Consumer research for older and disabled people

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TRVs (2004 test reports)

Thermostatic radiator valves - findings

We tested eight typical thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs). We looked at how easy it was to see their indicator markings and how easy they were to grip and turn.

All TRVs could be fixed to a radiator horizontally or vertically. Most people preferred them to be mounted horizontally, although this varied from person to person.

Remote-control versions of all these TRVs were available. These let you fix a dial to the wall at a height that suits you, so you don't have to bend down to change the temperature.

For people with impaired dexterity

People with dexterity impairments had few problems. They picked five controls as being easier to grip and turn - the Drayton ET40, Honeywell VT117E, Myson 2way, Pegler Terrier II and Siemens.

For people with impaired vision

Testers picked out the Danfoss Randall RAS-D and the Myson 2way as the easiest to use. The letters were a reasonable size, with good colour contrast. Even so, around a third of the testers could not see the settings even when close to the control.

Those who couldn't read the markings had to depend on touch to adjust the TRV. They said it's possible to remember how far to turn the dial for each setting, but this isn't easy. The Drayton TRV4 clicked at each point.

Thermostatic radiator valves - test reports  

The price ranges given include VAT and should be used as a guide only. Prices vary from supplier to supplier and you may have to shop around to get nearer the price we give. Professional fitters should get a trade discount. The products are given a rating between one and five stars for each type of disability: ★☆☆☆☆ (one star) is the lowest and ★★★★★ (five stars) is the highest rating.

Danfoss Randall RAS-D

Price: £16-£28, remote-control version £30

A version of this product called the RAS-D2 is now on the market.

Impaired dexterity  ★★★☆☆

  • Some found the control too stiff.

Impaired vision  ★★★★☆

  • The colour of markings stood out. Many people preferred this mounted horizontally.

Drayton ET30

Price: £19, remote-control version £23

Impaired dexterity  ★★★☆☆

  • Many found the control too stiff. It was the first choice of more than a quarter of our testers.

Impaired vision  ★★★☆☆

  • A few people wanted larger numbers. Colour contrast was good.

Drayton ET40

Price: remote-control version £23

Impaired dexterity  ★★★★☆

  • Scored highly; few comments made.

Impaired vision  ★★★☆☆

  • Markings too small. It was difficult to read the markings standing up when the TRV was mounted vertically.

Drayton TRV4

Price: £19-25, remote-control version £34

Impaired dexterity  ★★★☆☆

  • Many said the control was too slippery to grip easily.

Impaired vision  ★★★☆☆

  • Difficult to see the markings when standing if the TRV was mounted vertically. Each setting clicked.

Honeywell VT117E

Price: £13-£18, remote-control version £60

Impaired dexterity  ★★★★☆

  • Easiest to grip and turn of all TRVs tested, particularly in the horizontal position.

Impaired vision  ★★☆☆☆

  • Light grey on white markings were fairly difficult to read and were too small. If the TRV was mounted vertically the numbers were upside down. It was difficult to read the markings when standing up no matter which way the TRV was mounted. This TRV had a raised 'button' to indicate the most economical setting - this can be used as a minimum setting to ensure that a temperature remained at an adequate level.

Myson 2way

Price: £14-£18, remote-control version available

Impaired dexterity  ★★★★☆

  • Although some people found the control too stiff.

Impaired vision  ★★★★☆

  • The colour of markings stood out. It was the first choice for half of our users.

Pegler Terrier II

Price: £12-£25, remote control available in different range for £68

Impaired dexterity  ★★★★☆

  • Some found it too stiff, particularly when turning it off.

Impaired vision  ★★☆☆☆

  • Markings were fairly difficult to read - white letters contrasted poorly with some of the background colours used. It was difficult to read the settings when sitting or standing up, no matter which way the TRV was mounted. The control clicked as it was turned.

Siemens

Price: £9, remote-control version available.

Impaired dexterity  ★★★★☆

  • A few of our users found the control too stiff, and the serrated edge uncomfortable to hold.

Impaired vision  ★★★☆☆

  • Some people found the black on ivory numbers too faint and small to see easily.

Last updated: February 2014


Main page: Previously tested