How Does a Thermostatic Valve Work: Ways to Keep Your Home Warm

how does a thermostatic valve work

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A thermostatic valve is a radiator control valve that regulates the temperature of various devices by controlling water flow. It is mostly used in household radiators for temperature adjustments.

While this appliance regulates the temperature of different spaces, most valves work under a simple principle. Understanding how radiator valves operate can make it easier for you to comprehend how to regulate the temperature in your home.

In this post, we are going to show you how does a thermostatic valve work, making it easier for you to fit one in a hot water system. So let’s get right into it.

Main Component of a Thermostatic Valve

Before we dive deeper into this, let’s take a look at the main component of a thermostatic valve (TRV);

Thermostatic Head

It is the upper part of a thermostatic valve (TRV) that regulates the temperature of a specific space. Although this part controls the interior temperature of a certain space, some thermostatic heads have developed and can now carry out additional functions. For instance, some can start regulating the temperature of a certain room at a predetermined time.

How Thermostatic Radiator Valves Work

In a central heating system, hot water can be transported from the boiler to the radiator in a plastic pipe or copper pipe. The radiator inlet contains a thermostatic valve (TRV), which controls the flow of hot water. Moreover, the TRV has a pin that moves in a certain manner to close or open the valve based on the room temperature of a specific space.

If the pin moves downward, it closes the valve and reduces the amount of hot water going into the heating unit. On the other hand, if the pin moves upward, it opens the valve and then lets hot water into the radiator.

Most thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) come with a control knob located just above the pin. The knob lets you control the temperature levels in a room.

The head of the thermostatic radiator valve contains a sensor that detects the temperature in a room and then expands or contracts due to temperature change. The sensor might be made using wax or liquid.

If the temperature in a room increases, the sensor (manufactured from wax or liquid) will detect the temperature and then expand. Once it starts to expand, the pin will move downwards to close the TRV valve. Once the valve is closed, hot water will stop flowing into the radiator, decreasing the overall temperature of a specific room.

On the other hand, if the temperature in a room drops below a certain level, the sensor will start contracting. After that, the pin will move upwards, then open the radiator valve. Hot water will start flowing into the radiator to increase the overall temperature of the room. Finally, the valve opens to trigger the heating functionality of the radiator.

Some thermostatic radiator valves might also come with a metal coil that expands or contracts due to temperature changes. However, they still follow the same principles as other thermostatic radiator valves while heating a certain room.

Convectional Thermostatic Valve

With a conventional TRV, you can adjust the temperature of a room using basic controls. Conventional thermostatic radiator valves come with different temperature settings that let you regulate the temperature. For instance, you can set the thermostatic radiator valve at a level 5 setting so that it adjusts temperatures to a certain degree.

Moreover, conventional thermostatic radiator valves have a head that regulates the temperature. The head contains a certain element (sensor) with a liquid or a wax component, which expands or contracts due to temperature changes. The thermostatic head also has a pin that moves while opening or closing the valve. Once the element moves, it opens or closes the radiator valve by moving the pin from one point to another.

For instance, if you had set the desired temperature at 30Β°c, then the temperature of a room reaches 30Β°c, and the element in the thermostatic head will start to expand. Once this happens, the pin will start moving upwards, and then close the gap that’s found in the TRV.

On the other hand, if the temperature drops below the desired temperature, the element in the thermostatic head will contract. After that, the pin that is found on the sensor will start moving back to open the thermostatic radiator valve, then let water into the radiator to warm your room and cause a heating effect.

Smart/Electronic Thermostatic Radiator Valve

Unlike conventional thermostatic radiator valves, smart thermostatic radiator valves can be easily adjusted while regulating the heat temperature. Not to mention, in some models, you can adjust the heat temperature with radiator thermostats.

A thermostat is a unique device that gives you total control over your TRV, making it possible for you to regulate heat temperatures straight from your mobile device. A smart thermostat is also compatible with a massive number of mobile phones. In addition, some models might come with a thermostat for adjusting temperature settings. On the other hand, you have to purchase a separate thermostat in some models and then configure it to your valve to control the temperature settings.

You can also control the settings without it. However, a thermostat makes everything much easier for you.

