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A step by step guide for how to bleed a radiator

From time to time you may find that your radiators are only slightly warm at the top when they should be hot. This is a good indication that they may need “bleeding”. This means that there is trapped air inside the radiator that is preventing the hot water from heating it properly. By bleeding the radiator you are taking the trapped air out, so that the system works much more efficiently. This can make a big improvement on how energy efficient your home is.

You can bleed a radiator yourself by following this step by step guide. However please take care when following this process and if you encounter any difficulty, speak to a registered heating engineer. http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk

Preparation: Ensure you know which radiators need bleeding and make sure your central heating is switched OFF. Have your radiator key or flat/slot-head screwdriver and a couple of cloths to hand.

Step 1: Attach the radiator key to the square in the middle of the valve and hold it using one of the cloths. The valve is usually found at one of the top ends of the radiator and looks something like this


Step 2: Place the other cloth so that it can catch any drips and slowly turn the key or screwdriver anti-clockwise. If you hear a hissing sound this is a good sign that the air is escaping as it should be.

Step 3: When liquid starts to come out, turn the key or screwdriver clockwise to close it straight away. This means that there is no more gas in the radiator and the exercise has been effective.

Step 4: Check the pressure by having a look at the gauge on your boiler. You may find that the pressure has fallen, in which case you can top it up by using the filling loop on your boiler.

Repeat this process on any other radiators that need bleeding. Once you have done this, switch your central heating back on and you should find that next time your radiators heat up they feel of even temperature. Your home should now be heated much more effectively as you have increased the efficiency of your radiator(s).

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