How to bleed a radiator the right way
How bleeding your radiators helps
Step 1: Gather your tools
Before you begin, you’ll need a few tools and materials:
- A radiator key or a flathead screwdriver (depending on your radiator type)
- A towel or cloth to catch any water
- A container to collect any excess water (a small bucket or bowl will do)
Step 2: Turn off your heating
Make sure your heating system is turned off. You don’t want hot water circulating while you’re working on the radiator.
Step 3: Identify which radiators need bleeding
Walk around your home and find which radiators are not heating up properly. These are the ones that may have trapped air and need bleeding. Typically, radiators at higher points in your system are more likely to have trapped air.
Step 4: Locate the bleed valve
Each radiator has a bleed valve, which is usually located on the top side or at one end. It looks like a small square or hexagonal nut, and it may have a small hole in the center.
Step 5: Protect your floor
Place a towel or cloth beneath the radiator to catch any water that may come out during the bleeding process. Position your container or bucket nearby to collect the excess water.
Step 6: Bleed the radiator
Use the radiator key or screwdriver to slowly turn the bleed valve anti-clockwise (left) about a quarter turn. You should hear a hissing sound – this is the trapped air escaping.
Step 7: Watch for water
As the air escapes, you’ll eventually see water starting to trickle out of the bleed valve. When you have a steady flow of water with no air bubbles, it’s time to close the valve.
Step 8: Close the bleed valve
Carefully turn the bleed valve clockwise (right) to close it. Be gentle; you don’t want to overtighten and damage the valve.
Step 9: Turn your heating back on
Once you’ve finished bleeding all the necessary radiators, you can turn your heating back on.
Step 10: Check the radiator
Check the radiator to ensure it’s heating evenly. If it’s still not heating properly, you may need to repeat the bleeding process. If the radiator still isn’t heating properly it’s time to book an appointment with a heating engineer.
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