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Radiator Leak

How to Diagnose and Fix the Problem in No Time

There are many things that may go wrong and damage your home’s comfort, but very few are as unpleasant as discovering a wet spot or puddle of water close to your radiator. If that occurs, you must act quickly to avoid any cupping or crowning of your floor or furniture.

Fortunately, we’re here to assist so that you won’t have to deal with the problem alone. Follow along to learn how to fix a radiator leak and even some preventative measures.

Determine the Source of The Leak

Put some towels or used rags on the floor near the radiator and have a pail available to collect as much water as you can. As radiator leaks can originate from a number of different places, you can now take a moment to unwind before identifying the precise location of the leak. Anything from a loose joint to a tiny pinhole in your radiator body could be the cause of that.

Dry every area of your appliance with a towel or an old rag, but be careful if it’s on because you run the danger of getting burned. You’ll be able to explore and eventually locate the water leak quickly if you dry out your radiator.

The next step is to wipe each component one by one with some toilet paper to observe if the paper becomes moist. Examine every component of your appliance, including the pipes, couplings, and valves, in addition to the device’s body. The radiator’s component that wets the toilet paper is obviously to blame for the leak.

Here’s How to Fix a Leaking Radiator

Now that you are aware of the source of your radiator’s leak, it is time to fix it. So, prepare to get your hands dirty and roll up your sleeves for some DIY maintenance. We’ll go through various radiator components that are prone to leakage, explain why this occurs, and offer some suggestions for how to remedy it.

How to fix a leaking radiator valve

The spindle packing, which is located inside, generally wears down over time or sustains damage while the valve leaks in a “mid-open” position. But don’t worry, a leaky radiator valve is probably one of the easiest issues to fix.

When you fully close your valve in this situation, the leak typically stops, giving you enough time to replace the valve on your own or to get professional assistance. But if it continues, follow these instructions:

Step 1. Discharge any water

You must first drain the water from your unit to a location below the leak in order to fix the leaky valve. By doing so, you’ll stop your radiator from losing more water.

Step 2. Cut the water supply

To prevent your radiator from filling while you work on it, close the water supply valve.

Step 3. Turn your lockshield valve

The lockshield valve’s function is to balance your radiators within the framework of your entire home’s heating system. It features a white plastic top and is situated at the other end of your radiator.

Turn the lockshield valve, but pay attention to how many turns it requires to completely close; you’ll need to adjust it back to its original position after you’re done. And if there is a screw on the top of your valve, use a screwdriver to loosen it till you feel free to turn the appliance.

Step 4. Prepare the area

Make sure the towels and bucket are prepared in case there are any additional leaks while the repair is being done. Grab a spanner that can be adjusted as well, and get ready to start working.

Step 5. Untighten the union nut

Utilising the prepared adjustable spanner, carefully remove the union nut holding the supply pipe and radiator together. Use grips on the valve itself to prevent it from moving if it’s difficult to move.

Step 6. Bleed your radiators

The heating system should first be turned off and allowed to cool for a bit to prevent burns from hot water. By opening the bleed valve, which is located on the top right of your radiator, you can let the remaining water exit the appliance.

To avoid dealing with a fresh puddle of water, don’t forget to set the bucket beneath the apparatus. Keep calm and use a screwdriver to loosen the pluck if you don’t have a bleed key to bleed the valve.

Step 7. Wrap the valve with PTFE

At the male end of the fixture, wrap some PTFE tape, also called “plumber’s tape,” 10 to 20 times around the valve tail. In this manner, you will hopefully stop the leak and bandage it until you get a replacement valve.

Step 8. Tighten the union nut and start your water

Re-tighten the union nut and open the water supply valve to fill the heater.

Step 9. Open the lockshield valve and test

The lockshield valve, remember? How many times have you actually spun it? It’s time to open it up to the previous point, then. If the leak still exists once you’re done, check how the radiator functions.

Ideally, it will work, but if not, you could need to replace the radiator valve. Read on to learn how to move forward.

How to change your radiator valve

To prevent a leak from happening again, you might wish to completely replace the valve because, as they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry. However, to ensure that the new valve fits the water pipe precisely, make sure you purchase the same type as the old one.

