How To Bleed a Radiator?

If your central heating system isn't working properly, your radiators may need bleeding. This is down to air bubbles getting into the system.

To bleed a radiator, you’ll need to release pockets of air that are trapped in the central heating system. The key symptoms of a radiator that needs bleeding are:

  • Gurgling noises
  • Cold patches at the top of the radiator
  • Taking a very long time to heat up
  • In extreme cases, the radiator may be completely cold

The only way to fix the problem is to release the pockets of air. This process is known as “bleeding” and it’s pretty easy to do yourself. If you’re not confident with fixing the problem, don’t be afraid of asking a professional, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to bleed your radiators:

Step One:

First, turn the heating on so that all the radiators in your home heat up. You’ll to wait until they’re all fully heated before moving on to the next step.

Step Two:

Check each radiator individually to make sure they’re all warm. If you find that there are cool spots particularly towards the top portion of the radiator, this is probably trapped air which you can bleed out of the radiator.

Step Three:

Turn the heating off to make the radiators easier to work with. You don’t want boiling hot water to come out of the valve!

Step Four:

Turn the heating off to make the radiators easier to work with and wait until they are completely cool. You’ll need a cloth and a radiator key – if you haven’t got one they can be found in most hardware stores, or you could use a flat blade screwdriver instead. Insert the key into the valve at the top of the radiator, and open the valve – about half a turn, but don’t open it fully.

Step Five:

Have the cloth ready to catch any water that may leak out. You’ll know you’ve let the air out when water starts leaking, and any hissing stops. Close up the valve and switch the heating back on to see if it’s worked. The radiators shouldn’t have any cold patches now.

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