How to bleed a radiator

How-To's

When does my radiator need bleeding?

Radiators need bleeding when pockets of air get trapped inside. The air causes the radiator to circulate hot water less effectively and so less heat is emitted, meaning it will take longer to heat your home. Until you bleed your radiator to get rid of the air, you’re likely to be using more energy and therefore your energy bill could be higher than average.

Follow these steps to check and bleed your radiators:

  1. Put your central heating onto full and wait for your radiators to reach their maximum heat.
  2. Being careful not to burn your hands, feel along the top of each radiator for any cold areas. Cold spots are an indicator of trapped air, and so you’ll need to bleed any radiators on which you do find them.
  3. Before you bleed your radiators, ensure your heating is turned off and your radiators have completely cooled.
  4. Although a screwdriver can be used for some modern radiators, most radiators require a radiator key to bleed. If you don’t have a radiator key, you can pick one up from most DIY stores.
  5. Ensure you have a cloth below the radiator valve to catch any water.
  6. Holding the key with a cloth, slowly turn anti-clockwise to open your radiator’s valve. You should hear a hissing sound as the air escapes.
  7. Wait until the sound stops and water starts to leak out before turning the key clockwise to close the valve.
  8. Once all your radiators have been bled, check the pressure of your boiler gauge. If the pressure is too low, you’ll need to rebalance the pressure. If the pressure is normal, you can switch your heating on and check that there aren’t still any cold areas.

We recommend doing a full check of all the radiators in your home every couple of months.

 

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