Being told to bleed your radiators is very common; however, some people don’t understand what bleeding a radiator means. In this article, we will discuss what it means to bleed a radiator, why we do it, and how to do it.
What and why do we need to bleed radiators?
Bleeding a radiator is simply releasing the air that is trapped inside a heating system. Air can be introduced into a heating system in numerous ways. It can happen when new water enters the system from the expansion tank or when maintenance is carried out. It can also occur when the pump turns and creates movement. It is more likely to happen during the winter months so it is highly important that you bleed them before the winter sets in to ensure they work efficiently.
Air can get trapped in radiators. The air that gets trapped can significantly decrease the power, causing entire areas of the radiator to no longer warm-up. This means it’s very important to bleed your radiators in order to maintain heat in your home.
When is it time to bleed your radiators?
When it comes to figuring out whether your radiator needs bleeding or not, there are some clear signs.
One of the first signs that you need to bleed your radiator is that you start to hear strange noises. This is a key indicator that air is in the pipes and radiators. One of the sounds you may hear may be like a ‘gurgling’ noise.
As stated earlier, if there is air in the radiator, it may not fully warm up. Normally, the bottom half will be warm because it will still contain water; however, the top half may be cool or lukewarm because it is likely full of air.
How do you bleed your radiators?
You’ll be pleased to know that bleeding a radiator is not that difficult. The aim is to release air from the radiators in order to increase the efficiency of your heating system. Here’s what you need to do in order to do this:
- Firstly, you’ll need to gather a radiator key. If you don’t own a radiator key, you can purchase one at your local hardware stores. It is also important to note that you should start with the radiator closest to the boiler and do them one at a time.
- When you release the air from each radiator, there will be some water leakage so you’ll need some old towles/cloths and a container to catch the liquid. Place the cloths on any flooring or paintwork that could possibly be damaged by water leakage.
- Switch the central heating on to warm up the radiators. This will allow all the air to rise to the top of the radiator. Then, switch it off and wait for the radiators to cool down. It’s very important to turn off the central heating, because some water pumps, depending on where in the system they are fitted, will actually suck more air into the radiator and consequently the heating system, if they are turned on while you open the bleeder valve.
- Locate the square ‘bleed screw’ at the top of the radiator. This is where the air and water will be released from. Make sure you put your container beneath this area on the floor.
- Place the radiator key into the bleed valve and twist it carefully 1 or 2 times anti-clockwise. Release the air until water starts to come out then can close the valve and repeat the process for all radiators.
- Wipe down any water which is on the radiator to prevent rusting and move on to the next radiator.
It may be necessary to bleed some radiators more than once; however, If this doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to contact a professional to inspect your heating system. We are more than happy to help you with all your plumbing and heating issues.
Contact us today for the guidance you need.