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How to choose the correct heated towel rail valves

Towel rail valves – Explained

In this guide, our resident plumbing expert discusses the different types of Heated Towel Rail valves that are available and explains which one is best suited to your needs.

Watch the informative video or follow the step-by-step guide to buying the correct Heated Towel Rail valves, every time.

What type of valve should I use?

There are two main types of heated towel rail valves.

Straight valves should be used when the inlets are at the bottom of the towel rail and the pipes are protruding from the floor.

Angled valves will be needed if the water needs to be diverted at a 90-degree angle. This is often the case when pipes and valve inlets are situated at the side of the radiator.

There are also Middle Connection – or H-Block – towel radiator valves, but these are not as popular or as prevalent as the two types above.

central connection h block valve

Are there any other options?

There is also the choice between Thermostatic or Manual valves.

Thermostatic valves feature an adjustable temperature wheel and are often more energy efficient than manual ones, as you can set them to the desired temperature whenever you wish.

Which valves suit my towel rail best?

There are a number of different styles on offer and you can choose which one will suit your towel rail best – for example, the minimalist valves are more suited to the modern designer towel rails.

Just be sure that you consider the position of your pipework and how the valves will be fitted to the radiator.

valve diagram showing straight & angled valve configurations

What is a BTU & how many do I need?

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and is a measure of a radiators heat output.

Basically, the higher the number the greater the heat output.

To work out how many BTUs you need to heat your room, you can use our BTU Calculator.

How do I work out my pipe centres?

Working out your pipe centres is really easy. Measure the distance from the centre of the inlet and outlet pipes with a tape measure.

When the valve inlets are at the side of the radiator, working out the centre can be tricky.

Measure the distance from the centre of the inlet and outlet pipes with the valves attached – that will make it easier for you.

If you need any other advice…

If you’ve got any burning questions or need advice from the experts, be sure to send in your questions. We may feature them in our next blog post, too. Questions can be sent via the comments section below, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Frequently Asked Questions

The best time to bleed heated towel rails is just after summer, to make sure your system is fully operational and working as efficiently as possible ahead of the colder winter months when you will need it the most.

To find out more, browse our dedicated blog, How to replace a heated towel rail valve.

Heated towel rails should be bled at least once every year to guarantee the most efficient performance possible, and ensure your device is in top working order for when you’ll need it the most.

For a more detailed insight, explore our blog, How to replace a heated towel rail valve.

Both straight and angled valves live up to their moniker, with the first-named type featuring no bends or curves, and connecting to a radiator or heated towel rail straight up from the floor horizontally.

Angled valves are typically used to achieve a tidy, cleaner appearance, more effectively concealing plumbing and pipework.

Check out the diagram below for an overview of when you may need straight or angled valves.

valve diagram showing straight & angled valve configurations

A bleed valve is the small metal square or screw located within the surrounding nut, usually found at the top of the radiator corner, either on the left or right hand side.

It can be opened to release trapped air from within your radiators or heated towel rails.

Our guide on How to Bleed a Radiator offers a more detailed insight into bleed valves, and how they can be adjusted to help you make the most of your home heating.

Yes. A thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) can be attached to a heated towel rail, and will offer the same functionality as it would when teamed with a home radiator.

However, we wouldn’t recommend using a TRV on a towel rail in a bathroom or shower space, as the damp and humid conditions of such rooms can have an impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of a TRV.

If you would like any further information, take a look at our dedicated blog, How To Choose The Correct Heated Towel Rail Valves. Or, to draw inspiration on the best heated towel rails to add to your home, explore our blog – The Ultimate Heated Towel Rail Buying Guide.

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