Radiators and system bleeding, how to do it and the benefits of doing so

Why you should bleed your radiators and how to do it

Your radiators will need bleeding from time to time to maintain maximum efficiency.

As you start to use your central heating more, it can cause a build up of air in your radiators, resulting in cold spots.

Its fast approaching that time of year when you’re possibly considering turning your heating on as the weather worsens. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you make sure your radiators are operating at maximum efficiency, which can save £££’s on your annual heating bills.

Bleeding your radiators is a relatively simple task once explained, and is one those DIY type jobs home owners should know!! You can tell if your radiators need bleeding by such things as the top section of the radiator not heating up fully/cold spots, or not working all together.

Part filled radiators cause the boiler to work harder and longer to get your home up to temperature than radiators that are completely full of water and giving out maximum performance and benefit.

What do I need?..

There are a few things you will need before you start – a rag/cloth/old towel/kitchen or toilet roll to catch the drips and a radiator bleed key. If you don’t have one they can be found in most DIY shops/hardware stores. We would recommend you don’t use pliers or on some modern radiators, the screwdriver slot, as this can damage the bleed point.

The bleed point can be found on the side or back of the radiators, and usually on top of towel rails, and is a small square-headed screw. Make sure before you do this that the system is off and cool as heating water can reach 80°c!!

Where to begin…

Starting with the down stairs radiators, place the bleed key securely onto the bleed point screw. Place your cloth directly underneath to catch escaping water. (heating water can be black, this is quite common and nothing to worry about but it can stain carpets and walls!). Gently turn anti-clockwise, this will loosen the screw allowing any trapped air to escape and water to enter, filling the radiator fully with water.

At first this will make a hissing sound followed by some escaping water, don’t panic when this happens, just turn the key clockwise to close the bleed point, and hey presto! you’ve just bled your first radiator!!

If no air escapes and water is already there when you open the radiator then it is already full so just move onto the next. Do this to all your downstairs radiators, working your way upstairs ensuring all radiators and towel rails are completely full of water.

Some modern systems are pressurized and not self filling meaning you will need to manually fill your system, check your boiler or cylinder instructions on how to do this.

If all this sounds a little too technical then we would be more than happy to call out and help you, showing you how to do this in the future! Just fill out our contact form, call or text 07851911574, or email info@chris-heating.co.uk and we will arrange a visit.

Extra advice…

To keep your heating system is running safely and at maximum efficiency, we recommend getting your system checked and boiler serviced annually. This must be done by a Gas-Safe Registered heating engineer, you can find more info on checking your engineer at gassaferegister.co.uk (We are fully qualified, registered and insured to carry out all your domestic gas-related work).

Turning your system on low for a few minutes every few weeks throughout the summer months can help prevent parts seizing up which could be an expensive fix when you need your heating!

Having to constantly bleed one particular radiator, or having to top up system pressure on a regular basis could be a sign of a leak somewhere on the system. This should be addressed as soon as possible, these things rarely go away, catching early can stop a small, easily fixable problem from escalating to something much worse!

For heating advice or to book a visit, call 07851 911 574, email info@chris-heating.co.uk or fill out our contact form >>

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