Turn up The Heat: Why Your Radiator Isn’t Getting Hot

With Old Man Winter knocking at the door, the time has arrived to ensure all of your radiators kick on to produce heat. If one or more of your radiators refuses to emit heat, then you should inspect the Thermostatic Radiator Valve (TRV).

An Overview of a TRV

A TRV represents one of the valves that fit to a radiator. The primary function of a TRV involves setting the temperature at which a radiator emits heat. Whenever a TRV malfunctions, the radiator emits cool air that diminishes the heat output of other radiators located inside of your home. Although a malfunctioning TRV isn’t the only potential reason for radiator failure, it is the most likely reason.

How to Discover Why a Radiator Doesn’t Work

Before inspecting the TRV, bleed the malfunctioning radiator to see if the radiator remains cold. Bleeding a radiator opens an air vent that pushes out trapped air. Hot water radiators typically operate with an air vent valve located on top.

If bleeding a radiator doesn’t produce hot air, then turn to the TRV for the reason the radiator fails to generate heat.

Is the TRV On?

Check the TRV to ensure you have turned it on. A TRV set to zero or the frost setting can’t heat up air for circulation into a room. Many do it yourself homeowners neglect to check the TRV setting, which means they waste time and money searching for another cause of the problem.

Poor Airflow

A radiator placed in a cabinet or behind curtains and furniture might detect the room as too hot and thus, closes the air vent valve. You have set the radiator temperature at room temperature, but the closed valve prohibits the air from releasing into the room. After opening the air valve, consider moving the objects that caused the radiator to misinterpret the air temperature.

Inoperable TRV

You have two options for checking on a TRV that has stopped pumping out hot air. First, inspect the piston to ensure it moves enough to open and close the valve. You must remove the thermostat to gain access to the piston. If the pistons works, remove the thermostat from another radiator and replace it with the thermostat you removed from the malfunctioning radiator. If the replaced thermostat refuses to work in a different radiator, you have discovered the root of your TRV problem.



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