REDwire Six factors to consider during radiator valve selection

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Keystone Steam Supplies provides radiator valves from multiple manufacturers.

When a radiator valve is required for an application, there are a number of factors to consider before making a selection. 

First, it’s important to understand how a radiator valve works in order to appreciate the important role it plays in regulating the temperature of a room. Consider a radiator valve to be like a single control tap where you have both hot and cold water mixing. Too cold and your hands will be freezing; too hot and you won’t be able to hold your hands under the water stream. Therefore, you adjust the hot and cold water flow to get it just right. A radiator valve uses the same methodology — adjusting the temperature in a room based on what you would like it to be.

A standard thermostatic radiator valve operates by using a media that expands and contracts with temperature. The set-point dial determines the desired temperature, the sensor reads the surrounding air temperature, and the information is then transmitted to the valve, telling it to either open or close. This either allows or restricts steam or hot water into the radiator. As the media expands, the valve closes and reduces the amount of steam or hot water entering the radiator. As it contracts, more steam or hot water enters the radiator, and the room becomes warmer.

Next, consider whether the radiator valve is going to regulate the flow of steam or hot water into a radiator automatically or manually. When it’s done automatically, the valve sensor reads the temperature of the surrounding air and adjusts the flow of steam or hot water to the preset temperature. In manual operations, it’s simply a matter of either opening or closing the valve by hand.

It’s also important to think about the room size and how many radiator valves are needed. For larger areas — e.g., church halls that contain more than one radiator — multiple radiator valves can be controlled from a central point, using either pneumatic or electric controls. 

Sizing is also an important consideration. Thermostatic radiator valves come in multiple sizes — from ½ to 1-½ inches and more, though ½- and ¾-inch sizes are most common for standard steam and hot water installations.

Of course, connection type is also an important factor. Thermostatic radiator valves commonly have threaded connections, but sweat connections are also available in most cases. 

Valve orientation is another consideration, as radiator valves come in straight pattern, angle pattern or side-mount angle pattern. 

There is certainly a lot to think about when selecting the appropriate radiator valve for the job. Fortunately, Keystone Steam Supplies has the expertise to help. The Mississauga, Ont.-based company provides radiator valves from multiple manufacturers, including (but not limited to): DAHL, Danfoss, Dunham-Bush, Hoffman, Honeywell, Honeywell-Braukmann, Invensys, Mepco, TACO and Watts. Contact Keystone Steam Supplies to learn more. 


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