Radiator bleeding guide for properties with more than one floor


Bleeding a radiator is an integral part of ensuring your central heating system functions to its full potential. In fact, many problems with heating loss can be traced back to the fact that the radiators in a property require bleeding.

If you find that your home or business premises aren’t heating up despite the temperature being turned up to the highest setting, or if your building is taking a long time to heat up, it could be time to bleed your radiators. Of course, there are many issues that cause heating loss, and it’s always best to arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to ensure your system is in full working order before attempting to rectify any problems yourself – but in the case of radiators needing bled, the fix is relatively simple. In this article, we’ll offer saving money tips and advice in the form of how to bleed radiators.

Why do radiators need to be bled?

Over time, air bubbles can become trapped in the heating system. Pockets of air contained within a radiator will prevent hot water from moving freely throughout the system. To release this air, a radiator bleeding key is required – which all professional heating engineers will carry as standard.

How to bleed radiators – first steps

There are a number of things to consider before bleeding the radiators in a building. For example, if the building has two or more floors, the downstairs radiators should be bled first. Most central heating engineers agree that you should start by bleeding the radiator furthest away from the boiler.

Before bleeding the radiator, switch it on and wait for it to heat up. If it is cold at the top and warm at the bottom, the chances are that it needs to be bled.

Prepare for water leakage

Be aware that when bleeding a radiator, water often escapes. A Gas Safe engineer will always carry protective glasses, gloves and a container to catch excess water. Water from radiators is often discoloured and can stain carpets and flooring – which is why it makes sense to use the services of a professional heating engineer.

WARNING: before bleeding a radiator, the heating should be turned off. If it isn’t, the person bleeding the radiator could be at risk of a nasty burn from the hot water that escapes.

Bleeding the radiator

Once these steps have been completed, the radiator valve should be opened slowly with a proper radiator bleed key – a hissing sound will commence, which means air is escaping. The valve should be left open until the hissing stops and water begins to leak out. At this point, the radiator valve should be closed tightly.

This process should be repeated throughout all radiators on the ground floor, before commencing the same task on any additional floors.

For more information on how to keep your central heating system functioning at its best, or to arrange for a safety check, contact Shaw’s Plumbing & Heating on 0800 8 247 585.

Photo: Radiator by Gabriel White licensed under Creative commons 5
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