How to Replace a Radiator Air Vent

What You'll Need
Replacement valve
Pipe thread sealing tape

Replacing your radiator air vent every decade or so can be a good idea to keep your radiator running to the best of its capacity. The air vent can be removed and replaced without affecting the rest of your hot water system, and it is a good idea to do this if you are experiencing any problems with the control of your radiator. Your air vent can be replaced by an expert, or it can be done by yourself, depending upon how confident you feel in replacing the vent. This is a simple job which can be done by a home improvement expert in less than an hour, and even if you are just a DIY beginner, following a few simple steps can help you get the job done quickly and easily.

Step 1 - Remove the Old Air Vent

Before removing the radiator air vent, make sure that your hot water system is shut off, and the radiator itself is cooler. The old radiator air vent can be removed by simply grasping it in your hand, and pulling off. If you have trouble, or the radiator vent is rusted or otherwise stuck, you should instead put a wrench around the outside of the vent, and gripping it tightly, twist sharply and pull up. Take it off all the way along, and then hold it in your hand. Take a good look at the vent, and then dispose of it by throwing it into the bin.

Step 2 - Prepare the New Air Vent

Put your pipe thread seal tape around the edge of the seal, so that it is more watertight. This tape will act like a caulking agent around the edge of the air vent, so that there is no leakage of air from the bottom of the vent. Put some more of the tape around the radiator air valve, so that the seal is completely airtight. Leave the vent to one side for a few hours to ensure that the tape is secured. While you are waiting for the air vent to dry a little, you can clean off the radiator shaft, particularly any rust or dirt on the edge of the radiator. You may want to clean the piece with a small amount of bleach mixed into some water, and then sprayed directly onto the metal. Leave for a minute or so, and then wipe clean.

Step 3 - Screw in the Vent

Now that your vent is completely sealed, you can insert the vent onto the top of the radiator shaft. The shaft will have a small screw thread, and you should turn the vent in the right direction, so that it screws itself down onto the radiator. Check that it is securely fitted, and then tighten using the wrench. Your vent should now be ready for use, so turn on the furnace, and wait for the radiator to heat up. Check for leaks, or a failure of the radiator to heat up.