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As seen on the Guardian How to bleed a radiator

4 Simple Steps to Bleeding Your Radiator

Jonathon Gregory

4 Easy Steps to Bleeding Your Radiator!

The process of bleeding your radiator is basically just to let out any trapped air that has accumulated in the system over time. You can tell if your radiator needs bleeding, as usually, trapped air tends to prevent your radiator from heating fully. Most of the time the bottom of the radiator will be hot, but the top will be cold.
This is a common problem with radiators and similar to most parts of your heating system, radiators also have to be maintained. Do not worry though as bleeding a radiator is simple and easy to do yourself.
Whilst bleeding your radiator is not difficult to do yourself, please follow the steps below carefully, and if you do not feel comfortable taking these steps further, please seek advice from a qualified heating specialist.

Step 1: Get Your Radiators Hot

Firstly, what you will need to do is build up the pressure inside your radiators to be able to bleed the air out. To do this you will need to turn on all the heating in your home. It may benefit you to turn the thermostat up slightly to make sure all radiators in the house come on.

Step 2: But which radiators do I need to bleed?

Once you have followed Step 1 and turned all of your radiators on, check each radiator individually to see which radiators need bleeding. Please take extra caution when touching radiators when you have turned up the thermostat as they can get very hot!

As mentioned above, you can tell which radiators need bleeding, as most of the time the radiators will have cool spots, where heat has not been able to travel around due to trapped air. Usually, the radiator would be warm at the bottom and not at the top.

Once you have established which radiators need bleeding, then its time to move on to step 3.

Step 3: Begin Bleeding Your Radiator.

Before you carry on and begin, please make sure your central heating system is now switched off, reversing what was mentioned in step 1. This will ensure you do not burn yourself or experience too much of a leak.

To bleed you radiator you may need a radiator key, but with newer radiators this can be done using a flat blade screwdriver. If you have misplaced the radiator key then these can be purchased from your local DIY store at a relatively cheap price.

At the top of the radiator at one end, or at the bottom of the radiator at one end there will be a valve in which you can attach the radiator key to the square part in the centre, or put the screwdriver in the groove.

Hold the screwdriver or the key with a cloth and another to catch excess water the very slowly turn the radiator key or screwdriver left (anti-clockwise). When the air begins to escape, you will hear a hissing sound. Let the hissing carry on until all of the air has emptied from the radiator.

When all of the air has emptied liquid will then begin to come out of the valve, hence why we advised a cloth for excess water. When liquid begins to come out, the valve needs to be closed very quickly. This is done by turning back the key or the screwdriver to the right (clockwise) to tighten.

Step 4: Double Check the Pressure on your boiler.

Finally, double check the pressure on the gauge of your boiler. If the pressure seems to be too low, then this will need topping up using the filling ooop (boiler tap).

If everything seems ok, then now might be a good time to turn the heating back on and check that you have solved the trapped air issue. Again, please be very careful when touching radiators that are turned on.

There you have it, a well maintained fully working radiator.
For any more help or advice on the matter please feel free to contact us on 0800 152 2011 and a member of our experienced team will be more than happy to help!

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