How to Turn a Radiator Off

Radiators use water and steam to heat your home, but if you want to cool down or perform maintenance, you’ll have to turn it off. Radiators, whether they’re 1-pipe or 2-pipe systems, are easy to turn off with the turn of just a few valves. No matter the type of radiator you have, with a few simple tools you can keep your radiator from running.


Turning the Valves on Your Radiator

1. Locate the thermostatic valve on the left side of the radiator if you have one. Most times, the thermostatic valve is on the bottom of the radiator. If the valve is not near the floor, then it can be found at the top of the radiator’s left side. Look for a dial that has numbers on it to determine if it’s a thermostatic valve.

  • While some radiators just have an on and off switch, a thermostatic radiator allows you to control the amount of heat it puts out.
  • If your radiator doesn’t have a thermostatic valve or is a 1-pipe system, you can skip this step. word image 955 1

2. Turn the valve clockwise so the dial reads 0. Twist the valve by hand until it doesn’t turn any further and the arrow on the dial points to 0. This means the temperature is set so the radiator won’t run.

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3. Find the second valve on the right side of the radiator. This valve is also located near the floor but on the right side. The valve should have a plastic twist cap on top of it.

  • If you don’t have a thermostatic valve, all you need to do is turn this valve.

4. Twist the valve clockwise until it doesn’t turn anymore. Once both valves are closed, the radiator will be completely turned off so you can cool down.

  • Let the radiator cool down for at least an hour before touching it.

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Removing a Lockshield Valve


1. Remove the screw from the valve cap if there is one. Look on the right side of your radiator near the floor to find the valve. Use a screwdriver and turn the screw counter-clockwise until it’s loose. Set the screw aside in a safe place so you don’t lose it.

    • Not all lockshield valves will have a screw.
    • Check the valve beforehand to determine if you need a flathead or Phillips head screwdriver.

2. Take the cap off of the valve. Lockshield valves have caps that don’t control anything when if you try to turn them. Remove the cap to access the actual valve underneath. When the screw is removed, simply lift the cap off the valve and set it aside so it doesn’t get lost.

  • If your valve cap had a screw, store the cap and screw together.

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3. Turn the valve clockwise with a pair of pliers. Grip the top of the metal valve with a sturdy pair of pliers and turn it clockwise. Keep turning the valve until it doesn’t go any further. When it’s all the way to the right, the radiator is off.

  • The metal valve may be hot, so do not touch it with your bare hands.


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