A Plumber’s Guide to bleeding your radiator

If you’re a homeowner in Acton, plumbing jobs can seem daunting, but often they’re easy enough to carry out without the help of a professional plumber. One such job is bleeding your radiator. Every radiator needs to be bled once in a while, and completing the quick and easy process can improve the heating efficiency of your home, leaving you with a warmer house and smaller bills. This is certainly one job you shouldn’t have to call your local Acton plumbing company for, but incase you do need a little assistance, we’ve created this short guide for you.

Firstly, how to tell when your radiator needs bleeding?

If your radiators are taking a long time to heat, or you are noticing cool spots close to the top of your system, it’s time to bleed them. For a comprehensive test, turn your central heating system on and wait until all your radiators are fully heated. This not only helps identify any cool spots in your heating, but it can also build up the pressure inside the system for when you bleed them later.

How to bleed your radiator:

Step 1: Switch Off The Central Heating It’s incredibly important to switch your central heating off before completing the bleeding process. This will allow you to handle the radiator without being burned, and can also protect your system from sucking more air into the radiator when the bleed valve is opened.

Step 2: Open The Bleed Valve For this step, you’ll require a radiator key – if you don’t already have one you can pick them up at most hardware retailers. Locate the bleed valve by looking at the top of the radiator. Once you have found it, attach the radiator key to the square section in the middle of the valve. Make sure you have a cloth over the valve itself to catch any water that may drop from the radiator while you’re opening it. Then, turn the radiator key anti-clockwise for about half a turn slowly. When you hear a hissing sound, this means the built up gas in your radiator is escaping. Listen to this sound carefully, because once it tapers off the liquid inside your system will start to come out and the valve will need to be closed quickly. Make sure you are not over tightening the valve when closing it, as this can cause damage to the internal system.

Step 3: Check The Pressure If you have a pressurised sealed system, the pressure can often drop after bleeding the radiators. You can check the pressure after completing the process by consulting the gauge on your boiler.

Step 4: Check Check that you have successfully bled your radiators by switching the central heating system on and checking for any cold spots or inconsistencies in temperature across your radiators. Also check that none of the valves are leaking and that your radiators are warming faster. If you’re still not getting the results you want after bleeding your radiator, it might be time to call a specialist.

If you live in Acton, plumbing jobs like these are simple enough and your local plumber will be able to diagnose your ill-performing heating system in no time. At Heywood Heating we’re always happy to help, so get in touch today!