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What is a double-ended radiator key?

What is a double ended radiator key?

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Parts of a double-ended radiator key
Double-ended radiator key The parts of a double-ended radiator key are:

  • Handle
  • ‘Hex’ end for internal hexagon valve tails
  • Grooves in the hex end for valves that have internal lugs rather than internal hexagon shapes
  • Square profiled end for fixing and removing bleed plugs and blanking plugs
  • A hole in the end of the square profile to give clearance to the bleed screw when working with bleed plugs
Double-ended radiator key A double-ended radiator key has a 10mm square on one end for installation of 1/2 inch air vent plugs and half-inch blanking plugs.

A blanking plug simply plugs, or blanks off, one of the top two tappings – internally threaded holes into which valves can be fitted – of a radiator.

Square end of double-ended radiator key The square end is often described as a ‘machined’ end. ‘Machined’ means the square shape has been made by milling the end with a machine, rather than it being cast or moulded  in that shape.
Hex end of double-ended radiator key The other, hexagonal (six-sided), end of the double ended key is for the installation and removal of radiator valve tails which have a hexagonal (six-sided) internal shape.
Allen or hex radiator key with grooves Some radiator valves have internal lugs – small projections like studs that provide the grip for a spanner. The double-ended key has grooves along its valve-tail end for the removal of this kind of tail.

For step-by-step guides to using this and some other keys, see: What are the different types of radiator key? 

Double-ended radiator key This key is usually made of high tensile steel which is galvanised or zinc coated for corrosion protection.

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