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How to Bleed a Radiator

Bleeding a radiator isn’t as difficult as it may seem, and all it means is releasing the air that is trapped inside. This trapped air or gas prevents the hot water from fully heating your radiator and is a simple job that can be done yourself.

Letting out the trapped air inside your radiator makes all the difference to how your home is heated, especially with winter on the way. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to bleed a radiator.

Step One

The first thing to make sure of is that your heating is turned on so the radiators are hot. Ensure that the thermostat is turned up on each individual radiator.

Step Two

Next, you need to find out which of your radiators requires bleeding. When all your radiators are nice and hot check each one individually to see if all or just part of the radiator is warmed up. If there are any cold areas, specifically around the top of the radiator there could be trapped air or gas, so this means it will need bleeding.

Radiators that are at the highest point of your home are also more likely to have trapped air. This air can also become trapped in the coil, which runs through your hot water cylinder.

Step Three

Once you have found out which radiators need bleeding make sure your central heating system is switched off. Most radiators require a special radiator key to bleed them, but you can use a screwdriver with a flat blade on more modern styles.

At one end at the top of the radiator there’s a valve; the radiator key or the screwdriver blade can be fitted to the square bit in the centre. Once fitted into the groove hold the key or screwdriver with a cloth, making sure you have another cloth to catch any drips, then gradually turn the key or screwdriver anti-clockwise. You will hear a hissing sound if air or gas is escaping.

When the air or gas has been let out you will find that liquid will come out of the valve, so make sure you close it quickly.

Step Four

Once you have finished bleeding the radiators check the pressure by looking at the gauge on the boiler. You will need to top up if the pressure is too low, this can be done by using the lever on the boiler, which is known as a filling loop.

Finally, turn your central heating back on and check that all your radiators are fully heated so you can enjoy a warm and cosy home this winter.

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Categories: Help & Advice
Tags: radiators
Liz: Liz has a passion for home decor, interior design and renovation projects.