It could seem difficult to replace the valve, so you might want to think about hiring a specialist to do it instead. Otherwise, you can rapidly learn how to change a radiator valve if you consider yourself a DIY enthusiast.

Radiator leaking from couplings and pipes

You can also discover that the radiator’s piping and connectors have a leak. If you find one, you must turn the appliance off and let it cool for a while before attempting to fix it. By doing so, you may operate more safely, and since the fasteners will shrink as the heat decreases, it won’t be too difficult to loosen them.

A leaking radiator valve spindle

The spindle is a small fixture, part of your radiator valve; it connects the pipework and the appliance, and when damaged, it may be the fundamental cause of a leak. Fortunately, you can efficiently deal with that issue, so follow those steps:

  • First, carefully remove the plastic valve cap of your valve.
  • Try to tighten up your gland nut with an adjustable spanner. You can find it right below the spindle.
  • See if the leak still occurs and if it does, loosen the gland nut instead.
  • Wrap a fair amount of PTFE tape around the spindle and try to push the tape into the body of the coupling.
  • Tighten the gland nut once again and test the radiator.

A leak from the gland nut

Sometimes, you can patch a radiator leak by merely re-tightening the radiator valve gland nut. But if that fails, you’ll most likely need to replace the olive within the coupling. 

  • Before you begin, turn your heating system off and cut your water supply.
  • Next, unfasten the nut that connects your radiator and the leaking pipe, but make sure to have towels and a bucket ready, as you’ll have to collect some water.
  • Then completely remove the nut and its fitting from the tubing.
  • Now try to detach the uncovered olive and prepare the new one for fitting.
  • Wrap it with a bit of PTFE tape before back in place.

A leaking pipe joint

Leaks may take place when the pipe joints loosen or get worn out. Although, you’ll have a set of those joints that link the pipes to your radiator only if you have a compression heating system.

See if you can tighten up those fixtures with an adjustable spanner. Usually, that stops the leak, but if it doesn’t, check out this quick solution:

  • Turn off your heating system and cut the water supply to your radiator.
  • Drain the water out of your appliance to a point below the source of the leak.
  • Untighten the joint nut with an adjustable spanner and try to detach the leaking pipe.
  • Wrap around 20 cm of PTFE tape around the area where the face of the olive crosses the joint.
  • Tighten the nut again, but don’t overdo it, as you may damage your couplings.

How to fix a pinhole leak in a central heating radiator

The presence of corrosion is a bad indicator for any appliance. In actuality, this is one of the primary causes of “pinhole leaks,” also known as radiator body leaks. We regret to inform you of some unfortunate news.

This type of leak is brought on by corrosion because the body of your appliance has rust spots from a significant black sludge buildup. Your ideal option in this circumstance is to entirely replace your radiator, but if you don’t have a sealed central heating system, we may have a short-term fix.

  • Before you do anything, make sure that you have a feed and expansion tank, and not a sealed system. Consult with a Corgi registered plumber near you if you have any questions regarding the type of your system.
  • To stop the leak, cautiously apply a plastic resin sealant.
  • Start looking for a new radiator, because that fix might not last for as long as you wish.

And if your radiator is still leaking?

Despite any short-term fixes you may employ, your radiator may be corroding or a leak may still exist. If that occurs, you will need to think about having your unit inspected and possibly replaced. But removing a radiator and installing a new appliance are both more difficult than they appear.

We advise calling a qualified heating specialist to install your radiators since they promise a job well done with no mess left behind.

How to Prevent Radiator Leaks

The idea of another leak is unsettling, regardless of whether you had your old radiator repaired or purchased a brand-new, gleaming appliance. Use a radiator cleaning and a rust and corrosion inhibitor on a regular basis to prevent such catastrophes from happening again.

Don’t forget to look into any indications of damage in the fixtures and pipe connections that connect the radiator to your central heating system. You can save money by finding problems early and making less expensive repairs.

Key Takeaways

Finding water leaking from your radiator is a bothersome problem, but the fix is simpler than you would have imagined. The culprit is frequently a faulty radiator valve, but you should also inspect the couplings and other tiny fittings on the radiator. If you don’t have good fortune, you’re probably dealing with corrosion-related pinhole leaks.

Before undertaking any DIY repairs or installations, consider the time and money involved. A reliable heating service may be a better choice.

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