First off what is bleeding a radiator and why do you need to do it? Radiator bleeding is a term giving to the ‘act’ of removing air that has accidentally gotten into the radiator’s coils. When air gets in the radiator, it rises to the top and displaces some of the water. Air doesn’t conduct heat as efficiently as water; therefore it is both costly and wasteful to run your radiator with air trapped inside. All radiators must be bled on a regular basis, as the heating and cooling of water naturally releases air bubbles.
So how do you bleed a radiator?
- Before you begin, you should switch off the boiler, so you avoid the chance of getting splashed! To avoid mess, you should have small container and a couple of cloths to catch any water that might come spurting out of the radiator valve. Last but not least, find your radiator bleed key i.e. the bleed key is a specific key used to open the value. If you can’t find it, don’t worry as they are easy enough to buy at any DIY shop.
- Once you are all prepared, open the bleed valve at the top of the radiator with the radiators bleed key. The bleed valve is identifiable by a square bit in the middle of the round plug. Use the key to turn the valve anticlockwise about a quarter of a turn. It shouldn’t be necessary to turn it further. You should now hear a hissing sound i.e. the trapped air escaping through the valve. Keep the key on the valve and when the hissing stops and the first dribble of water appears, close the valve tightly.
- Job done!