Furthermore, smart valves are energy efficient and help you save more than 40% of energy, reducing your total heating bills.

Electric thermostatic valves come with a sensor element that helps in temperature regulation. Moreover, such valves feature a display screen that shows your current temperature setting and switching times.

Also, smart radiator valves might offer you different control buttons that let you control and change the settings. For electric valves to operate effectively, they have to be fitted with fully charged batteries.


Energy Saving

Unlike manual valves, thermostatic valves are quite energy-efficient and can reduce your power bills. Such can help you save money. On the other hand, manual valves are pretty expensive and can make you spend a lot of money on bills.

Most thermostatic valves operate automatically, depending on the overall temperature of a particular room.

Once the predetermined temperature is attained, the TRV closes, saving some energy. Due to this, it is pretty hard for a room to overheat.

Temperature Adjustment

A TRV can adjust the temperature in different rooms, keeping you warm during cold seasons. Not to mention, you can adjust the temperature based on the usage of a room.

For instance, if a radiator is fitted in a busy space, you can choose a high-temperature setting. On the other hand, if a radiator is installed in a private room, you should select a low-temperature setting because the room is not used too much.

While radiator valves can be fitted in different rooms, installing a radiator in a bathroom might not be advisable.

Available In Different Designs

As mentioned earlier, TRVs come in different shapes and designs, which are ideal for multiple radiators. For instance, there are different conventional valves and electrical thermostatic valves, which might suit you.

Such valves have different controls that help adjust the temperatures in different rooms.

Moreover, TRVs have different designs that make them ideal for various radiators. For example, some valves have an angled shape to fit on radiator pipes that are fixed in a certain way.

Easy to Install

TRVs can be installed easily on your house heating system to regulate the overall temperature.

Most valves do not have complex components that might be challenging to install or fix. With the appropriate tools, you can easily install a TRV on your radiator.

Since most valves have different designs, they can fit perfectly on multiple radiator systems.

Such Valves Are Affordable

Most TRVs can be purchased at an affordable cost. Not to mention, there is a wide variety of TRVs that have different price tags, making it easier for you to choose the one that you prefer the most.

While expensive valves might have tons of different features, most valves come with basic features needed to regulate the overall temperature in a room. However, some might have additional components that might cause a price change.

Different Types of Valves Based on Design

Thermostatic radiator valves have different designs, making it easier for you to find the one that can fit your radiator’s pipework perfectly. Not to mention, radiators have various pipework styles.

While the design of thermostatic radiator valves might be different, they still follow the same concept as they are adjusting temperatures.

These are some of the various types of TRV designs that are suitable for various pipework:

Angled Thermostatic Radiator Valves

Angled valves are ideal for pipes that are fixed to a radiator at a tight angle. Not to mention, this angled style of connecting those two fittings is used in many houses.

H Block Radiator Valve Style

Some radiators come with inlets and connection points that are positioned in the middle or central part of the radiator.

H block valves are ideal for radiators that have middle inlets. Once the valve is connected to the radiator, it will form a connection that resembles the letter H.

Straight Thermostatic Radiator Valve

A straight thermostatic valve is suitable for pipes that don’t have any angles or curves. For example, a straight thermostatic valve can be installed on a pipe that runs straight along a certain surface like a wall or a floor. Once water flows from the boiler to a straight valve, it is directed straight to get to the radiator.

How Radiators Work

Most radiators are a part of the central heating system and are connected to such systems with hot water pipes.

Hot water comes from the boiler, then passes through the pipes and gets into a radiator. After that, it warms up a room. Once the hot water gets into a radiator, it heats the air surrounding the radiator, causing a temperature change in a specific room and saving you from cold conditions. After a certain period, the warm air will rise. There are different types of radiators, such as towel rails radiators.

Get a Thermostatic Radiator Valve

And there you have it, all the information that you require to know how does a thermostatic valve work. Of course, the most important part of a radiator valve is the sensor. It is the part that detects temperature changes in rooms, then contracts or expands to balance the flow of water.

While TRVs might have different designs and different sensors, they all function by following the same principle. Thanks to this, most valves are energy efficient and can help you save a lot of money on energy bills. Plus, they are quite versatile and have different designs that can fit various radiator styles.

Let us know what kind of valves you have in your home.

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