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    Bleeding a radiator means releasing air that has been trapped inside it. This is quite an easy and straightforward task but a few things need to be taken into consideration before doing so. Cheltenham plumbers have years of experience in plumbing and heating and are masters at bleeding radiators.

    Sometimes radiators are warm at the bottom and cold at the top. This could be because of the air that has been trapped inside. This usually takes place when your heater has not been used for a long period of time. The air trapped inside your radiator will circulate around it and eventually end up at the top of the device. This results in a warm temperature at the bottom of the radiator and coolness at the top.

    For homes that have more than one floor, this trapped air effects the upper floors more than the bottom ones. This is because the air flows to the top of the radiator, making the top floors cooler. The trapped air restricts the top floors from reaching maximum warm temperatures that the bottom floor can reach.

    A radiator key will do the job in ‘bleeding’ the air out of it. These radiator bleeding keys are easily available at stores at a very reasonable rate.

    When you look at your radiator, one of the top sides will have a bleed point. Simply put the bleeding key inside that point and slightly turn it anticlockwise. You need to slightly unscrew the bleed screw until you hear air hissing out of that point; air hissing out shows that air is actually trapped inside it. After the trapped air has released, you will see some water leaking out. As soon as you spot water, immediately use the bleeding key and tighten up the screw to stop the water from flowing out. Keep a kitchen towel at hand to catch the drops of water before it stains anything else because this water is dirty brown in colour.

    After the air has been released from the radiator, the device should feel warm at the top as well as the bottom.

    Critical Information

    1. Bleeding a radiator may harm the radiator by reducing pressure if your heating system is any one of the following:
    • A combination boiler
    • A high pressure system

    If you bleed any of the above two types of radiators, you will have to re-pressurize the system because bleeding the air out means you have reduced the pressure. Both these systems have a water top up valve. By opening this water top up valve, you can return the systems pressure back to normal.

    1. If you are using a gravity heating system, which is a cold water feed tank located in the loft or anywhere higher, it will contain a hot water cylinder. In this case, re-pressurizing the gravity system is not needed because it operates on low pressure, hence the pressure will re-build by itself.

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