Bleeding Radiators & Purging Pipes: The Essential Maintenance Guide for Smooth Heating Bleeding Radiators & Purging Pipes: The Essential Maintenance Guide for Smooth Heating

Bleeding Radiators & Purging Pipes: The Essential Maintenance Guide for Smooth Heating

Do you know bleeding radiators and purging pipes can improve the efficiency of your boiler? As time goes by your radiators often get dust and sludge. This disturbs the efficiency of your boiler and affects the central heating system. Moreover, air gets trapped inside the radiators, making them act weird. Plus they produce strange sounds, and use more energy. As a result, your heating costs increase. This may be a sign that you need to do something about your heating system.

Getting a central heating system for the first time is a hefty task and is heavy on the pocket. The UK government is offering central heating grants. It is part of the zero carbon emission target which also helps households stay warm. Whether you’re getting central heating system for the first time or facing issues with existing one, read on to find out how you can better maintain your heating system.

Signs your radiators need bleeding

Here are signs that tell you it’s time to bleed your radiators:

  • Radiators are making odd noises.
  • Radiators are warm at the bottom but cold at the top
  • The warmth doesn’t spread well in your home.

So, if you see these signs, it’s time to give your radiators a little help by bleeding them. But remember, sometimes, there can be some other signs as well. So you need to carefully pay attention to them and figure out what is the problem.

Apparatus to bleed radiators

When your home gets warm, it’s because of your boiler. This machine heats water, and that warm water goes into the radiators, which makes your home cosy. Over time, these radiators have a little problem. Air gets stuck inside them, making them act weird, like not heating up properly or making strange sounds. So to bleed them, you need a few things: a bowl or bucket to catch water, gloves to keep your hands safe, and a tool called a radiator bleeding key or a screwdriver.

How to bleed radiators?

Step 1: Find the Troublemakers:

First, turn on your heating and wait a bit. Then, touch each radiator. If they’re warm at the bottom but not at the top, or if they’re making strange sounds, these are the ones that need help. Now, let’s move on to the next step in our mission.

Step 2: Power down the central heating system

Before we can rescue our radiators, we need to turn off the central heating system. This is like giving it a little break. We want the radiators to cool down completely, and that might take a bit of time. So, be patient, and let the machine take a little nap. We’ll be back to action soon!

Step 3: Get the area ready

Once your radiators have had a good rest and are cool, it’s time to get the area around them ready. When you bleed the radiator, water might spill out. So if your radiator is a bit old, the water might have some stains. You don’t want any mess, right?

So, grab a cloth and a bowl. Put the bowl underneath the radiator to catch any water. The cloth will stop it from going all over the place. Safety first! Keep things neat as you work along.

Step 4: Find the bleed valve

Look closely, and you’ll find the secret spot called the bleed valve. It’s like an entrance, hiding at the top corner on either side of the radiator. You’ll see a hole with a square inside – that’s where the magic happens! Now, to open this secret entrance, you’ll need a tool. You can use a special key or a flathead screwdriver. This tool is a key to releasing the trapped air. It will make the radiator feel better. So, grab your tool and get ready to unlock the magic!

Fantastic job! You’re almost there. Now, onto the next step. 

Step 5: Unlock the magic

You’ve found the entrance, now it’s time to open it. Take your radiator key or screwdriver and turn the bleed valve just a tiny bit, about a quarter anti-clockwise. When you do this, listen for a hissing sound – that’s the signal that the trapped air is escaping, and your radiator is feeling lighter already!

But, be careful not to turn the valve too much. You only want a little hiss, not a big splash. If you open it too much, water might spill, and that could make a mess. So, just a tiny turn to let the air out. You’re doing amazing!

Now, we’re at the final stretch! Here’s the last step in our mission:

Step 6: Let the magic happen

Once you’ve turned the bleed valve a little and heard that hissing sound, it means the trapped air is escaping. Now, be patient and wait. Let the radiator release all the air and water.

When the hissing stops, it’s time to tighten things up. Turn the valve clockwise to close that entrance. And guess what? You’ve just rescued your first radiator!

But wait, there might be more radiators that need your help. So, if you have other radiators feeling chilly at the top, repeat the same process with them. You’re on a roll! Keep up the great work!

Step 7: Look after the boiler

After saving your radiators, it’s time to check on the boiler. Bleeding the radiators might have caused the pressure in the boiler to drop because some air escaped. 

So, before you turn the boiler back on, check its pressure. Normally, when it’s off, the pressure should be between 1-1.5 bars. When it’s on, it should be around 2 bars.

If the pressure is too low, you need to give it a boost. Use something called an external filling loop to add water until the pressure is just right. It’s like giving the superhero boiler the energy it needs to keep your home warm. You did it, superheroes! Your home is now cosy and safe. Great job!

Bring the warmth back

You’ve rescued your radiators and boosted the boiler, and now it’s time to feel the victory warmth! Turn your central heating system back on and wait. You might need patience, but soon, you’ll notice the magic happening.

Feel the warmth spreading around your home without any interruptions. You did it! Your home is cosy and happy again. Your superhero skills have saved the day. Well done, superheroes!