How to bleed a radiator

If you’ve noticed that your radiators aren’t as hot as they used to be, or are heating up patchily, then there may be air and sludge caught in the pipes. This is something that happens to all central heating systems over time, and is usually something that you can fix easily yourself by bleeding the radiators. If you’ve never bled a radiator before then read on as we explain how you can get your central heating working efficiently again…

Does my radiator need bleeding?

When your radiators are switched on carefully feel them to see if there are any areas that remain cool when the rest of the radiator is hot. Air enters the central heating system whenever water enters it, so over time it builds up and can get trapped. When air gets trapped in your radiator it displaces the hot water that heats things up. This air needs to be released carefully in order for the radiator to be heated to its full potential.

How do I bleed the radiator?

First of all make sure that your central heating is turned off and allow it to cool down again. Then you can begin to bleed your radiators in the following way:

  • You’ll need the bleed key, also known as a radiator key, in order to open the valve on the side of the radiator. You’ll also need a piece of old cloth or an old towel to catch any drips.
  • Start by fitting the bleed key into the valve and turning it anti-clockwise for about half a turn.
  • When the valve is open you’ll hear the hissing sound of air being released. Continue to release the air slowly until water starts to drip out of the valve.
  • Close the valve by turning the bleed key in a clockwise direction.
  • If you have a pressurised central heating system then the bleeding may have caused the internal pressure to drop so check the manufacturer’s guidelines and top it up accordingly.

If you run into any problems and need a professional touch then don’t hesitate to contact us at Trio Plumbing!

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