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How To Bleed A Radiator

Where To Start When Bleeding A Radiator

white tall radiator with off white and gray background
How to bleed a radiator

If your home has two floors, you should begin bleeding the downstairs radiators first. It's also advisable to start with the radiator, which is furthest away from the boiler. Once you've bled all the downstairs radiators, you move on to the upstairs, beginning with the radiator, which is furthest from the boiler. Don't forget to make sure you have the central heating system switched off before you start the process of bleeding a radiator. Switching off your boiler is very important because some boilers depending on how they work – can actually suck more air into the radiator and consequently the heating system if the radiators are on while you open the bleed valve.

How to Bleed a Radiator

You will need a radiator key, dry cloth or towel and a container to catch any water from the radiator. If you don't have a radiator key, you can find keys in any DIY shop, and they tend to cost between £2 and £3. Pliers may also work, but there's a chance you could damage the valve, so a proper key is a must. Before you begin, make sure that your central heating is off. Having the central heating on while bleeding radiators is very dangerous. The last thing you want is boiling water bursting out of the pipes.

You should see a square' bleed screw' at the top of the radiator. The 'bleed screw' is the part you'll need to turn to release the air and water from the radiator. You'll want to put your container on the floor beneath this area to catch any water. Turn the bleed screw anti-clockwise: Use the key to turn the bleed screw anti-clockwise. The cloth will help with gripping. You should hear a hissing sound as the air escapes. Use the cloth to catch any water. You'll know when the radiators fully bled when the hissing air stops, and there's a steady trickle of water. Use the key to tighten the bleed screw but don't do this too tightly as you could damage the valve. Wipe down any water on the radiator to avoid rusting, then move on to the next radiator, repeating the previous steps.

Once the radiators have finished bleeding, you can turn the heating back on. It's a good idea to check the boiler pressure gauge on the boiler to make sure it's at the optimum level (around 1.5 when the radiator water is cold). Turn on the heating and check that the radiators are heating evenly and there's no sign of leaking.

It may be necessary to bleed some radiators more than once. If this doesn't fix the problem, you may need a professional engineer to inspect the system. An engineer may recommend that you replace some of your radiators, which could improve the comfort of your home and reduce your heating bills.

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