How to Turn Off a Radiator

Radiators are commonplace in every household, so knowing a little bit about how they work and how to look after them is important. You can experience that warm and cosy feeling when you need it most once mastering the basics of their use. Whether that’s how to bleed them, move them or how to turn off a radiator completely, there are plenty of tips and tricks to know.

As you never know when you may need to, here’s how to turn off a radiator quickly and easily. There are a few reasons why you might want to turn off a radiator that includes:

  • If you’re looking to avoid overheating the room when the weather warms up and the amount of heat that it produces is no longer necessary.
  • If you’re replacing a radiator, removing it completely or plumbing work is taking place, turning off the radiator is essential.
  • If you’re trying to save money on your heating and gas bills, turning off your radiator can be beneficial when it comes to increasing your savings.


How long does it take to turn off a radiator?

Turning off your radiator doesn’t require much effort and it should only take you a couple of minutes! Whether you’re having plumbing work done, or you want to cool a room down in the summer months, turning your radiator off is a quick and easy task that you can carry out without the need for a plumber. But before you start, there are a couple of things that you should be aware of to make the job as easy as possible.

Radiator valves

Before you can turn off your radiator, it is helpful to know whether your radiator has matching valves or two different valves. Maybe you have a modern, designer radiator or a more traditional column radiator. They will come with two different valves: a thermostatic valve that controls temperature and a lock-shield valve, which controls the water supply to your radiator. These valves are both manual so you don’t need any extra tools or gadgets to help you out when it comes to turning the radiator off – if you find the valves are particularly hard to turn, you may need a spanner or a flat screwdriver, particularly if your radiators are rusty.

Turning off your radiator

  1. Turn off your thermostatic valve – this is the dial that has numbers on it and is usually located at the bottom left of the radiator. Once located, turn your valve clockwise until the arrow points to zero.
  2. Close the lockshield valve – this valve will be located on the opposite side of your thermostatic valve. It is commonly covered by a plastic cap that can be lifted off and removed completely.

When you’ve removed the plastic cap from the valve, this should expose a notch to the top that can be moved with a screwdriver. All you need to do is twist the valve clockwise until it cannot be turned any further.

  1. You’ve successfully turned off your radiator. By turning off your valves, you’re preventing water from escaping your radiator by turning your lockshield valve, and you have prevented any water from entering by turning off the thermostatic valve.


One-valve radiators

As mentioned previously, turning off your radiator is a quick and easy job – but what happens if you have an older radiator that only has one valve? In previous years, radiators didn’t have a thermostatic valve to control the temperature, because the heating was controlled through the boiler, so you had to go to the central heating system to adapt it. Turning off an old radiator is still simple; it just requires a few extra steps and a couple of screwdrivers.

  1. Remove the cap from the valve – If your radiator has a cap over its valve, you may find that it is screwed into place. In this case, use your screwdriver to unscrew the cap and remove it from the valve.
  2. Turn off the lockshield valve – For this, you might need a pair of pliers! Grip the top of the valve and turn it clockwise. If you turn it until it can go no further, this means your radiator is completely turned off. It is so important that you don’t use your hands to turn the valve – they get very hot, and you could end up burning yourself.
  3. Let your radiator cool down – If you’re turning your radiator off to move it or replace it, you should allow it to cool down completely before handling. It is recommended that you should give it an hour or two for it to become cool.

So, it’s as simple as that! By following the instructions correctly depending on the type of radiators you have, turning off your heating unit should be easy and something that shouldn’t take you long at all.

The benefits of turning off your radiator

There are benefits of turning off a radiator, specifically in rooms you don’t use often or where you don’t need to heat the room constantly, such as with towel rail radiators. If you’re looking for ways to save money on your energy bills, or heat your home more efficiently, there are ways that turning off your radiators can help, such as:

  • Turning off your heating in unused rooms will save you money overall
  • Your boiler will work more efficiently if you turn some of your less-used radiators off
  • The rest of your house will heat up more quickly and effectively

Sometimes, turning off a radiator in a room can mean the risk of dampness. As a way of trying to prevent this, the best thing to do is to turn the heating on in the room intermittently, to prevent the air in the room from becoming moist and feeling stuffy. Airing the room from time to time, as well as this can help to prevent your room from becoming damp.

For more on choosing the right radiators for your home, use our radiator size calculator for further information on what you need to do