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I'm in my first apartment and it's a bit colder than I'd like it. Can I tweak the settings on my radiator so that it's warmer? I'm motivated to learn more about my radiator and it's hard to find information because I can't find the specific valves.

From what I can see, I have two valves: A new valve with a dial setting with numbers

This replaced another valve that was spewing water. This one shot water into the air out the top until maintenance "adjusted" this or the other valve. Since then it's been colder in my apartment. This is why I would prefer learning what the valves do before experimenting with different settings.

The second: The old valve from the floor.

And finally the big picture: The entire radiator.

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1 Answer 1

The first valve looks like it might be a thermostatic valve - the numbers representing the various temperature "settings". There should be an indicator on the bit that turns that points to the number. Try turning this fully towards the "1" and then fully towards the "5". Leave the valve in each position for half an hour or so. The radiator should get a lot warmer on the "5". Turn the value down until you get a comfortable temperature.

The valve on the floor should be nearly fully open.

The other thing to check for is cold spots. If the radiator isn't getting warm at all, even on "5" there may be an airlock in it. There should be a bleed valve on the top of the radiator - you'll need a special key to crack it open. If there is air there'll be a hissing sound. Leave it open until water starts dribbling out.

There might be a cold spot at the bottom which would indicate a build up of sediment. This means your radiator (or perhaps even entire system) needs draining and flushing. Try draining the radiator first. It doesn't look like you've got drain point so this might be awkward, but it is possible.

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