leaking radiator valve

My towel radiator valve is leaking. From the outside it looks like this http://tinyurl.com/bmdkcnm and from the inside like this http://tinyurl.com/cemrwnp - this shows where it's leaking from.
Looks to me as though the brass valve body is faulty and that I should be able to replace it with a new one. How standard is this part? I don't want to have to take it out before I go round shopping for a replacement, so what are my chances of being able to pick out a suitable part armed with the photo?
I'm kind of hoping that if I find a suitable part, I can put a bucket under the tap, and swap them quickly without bothering to drain the system. Is this realistic?
Thanks in advance for any help!
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It may be stating the obvious but make sure the heating is switched off so that the pump cant work! Robbie

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:"Roberts" wrote in message

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Almost certainly just needs a new O-ring which forms the shaft seal. The shaft will need cleaning up too, or the new O-ring won't seal against it as the leak will probably have left dried crud stuck to it. (Descaler normally cleans that up.)

Don't know - there are probably fewer than there are different types of valve. If you can work out the make, you will likely find the guts from a model with a cheaper finish is the same.

You'll quite easily find a white finish towel rail valve. You might find it harder to find a valve which matches so the innards can be swapped.

There's a signifcant risk you'll fail. What would be the consequences if gallons of dirty water spewed out onto the floor?
BTW, you can probably stop the leak at that point by turning off the valves at both ends on the towel rail, if you don't need it hot.
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Andrew Gabriel
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