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blog posts tagged with dual-fuel

Dual Fuel Towel Radiator Usage Tips

Just like any other electrical equipment, using your heating element also requires your attention. First and most important issue is to get it installed by a qualified and competent installer. No offence to anyone but not all qualified are competent and not all competent are qualified! So, a little homework to find the right person to the job is very important.

Few weeks ago we have covered the correct way of using a dual fuel towel radiator. Now let’s look at the consequences of not following the correct procedure described in our previous article. Following “ifs” will give you an idea and help you understand those important steps.

  • If you do not isolate the radiator, heated water will escape to other parts of the central heating system through valves and pipes.
  • If you do not loosen either the bleed or return valve, radiator will build pressure and in some cases this may lead to a leak, which may even result in a welded joint on the radiator to burst.
  • If the radiator is not isolated, the poor element will end up trying very hard to heat the whole central heating system and eventually fail fairly quickly.


And here are a few tips on dual fuel use:

  • Never use a thermostatic valve (TRV) on dual fuel heated towel rails. Unlike standard valves, TRV’s have either liquid, gas or wax filled sensors. It is those sensors that control the water flow.  With a standard valve, you can get a complete seal once it is completely shut. However you may not get a complete seal with TRV’s hence the heated water inside the radiator may escape.
  • Always use an electric element with same or similar wattage as per your towel radiator.
  • It is recommended to use a standard, non-thermostatic electric elements or thermostatic heating elements which are based on “water temperature” only.
  • Never use a thermostatic heating element based on “ambiance temperature” (room temperature). As the element should be used in summer months only, your room temperature will likely be over 20 Celsius degree. Hence a room temperature controlled thermostatic element may never come on to heat the water inside the radiator.
How to Use a Dual Fuel Towel Radiator ?

Have you ever looked at those “popular items” list on most online heated towel rail suppliers? It is no surprise that one very small item called “T pipe” also known as “Dual Fuel Adaptor” is almost always on those most popular lists. This tiny little adaptor will enable you to use your towel radiator as dual fuel meaning that it can be part of your central heating and can be used as electric only during summer months.

What is the correct way of using a dual fuel heated towel rail?

Most people are generally under the impression that they can simply switch from central heating use to electric use without any hassle. Some even believe that both heat sources can be used simultaneously. Unfortunately this is not the case. Sole purpose of having a dual fuel towel radiator is to be able to have warm towels during summer months only, in which the central heating system is generally turned off. The correct way of using a dual fuel radiator would be to use central heating option during the winter and use the electric option only during the summer. You should also follow the correct procedure when switching from one to the other.

Come April or May, you may wish to turn off your central heating and switch your towel radiator from a plumbed radiator to an electric use. Doing so will still kill the chill in your bathroom and let you have warm towels after a bath or shower.  By following the steps below, you can take advantage of your dual fuel radiator and protect your central heating, towel radiator and, most importantly, your electric heating element which is installed inside the towel radiator.

  1. Before you switch usage, you must isolate the bathroom radiator from the rest of your central heating system by turning both inlet (flow) and outlet (return) valves completely off.
  2. After you shut both valves, you will either need to loosen the bleed valve or the return valve slightly. The trick here is to be very gentle and loosen either of those very slightly. Loosening one of these will reduce the risk of pressure building inside the towel radiator as the electric element heats the water.
  3. Once the radiator is isolated, you can safely turn on your heating element.
  4. At the end of summer, you will simply follow the above steps backwards. You will turn off your heating element, tighten your bleed or return valve, and turn both inlet and outlet valves full on.

It is strongly recommended to follow the steps above to avoid damaging your electric heating element, towel radiator and your central heating system as whole.

Ref: Dual Fuel Adaptor