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St Albans Brighton Islington
Clapham Leamington Spa

How to Bleed a Radiator: Simple-Step Guide

If you notice that some of your radiators are not heating up evenly, or there is a gurgling sound coming from the direction of your radiator, it often means that air has become trapped in the system.

This air needs to be released, a job that is commonly referred to as bleeding. It requires minimal equipment and isn’t difficult to do!

So pencil behind the ear, let’s go:

 

1. Check all radiators

If the central heating system is not running, switch it on to build up pressure and test the radiators.

Take care not to burn yourself when touching hot radiators, but feel each one to identify where air has become trapped. A radiator is noticeably cooler towards the top when this happens.

When you discover where the air is trapped, prepare to start bleeding the affected radiators (get an old towel ready!).

 

2. Bleed each radiator with a cool spot

Before you start, be sure that the heating is now switched off.

The valve that you need to open is located near the top end of a radiator. It has a squared off middle which fits inside a radiator key.

If you don’t have a key, you can buy them from any DIY or hardware shop. Or contact us at The Radiator Centre and we will send you one. On a modern radiator you can use a flat-bladed screwdriver by placing the end into the groove in the centre of the valve.

Use a cloth to catch any drips and turn the key or screwdriver anticlockwise – do so slowly, a quarter turn should be enough. You will hear a hissing noise when the air is being released.

Be ready to close the valve quickly as soon as the hissing stops and liquid starts to emerge through the valve.

 

3. What to check afterwards

Check the pressure gauge on your boiler to see if you need to increase the pressure level. This should be sitting at between 1.5 to 2bar when cold.

After treating all the radiators like the electric range or their designer counterparts that needed bleeding and checking the pressure, turn the heating back on.

When they have warmed up there should be no more cool spots on any of your radiators. If all seems well, you have successfully bled your radiators!

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