We’re all familiar with that dreaded moment when we turn the heating on, touch the radiator, and it’s ice cold. In the event of this happening, the likelihood is that your radiator needs ‘bleeding’ as there is air trapped in the system, preventing hot water from reaching all parts of your radiator and heating your house.
Fortunately, bleeding your radiator is simpler than you may suppose. Here is a quick step-by-step guide to help you get your radiators piping hot ASAP.
1. Once you’ve established which radiators need to be bled, switch off your central heating system.
2. Wait for the system to cool down. Don’t attempt to bleed the radiators if they still feel warm. Not only do you want avoid boiling water spurting out when you open the valve, but in order to make the bleeding as effective as it can be, it is a good idea to let the contents of the radiator settle before you begin.
3. Find your radiator key and some old towels to catch any drips. If you’re unable to find the bleed valve key supplied with your radiator, they’re easy to find at most DIY shops.
4. Locate the bleed valve. It will be located at one end of the radiator and will look like a round hole with a square in it. Place your old towels on the ground, directly underneath the valve.
5. Using the radiator key, turn the bleed valve anti-clockwise. Don’t open the valve fully – half a turn should be sufficient to let the air out. You’ll hear a hissing noise when the air is released.
6. Once the hissing stops, water will begin to drip out of the valve. Once a steady stream of water starts to pour out of the radiator, you’ll know that all the air has been released.
7. Now that your radiator has no more air in it, you can begin tightening the bleed valve back up in a clockwise direction.
8. At this point, you can turn your central heating system back on. First, you’ll need to check that the pressure level of your boiler is high enough as you’ll have lowered the system’s pressure when you released air from your radiators. If the pressure is below the recommended level, you can top up the pressure by using the filling loop on your boiler (which looks like either a tap or lever, located on the main water supply to your boiler).