Have you lately come home to find a wet carpet or damp patches beneath a radiator?
If so, you aren’t alone. In this guide, we have compiled ways in which you can fix your radiator at home by first identifying its problem.
But first, let’s see how a leaking radiator can be dangerous and potentially hazardous – but there could be more leaks to find on your heating system.
Is a leaking radiator dangerous?
If you have a leaking radiator, you should get it fixed as soon as it starts leaking since things can easily get worse. A leaking radiator can cause a lot of harm to furnishings and floors in your home. So a radiator leak should not be left to continue un-repaired for a long time.
A leaking radiator can also cause your central heating to stop working due to loss of boiler pressure – leaving your home cold this winter. The list of Central Heating problems does not stop there, here is a comprehensive list of heating problems and solutions.
How to stop a radiator leak at home?
The first thing you need to do before you try fixing a leaking radiator is to identify where the leak is coming from. Do NOT use leak sealer!
There are two most common places that a radiator might be leaking from, that is; the radiator valves and the radiator body. Other parts that can cause a radiator leakage include a radiator spindle, a radiator gland or a radiator pipe joint.
Some radiator leaks can be repaired at home while some may need a professional to come and fix them while others go as far as needing a radiator replacement. After identifying where the leak maybe coming from now, it’s time to try and fix it.
- If the water leaks from the radiator’s body, it means the leak is due to corrosion. Unfortunately, this type of leak requires that you replace the radiator. Before you decide to replace your radiator, you should remember not to oversize the new radiator since the modern ones are a bit smaller than the old ones but more effective.
- A leaking radiator valve is not as severe as a leaking radiator body that needs replacement. The leaking radiator valve can be fixed at home. You can first check whether the radiator valve is correctly closed and close it if it was partly open. Sometimes, the valve may loosen due to an expansion of the pipe, and in this case, you only need to tighten the valve. However, the radiator should be turned off before tackling this job. If the leak is too much, do switch off the water supply and the radiator also.
- If it is the radiator spindle that is causing the leak, then you are lucky since this is another simple issue you can fix. Try tightening the gland nut with a spanner. If the leaking does not stop, undo the nut and wrap around some PFTE tape around the gland nut and then tighten it once more. If this too does not work, it may be the radiator valve that is causing the leaking. Check the radiator valve once again and try fixing it like explained above.
- The leak might also be from the radiator gland. You might have tried to fix the radiator valve thinking that the problem was with the valve, but the leaking did not stop. The problem might be with the radiator gland, which is a small fixture found just underneath the plastic part of the valve. You now need to turn on the valve and check whether water leaks from the plastic lid then lock the lock-shield valve. You can now remove the plastic lid and unscrew the gland nut. Now you need to find a 20cm long of PFTE tape and wrap it around the spindle valve. You need to use a flat-headed screw to force in the PFTE tape into the body of the radiator valve. Before you return the plastic cap or turn on the valve, you will have to screw back the gland nut first.
- If you have a compression type of central heating system, then you will see a number of pipe joints. Sometimes these joints expand due to the hot water, and they tend to get loose. When they get loose, water leakage will be more likely to happen. To fix this, you will only need to tighten the loose joint with a spanner. If the leaking persists, try fixing it further with the following steps. First, you need to drain the radiator to a level below where the leak occurs. Using a spanner, remove the nut from the leaking pipe. Wrap a PFTE tape around where the olive joins with the pipe and then re-tighten the nut once again.
Can you turn off a radiator?
Radiators can be turned off if you want to cool off the air or you need to do maintenance work on the radiator. Radiators are just simple to turn off. It does not matter the type of radiator you own, with only a few and simple tools you can keep the radiator in your space from running. Listed are some of the ways on how you can turn off your radiator.
- You can turn the valves in a clockwise direction. Turn them in this way until they stops turning. Once the two valves are closed, your radiator will be completely turned off.
- You can also remove the lockshield with a pair of pliers. When you have turned the metal valve in clockwise direction until it cannot turn any more, the radiator will be turned off completely.
What do the two valves on a radiator do?
No matter the type of the radiator that is in your home, each radiator has two valves. These two radiator valves act like two taps that enable you to control the amount of heat that is emitted. The first valve controls the amount of hot water that is pushed to the radiator. The second valve that is known as lockshield valve is used to control the amount of heat the radiator passes into the air. Both of these valves are very crucial to all radiators.
If your central heating system is leaking then call ADI today on 0800 731 343 – We look forward to helping you.