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Discuss Brand New To Forum Hoping For Help in the Valves & Taps area at

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  1. The Carlton Dance

    The Carlton Dance New Member

    Hi everyone.

    I hope this is the right section to post this, so here goes. If not, my apologies, newbie here.

    I am removing a radiator in my 1995 wimpy house (Im sure that strikes terror into the heart of any experienced builder) for decorating purposes. Let's just say they never mist coated the dry walls so the paint is essentially wallpaper and its cracked badly.

    Here are some pics prior to removal:

    IMG_0083.jpg IMG_0084.jpg

    From what I can tell, this seems like a standard non thermostat fitting.

    I've closed off both valves and cracked open the nuts both at ends, as seen in the above pics (also opened bleed valve), let the water drain out, so the radiator is now empty. So far so good.

    I've had a friend help prise the pipes apart as they were a very tight fit (they seemed spring loaded into the radiator due to the close pipe fitting).

    I was then thinking of changing the manky Stainless Steel valves? To fresh looking ones, since decorating the room but this is where the fun will really start, i.e. more serious pluming.

    Here is a pic of the radiator connector ports? (not sure of nomenclature).

    IMG_0092.jpg IMG_0093.jpg IMG_0094.jpg

    Now, I cannot seem to get the nuts off either end and I assume that's because there is an olive? Clamped to both ends stopping this.

    This however shouldn't be an issue as I need to remove the whole piece from within the radiator, that being what a plumbers wrench? Is used for. I can see ptfe? tape coming out of both radiator ports, so I assume something has been screwed into both ends.

    I'm going to go ahead and assume that I unwind those inserts out of the radiator as they will be replaced with the new valve kits I buy.

    I then have to put some PTFE? tape around the new insert and some plumbers compound? So to make a good seal. Can you buy inserts with a better system, i.e with washers already included (although I doubt olive ones). Some seem to have black grommets/washers as well but they were on spacers not the standard valve kit I saw in the box? If so, part names, numbers, or URL's would be great.

    Here are 2 pictures of the remaining pipes and the valves I will have to remove to put on new ones.

    IMG_0095.jpg IMG_0097.jpg

    To remove these I will need to undo the nuts but before doing that I will need to turn off the water heating system and boiler.

    I know that I can either close off the mains riser (under my sink), tie up the ballcock in the loft (haven't been up there in 10 years and don't want to, don't even have ladder to get up there), or locate what could be a valve in the airing cupboard, which brings me to the most bemusing part of all, my airing cupboard.

    Check this out! (probably a separate thread in itself).

    I have started labelling what I think is going on, although if anyone knows exactly, please tell me.

    I think the water heating system is turned on or off by the red wheel valve? Located nearest the door. The big pipe at the back is the main cold into the cylinder and although the pump is upside down? That feeds the 2 port, 3 way switch? Into the coil. Why is the pump upside down? is this to do with the way the mains feeds into the roof?

    I cant really figure out why the pipe I selected as the water heating pipe with red valve, is the water heating pipe, as I see no immediate connection but I also don't see any other need for a pipe to have a shut off valve. (The pen marking is mine)


    Right so I will shut that off, and prepare to shut of the mains riser too if the system doesn't seem to drain. I also hear when draining the system that I should switch the metal box at the bottom of the pic into 'Manual' instead of auto and leave it on 'Manual' when filling. Why is that, out of curiosity?

    But here is the next issue.

    This is the drain pipe added to the radiator on the bottom floor.


    Yeh weird right? And it leaks, so I want to get rid of that too!

    I suppose without this thread getting too long on my part I should stop and ask

    1) How do I remove the olive washer from the pipe going up into the valve once I remove the valve, so I don't have to cut the pipe to get it off?
    I assume there will be one when I undo the nuts on the valves

    2) Is that the heater pipe and valve in my airing cupboard and will closing that off help me drain the system? I assume it will, if it is indeed the correct valve.

    3) Can you kindly give me any names, Url's and or part numbers for the bits I will need. I am going to replace the standard valves with TRV's? (Thermostatic) and can you recommend some cheaper ones that work well? I will need 5 in total so around £10 eat would be great.

    I will need help with replacing the draining valve downstairs but best to not make this initial post too long.

    Best Wishes and Kindest Regards


  2. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Trusted Plumber GSR

    I for one feel like I'm attending a DIY Plumbing course reading this post.

    Very detailed I will grant you.

