How to bleed a radiator

Not feeling the benefit of your central heating system? Check your radiators are in good working order

Here is our step-by-step guide on how to bleed a radiator.

If the top of a radiator feels cooler than the bottom then it probably needs bleeding to get rid of trapped air.

Fortunately, this only takes 10 minutes and can be done in 5 easy steps.

Before you start, check you have a bleed key that fits your valve (this should be located at the top of your radiator). If not, you can buy one from B&Q.

You’ll also need a cloth, to catch drips, and a bowl.

Step 1) Fully open any thermostatic radiator valves, including heated towel rails, and run your central heating for ten minutes. Then turn off the system.

Step 2)
Put the bleed key into the valve and slowly turn anti-clockwise. Take
care when turning the valve. Have your cloth ready to shield your hand
and a small bowl to catch any small drops of water.

Step 3) If there is trapped air you should hear a hissing sound as it escapes. As soon as water begins to drip out, close the valve.

Step 4) Check the rest of your radiators. Often trapped air will only occur in one or two.

Step 5) Turn the heating on and check there are no drips.


* Bleed radiators at least once a year to release any trapped air in the system.

* If your radiators are cooler in one area of the house, the radiators
aren’t properly balanced. The nearest radiators to the boiler are
taking more than their share of the hot water from the system. Call in a
local tradesman to fix it.

Want to cut down on energy bills? Check out our essential guide to heating.

Need some DIY help? Hire a tradesman today with our handy tool!

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