This will show you a couple of options regarding pipework to your bathroom radiator or towel warmer.
If you have received an estimate from me and are keen to drill down into the details then this article is for you. It explains the difference between straight and angled manual radiator valves and the implications that this can have for your bathroom fitting project.
Straight valves are so called as the water runs through the valve in a straight line – i/e in one end & out the other without changing direction.
When used in conjunction with a towel radiator as above, this means that the copper pipes will come up from the floor and into the bottom of the radiator via the valves. This is a standard installation.
The point at which the pipe penetrates the floor covering (tiles, vinyl, laminate) can be covered with a collar, which can be chrome or white coloured plastic or even solid wood.
Angled valves are so called as the water runs through the valve and into the radiator but has to turn through 90° when doing so.
When used in conjunction with a towel radiator this means that the copper pipes will come out from the wall and into the radiator via the valves as shown above.
This means that the pipework needs to be hidden in the wall before being tiled or plastered over, but it does allow radiators to be positioned in otherwise awkward areas e.g. over the bath as in the example above and below:
Above you can see how pipework is chased into the wall at 1st fix plumbing stage to hide it – Pipe positioning at this stage is crucial so that the radiator ends up where you want it when all the tiling has been completed.
Which should I have?
In some instances you will have a choice between using straight valves (with the pipes coming up from the floor) or using angled valves (with the pipes coming out from the wall).If you wish to have the radiator very high up on the wall or over a bath then you will need angled valves (with the pipes coming out from the wall).If the radiator is in a ‘standard’ position you have 2 options:
- Straight valves & pipes coming up from the floor (cheaper option – normally assumed)
- Angled valves & pipes hidden in wall & tiled / plastered over (more expensive option)
Finishing pipework off
Unless otherwise stated standard copper pipe with a chrome plastic collar will be used (chrome collar not shown in picture above).
Copper pipe can be painted but it is never advisable to paint the fittings as it makes maintenance very difficult.
For a little extra time & money you can have chrome plated pipe which looks better.
Just make sure that you specifically request it.
When using chrome pipe you will need to file back the chrome surface in order to insert it into a pushfit or solder-ring fitting.
Duel fuel towel radiators
Image courtesy of www.tapstore.com.
Duel fuel towel warmers are connected to the central heating system (like a radiator) but also have an electric heating element.
This means that they can be used in winter with the central heating, but also in summer by using the electric element.
This arrangement of 2 x manual valves plus heating element means that the valve arrangement is a bit less straight forward. Please see www.geyser.co.uk for more information on this.
Electric towel warmer
If you have, or are planning to have, an electric only (not duel fuel) towel warmer then it will not have radiator valves in the traditional sense.
Instead it will be a fully sealed unit with the heating element connected to a carefully positioned fused spur via a short flex.
Electric towel warmers can be connected to a timer and can therefore be very controllable. They are great for en suite additions or attic conversions where it may be more difficult or disruptive to run central heating pipes into position.
You can even get thermostatically controlled elements that allow better temperature control.
Microbore pipework vs radiator valves
If your central heating system utilises microbore (smaller diameter pipework) then this can still be used with traditional manual radiator valves (either angled or straight) with the use of an adapter kit, which can be bought from a plumbers merchants.
The adapter kit fits into the valve and effectively reduces the size of the connection from the traditional 15mm down to the 8mm or 10mm necessary for microbore.
TRV valves, as seen above, differ from manual valves in that they automatically shut off when the room that the radiator is in reaches a certain temperature.
Manual valves differ from TRV valves in that they do not automatically adjust to changes in room temperature – they merely let more or less water into the radiator (to produce more or less heat) depending on how they are adjusted. This means in order to make the radiator hotter or cooler you will have to physically turn the valve to make the adjustment.
Most houses with new central heating controls have regular radiators fitted with TRV valves and a towel radiator in the bathroom fitted with manual valves.
In this setup, the bathroom radiator acts as a bypass and should not be fitted with a TRV, otherwise when all the other rooms reach their set temperature, the pump in the boiler will be trying to force water through a blocked system (as the TRV’s will have closed on all the other radiators thus not letting any water through).
Other benefits of manual valves over TRV’s
Manual valves look nicer than TRV’s as they are smaller (see above.)
Thanks for reading, give me a call if you would like a nice new bathroom in under 2 weeks, or fill in the form on the right.
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