    You need to either use an olive cutter, or cut through it with a junior hacksaw ( skill needed, if you nick the pipe your up the creek or can be), try putting a spanner beneath it first and gently tapping it to see if it will come off, sometimes you're lucky. You can normally see if it has been over tightened to be honest, if it has, cutting is the only way.
    Hard to say off that pic. Best bet is for you to go look in the loft. It could be something else like a cold feed to a bath? I cannot see it well enough on my screen, others may!
    I don't know what a URL is.
    I would only use a decent make like Danfoss. They do different models but any good Plumbers merchant will advise you. You don't need part numbers and if you needed a URL, I would know by now.
    I think it may be a record already lol.

    I see you are confident?
    Are you well practised at Plumbing or is this a first?
    • Funny Funny x 4
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  3. townfanjon

    townfanjon Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Not taking the mick Carl , but your post made me laugh , you now know why we charge what we do .

    Good luck with it .
    • Like Like x 2
    • Funny Funny x 2
  4. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Trusted Plumber GSR

    I sense the opening of a can of worms, do you ?
    I hope it goes well, It could go so wrong.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. townfanjon

    townfanjon Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Lol lol , oh yes
    • Funny Funny x 1
  6. Best

    Best Trusted Plumber

    Before I read the replies, I thought same as the others. The OPs wording suggests he would be better getting a heating guy in to do it. It would be the simplest job to a pro and only a few minutes work. I could replace those valves, including nuts and olives, without draining the system. It is one of those jobs I would like.
    They are Conet rad valves and have good quality nuts and olives, but terrible valve body as the rubber packing seal leaks and the plastic head breaks easy.
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  7. jtsplumbing

    jtsplumbing Plumber GSR

    Carl do yourself a favour get a Plumber in for couple of hrs to do your valves and replace the 2 Red handle valves in your airing cupboard for full bore leaver valves, don't forget to put inhibitor back into your heating system
    • Like Like x 1
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  8. The Carlton Dance

    The Carlton Dance New Member

    Thank you very much for your response. The advice you gave about the olive and the spanner will be my first go to.

    I have heard about cutting into the olive with a hacksaw and although if I nick the top of the copper pipe, its not the end of the world because and I suppose, I would have to cut it anyway, if I can't get the olive off. And if worse comes to dbl worse, I could always cut the pipe lower down, install a connecting piece, then put a new bit of pipe in the top?

    I suspect that if I do have to cut the pipe, it will then be a case of me doing the same the other side and then lowering the Radiator mount an equal distance. Then it should fit as normal. If I'm lucky I could route out the the existing mounting brackets (if there is enough metal to increase the depth of the grooves)? As they are in place and disturbing them would be a nightmare. I have metal studded dry walls. They don't like raw plugs.

    No never done plumbing before, really nervous about this frankly hence why I'm here getting as much help as I can before I flood the house.
    I have spent the whole of yesterday watching youtube videos, which has given me everything I know so far. Plus a very kind guy from Grahams plumbing. (Sorry that's not an advert and I can remove it if it offends anyone). As long as I cover my back (know about the main riser and have lots of buckets on standby), things shouldn't get too drastic.

    And of course with you guys helping, I should be in good shape.

    If you have the time here are some more pics fo the airing cupboard.

    Best Regards

    P.s, I'm dyslexic and with Asperges. We seem to be quite linear thinkers hence the way of cataloguing but have trouble containing the amount of information ;)

    IMG_0100.jpg IMG_0101.jpg IMG_0102.jpg IMG_0104.jpg IMG_0108.jpg IMG_0109.jpg
  9. The Carlton Dance

    The Carlton Dance New Member

    Well the last plumber put that awful drain valve in. Didn't secure a radiator properly and left the thermostat valve on the frost stetting, so I come home during winter to find the bottom floor flooded. Just after I'd laid laminate flooring.

    I've had every cowboy from here to Texas in, so now I'm doing it myself.

    Obviously I make no general comment on Plumbers or tradesmen, perhaps I have just had bad luck or am prone to picking the wrong type of ppl, or not standing up for myself when it all goes wrong.

    But thanks, I agree with your post entirely. I would actually like to be much more knowledgable on plumbing so this seems like a great opportunity.
  10. The Carlton Dance

    The Carlton Dance New Member

    I don't mean to be rude and of course shoot myself in the foot but isn't the point of me taking all this time to open an account here, make a fun avatar, start a long thread that took me a few hours to put together, be, so that someone with knowledge in return, imparts some to me lol??

    How would you do it without draining the system, is it by freezing the pipes?

    And what are you referring to in the last paragraph. The Conet rad valves. Are you telling me to not use them and are they the valves for the radiator?

