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Radiator Valve Handle Replacement

We have a few plastic replacement handles for the single-pipe steam radiator valves in our building that are old & broken. Is it as easy as unscrewing the screw in the middle of the old handle, removing the old handle/tapping it off with a screwdriver if sticky, then selecting the size square stem size at the bottom of the new handle to match (ours has 4 sizes to select from underneath the new handle), then replacing the screw in the middle of the new handle?

Or is there something else we should be considering? We could also check the old handles are fully open, and not replace/remove them so they stay open, but we have the new handles and thought we might as well use them at some point.


  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,717
    While someone here is bound to suggest the procedure is far more complicated than what you've described, it is not. Do your process.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber
    in New York
    in New Jersey
    for Consulting Work
    or take his class.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,357
    Leaving the handles off to prevent tampering seems like a good idea, but it's not foolproof because fools are too clever, and they might have a pair of vise grips, and you'll never get a knob to fit on a stem after it's been chewed on.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24