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Stay warm by bleeding your radiator

Created: 13/03/2014

With the cold weather now upon us, the focus turns to household heating and, before the temperatures really take a turn for the worse, it is best to check that your radiators are all functioning efficiently, and this means checking whether they need bleeding. If your radiator is cold to the touch on top and warm at the bottom, then this is a sign that it needs to be bled.

If you are unsure as to the root of the problem, Handywork Solutions’ experienced local plumbers can often give a diagnosis over the phone or provide a free callout, depending on the area.

The tools

Firstly, be sure that you have all the tools you require for the job. You will need a bowl to collect any drips, a cloth and, most importantly, a bleed key to fit your radiator valve. These keys usually come with your radiator but, should you not be able to find it, they are inexpensive and can be picked up in most hardware shops.

The process

Once you have everything you need, the process of bleeding a radiator is quite quick and simple. First you must turn off your central heating and then locate the bleed valve, which takes the shape of a protrusion on the top and to the side of your radiator. Insert the key and turn anticlockwise between a quarter and a half turn. The radiator will start making a hissing sound from the air escaping, after which you just need to wait for the water to start trickling out. Then you can tighten the valve back to the first position and use the cloth to clean up any spills.

Final checks

You can then turn the heating back on and, after a few hours, check to see if the radiator is at the correct temperature all over. If you are in any doubt or if this doesn’t seem to have solved the problem, then it could be a sign that the entire central heating system is in need of bleeding, which is a far bigger job. If this is the case, be sure not to panic, as Handywork Solutions provide expert local handyman services that can help across London and the surrounding areas.


Image Credit: Mikamatto (

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