How To Bleed A Radiator

by Jayden Fisher

Radiators are a common form of residential heating that make use of hot water or steam to provide heat to specific rooms throughout a house. However, over time air can become trapped in the pipes of your radiator, which prevents the radiator from providing heat to the room. Thankfully, if this does occur, all you have to do is bleed the radiator of the excess air to get it working again, a fairly simple process that only requires a few basic tools.

What You'll Need

Before you get started, you should assemble all the tools and materials that you'll need in a single place to speed up the process. You'll need protective gloves (made out of fabric, not rubber or plastic, which can melt), a screwdriver or radiator key, a dry cloth, and a small bowl that can fit under your radiator. All of these items can be found at most hardware stores if you don't already have them lying around your home.

Bleeding a Radiator

Firstly, ensure that the radiator is turned off – if it's turned on, you may injure yourself during the process.

Next, locate where the bleed valve is on your radiator. It's usually fairly obvious, located on the top of one side of the radiator, though it is located on the bottom on some models. Put the small bowl underneath the valve to protect against any spills that may occur.

Insert the screwdriver or radiator key into the valve, and turn it counterclockwise (to the left) half a turn. Some radiators have valves which are too small for a screwdriver, but needle nosed pliers will work in a pinch. A soft hissing sound will tell you that you've begun to release air from the radiator.

Keep an eye on the valve – it may take a few minutes for all of the air to bleed out of your radiator's pipes. Once the valve begins to bubble, or a steady stream of water begins to flow out of it, your radiator's pipes have been completely drained. You can now use the screwdriver or radiator key to close the valve again, turning clockwise (to the right) until the water stops flowing out of it.

Use the rag to clean up any water that may have spilled out. You're now able to use the radiator as you see fit. For future reference, it's a good idea to bleed all of your radiators before the winter season starts to ensure that they are working properly. For more tips, contact a home heating repair company.