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What Is A Thermostatic Radiator Valve & How Does It Work?


What Is A Thermostatic Radiator Valve & How Does It Work?

Thermostatic Radiator Valves, or TRVs, are attachments installed on radiators to allow them to maintain a given temperature in the room in which it is located.

TRVs are very common, but most people have no idea what they do and how they work.

This short guide will tell you everything you need to know about Thermostatic Radiator Valves, how they work and how they break.

Basic Functionality Of Thermostatic Radiator Valves

TRVs are self-regulating valves that function by controlling the flow of hot water into the radiator.


They consist of two parts:

  • The valve head, which sits on top of the valve body. Usually this is the bit that you turn to adjust temperature settings.
  • The valve body, which controls the flow of hot water into the radiator.

The valve head contains either a wax or liquid medium that contracts and expands according to the air temperature in the room. This either pushes the pin into the valve body, or pulls it out – opening or closing the valve.

Older TRVs tend to use wax, which is far less effective than the more modern liquid ones. This is down to the speed at which liquid can react to temperature versus wax, which often reacts slowly.

Liquid TRVs tend to be a little more expensive, but TRVs in general are relatively cheap components so its worth spending the extra pennies.

Most TRVs cost roughly £10-30.

Save Money By Installing TRVs

Installing Thermostatic Radiator Valves in almost every room in the house offers benefits that can improve the comfort of your home while simultaneously saving you money.

By controlling each room’s temperature individually, you can save energy that would otherwise be wasted heating rooms that nobody is using.

After all, there’s no point heating the spare bedroom if you are not expecting guests.

With the latest Smart TRVs, extra efficiency can be found by controlling the heating via an app on your tablet or phone. These are more expensive, but for many there will be adequate return on the investment.

TRVs Are Not For The Bathroom!

One place that you absolutely should not install a TRV is in the bathroom.

This is because the heat from the bath or shower interferes with the TRV’s sensor apparatus, shutting off the heat at the exact time you need it to be fighting condensation.

Another place not to install a TRV is in the same room as your primary thermostat, as they will be constantly interfering with what the other is trying to do – the result often being the heating turning off entirely.


TRVs are perfect for the homeowner who wants maximum control, energy efficiency and heating flexibility.

For those who are on board with smart tech and the homes of the future, Smart TRVs are almost always worth the investment.

But if you are just looking for the cheapest way to improve the central heating system in your home, one modern liquid TRV per radiator in your home is perhaps your most promising option.

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