiler if relevant.

    So on the new towel heater has two "valves" on it - when I close one off the radiator will go cold after a while and when its on I hear gurgling for a minute which even I can work out is water going in. The other valve doesnt seem to make a difference, someone said it is a "return flow" valve?

    So my questions are:
    - With this type of radiator valve rather than a thermostat with a number, is it just an "on" or "off" setting or does the degree I open it affect the tempature?
    - With the other valve that doesnt seem to make a difference, should this be left open or closed?

    Thanks for any pointers.
     
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  3. denso13

    denso13

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    Photos would be good.
     
  4. floob

    floob

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    Hi, Do these help?

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. oldbuffer

    oldbuffer

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    1. One of those valves will be a wheel head valve:
    1a. This is designed to open / close as you turn the chrome knob.
    1b. Fully closed and no water will flow, giving you a cold radiator.
    1c. Fully open and the maximum possible flow will happen, giving you a radiator as hot as it can get.
    1d. Between fully closed and fully open, a restricted flow will occur. The radiator will get hot, but as it loses heat to the room, will not get as hot all over, and thus will provide an adjustable level of heat to the room.
    2. The other valve will be a lock shield valve.
    2a. This is designed to limit the flow through the radiator, balancing your overall system by preventing this radiator from "robbing" heat from others by providing an easy route.
    2b. In your case it will help prevent the heat bypassing the coil in your hot water cylinder. I would fully close it, then open by a full turn. If the hot water then doesn't heat enough, close down by 1/8 turn at a time.
    2c. The two valves may appear, and indeed may actually be, identical. If in doubt, assume the one on the flow pipe (the one which gets hot first) is the wheel head valve.
     
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  6. floob

    floob

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    Thanks for your reply.
    The one on the left is the one that used to have the thermostat with the numbers on when the old radiator was there, so I'm thinking thats the "wheel head" valve.

    I've turned that one about one turn on (will turn about 8 turns in total).

    The lock shield valve which I'm sure must be the one on the right is now turned one turn on (out of about 8 turns total).

    If relevant, the water tank has an electric immersion heater in it, but thats rarely/never used, and just heated by the gas boiler instead.
    As mentioned, the towel radiator comes on when the hot water comes on, as opposed to to needing the central heating on like the rest of the radiators.

    Thanks for the feedback, I was keen to make sure I wasnt leaving these valves in a position that might damage anything.
     
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  8. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    The house probably had solid fuel heating at some time, it was common to plumb the bathroom rad into the HW circuit as a heat dump
     
  9. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Even in modern houses, it is not very rare to have a bathroom towel rail fed off the circuit to a cylinder.

    It means that, even when the heating is off, the towel rail will be warmed while the cylinder is reheating, typically during and after running a bath. Many people consider this the ideal time to have a warm towel rail.

    Mine has the lockshield turned very low to prevent it robbing heat from the cylinder, and the TRV at a comfortable bathroom temperature.
     
  10. floob

    floob

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    Now the boiler has been on for a couple of hours, and the lockshield and wheelhead valve turned about one full turn each, the radiator is plenty hot. So if anything I'll try closing them down slightly for tomorrow and test again.
     
  11. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    Unlikely that you are actually turning down the lockshield, the plastic head will just spin, to adjust a L/S you remove the cover and use grips or a spanner then click the head back on again
     
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