Sunday, June 28, 2009

How to Bleed a Radiator

Bleeding a radiator on an open vented system.

If your central heating is a sealed pressurized type system, or you are not comfortable with basic DIY, you should contact your local plumbing specialist.

When air gets trapped in radiators it causes large parts of the radiator to remain cold even when the heating is switched on, this of course seriously reduces the efficiency of the radiator. To fix this issue, you need to "bleed" the radiator, the first step is to ensure the radiator is cold and the heating is switched off.

The air that's trapped in the radiator will rise to the top creating a pocket that prevents the hot water from getting to that part. Bleeding a radiator is basically the removal of the excess air.

You will only need a basic tool to bleed the radiator, this is called a radiator key. The keys can be purchased at most normal high street DIY stores, there is no need to look for specialist plumbing suppliers. It's also advisable to put down a little protection on your carpets in case there is any spillage, some newspaper or an old cloth is fine, you will also need a rag.

At the top of the radiator on the end you will see a small valve, this is called the air bleed valve and is used to allow the excess air to escape. Using your radiator key gentle slacken off this valve until you can here a hissing noise this is the air escaping. Once the hissing ends, water will start to seep out, at this point you will need to tighten the valve fully again. It's important to ensure the heating is off and the radiator is cool, otherwise the seeping water maybe very hot.

Once the radiator is bled and the valve securely tightened the heating can be switched back on, the system will be automatically topped up with water from the expansion tank, there is no need to top the heating up. Sealed systems however would need to be topped up, hence it's best to call in a heating expert.

Radiators shouldn't need to be bled very often, only occasionally, if they need regular bleeding then air is getting into your system at some point and you will need to call in a professional plumber.

Autor: Paul Southern

Paul writes for Addingtons, a professional plumber in Northampton and Kettering. Specializing in home improvements such as new bathroom installations they have a fine history of high quality plumbing.

Added: June 28, 2009