    I would of course be in a better position to pay a plumber but have had a bad run with tradesmen and am currently refusing to have anymore in. The last one flooded my house and now I don't have the money anyway to pay anyone.

    Unless you live in pompey and or are happy to do it out of good will, the next best option is to help me here :)

    but I understand your knowledge has been earned and shouldn't be given away free which then asks, what is the point in this forum for DIY enthusiasts?

    Anyway I appreciate your response and thanks for taking the time to respond. You didn't have to.
  11. The Carlton Dance

    The Carlton Dance New Member

    Hi, thanks for the response. I actually cannot afford to pay a plumber currently and without taking the radiator off, I cannot decorate the room.

    Thanks for the tip on the the full bore valves. I assume they are the ones you get on say gas pipes, with a handle as opposed to a wheel?

    If the gentleman who knows how to replace valves without draining the system can tell me how, I might get away with only having to add inhibitor back into the two radiators I will have drained, instead of the whole system.

    Anything to save me going into the loft.

  12. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Trusted Plumber GSR

    Looking at the last set of pics Carlton, I am fairly sure that the pipe you labelled 'Heating valve' is not for the Heating. I suspect it is a cold feed to something. I may be wrong because I'm going off photographs.

    You need to look in the loft for an isolation from the F+E tank or, drain the heating after you have turned the mains water off.

    It is - as everyone is saying - a very easy job for a Plumber and you would be best advised to employ one. However, if you would rather try it yourself, that's fair enough.

    The Gentleman (@Best@Best ), who said he could do it without draining down has a wealth of experience on his side. I personally think you would be safer draining it off if you're inexperienced at Plumbing.
    No offence meant, it's just that if it went wrong it could make a mess.
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  13. Best

    Best Trusted Plumber

    The old valves are Conet and probably not made any more. You really just need decent replacement thermostatic valves on most of the radiators and also replace the other side. You can get TRV with a lockshield packs of rad valves.
    I do not freeze pipes, but do it a different method, but you will be best to just drain the lot, as Last Plumber said. I don't want to have you getting into bother and causing water damage.
    I would have had all your valves replaced quicker than you typed your post no doubt, but I have been doing that sort of work regularly.
    It is a shame you haven't found a plumber you have confidence with. It doesn't surprise me, but there will be some good plumbers out there if you keep trying.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. The Carlton Dance

    The Carlton Dance New Member

    What do you think would be a good way to go about checking?

    If I turn the heating system on and the pipe gets hot, would that be a good sign its not a cold feed and if doesn't get hot it is more likely as you say, a cold feed (which is probably right).

    Seems like a hell of a mess of pipes lol

    I agree I was probably more curious about his method. Being somewhat of an autodidact has that effect.

    When I drain down in the next cpl days, I'll make sure I turn the whole system off.

    Will be great if I can avoid getting into the loft but I also know that adding Inhibitor is easiest done in the tank, although apparently not as good as adding it to the rad itself.

    I will have 5 radiators to do in total so I can see the drain down being done several times, over a few days. Probably best to add the inhibitor at the end when I'm done.

    Thanks a lot for your responses.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
  15. The Carlton Dance

    The Carlton Dance New Member

    Thanks for the info. I agree with you 100%, it will be the safest option to do as you say.

    Again it really is a case of money. Paying someone £100 I don't have when i'm saving that for a 3d printer seems like an impossible choice.

    Besides it will be nice to be more like my dad who seems to be able to fix anything, including pipes, electric, cars, you name it. Mans got to be a man so to speak.

    Im hoping you guys will help guide me as I go. I will keep you up to date with whats going on and it may come down to slipping you a drink over PayPal for a bit of face time if I get really stuck.

    I was going to go with these valves as a replacement although I know 'Last plumber' recommended another brand, I haven't looked into those yet but will do in a min.

    What do you guys rec?

    They are £10 for a pack including lock shield.
    Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 22.38.13.png

    Altech Angled TRV with L/S Valve 15mm White Pk 2 - Radiator Valves & Accessories | Graham

    The only reservation I have with these is that they only work from 7 degrees upwards. Although none seem to work below 0 degrees. I guess it's no big deal as you would rarely set your rads to below 10 anyway right?

    Also do you have any better recommendations for TRV packs off the top of your head?

    And lastly (sorry) the adjustable side on the radiator I pictured is on the right hand side, which seems a little odd and annoying since it puts it into a corner, which would mean its ability to read a room temp accurately will be greatly diminished. Can I swap the sides over? (I'm going to assume the answer is no and bring about some merriment from ppl who know even the basics of pluming, which I clearly don't lol).

    Thanks in advance.
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