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Guide on how to bleed a radiator

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Sometimes a radiator can bang as it begins to warm up, other instances it can remain cold long after you have turned the heating on. If this sounds like your radiators you may need to bleed them.
When pockets of air get trapped inside the radiators they need bleeding. The air causes the radiator to circulate hot water less effectively and so less heat is produced, meaning it will take longer to heat your home. Until you bleed your radiator to get rid of the air, you’re likely to be using more energy and therefore your energy bill could be higher than that of another household of the same size.
Follow these steps to check and bleed your radiators
  • Put your central heating onto full and wait for your radiators to reach their maximum heat.
  • Ensuring not to burn your hands, feel along the top of each radiator for any cold areas. Cold spots are an indicator of trapped air. If cold spots are found, you will coincidently need to bleed these particular radiators.
  • Before you bleed your radiators, ensure your heating is turned off and your radiators have completely cooled.
  • Most radiators require a radiator key to bleed them. If you don’t have a radiator key, you can pick one up from most DIY stores.
  • Ensure you have a pot or cloth below the radiator valve to catch any water.
  • Holding the key with a cloth, slowly turn anti-clockwise to open your radiator’s valve. You should hear a hissing sound as the air escapes.
  • Wait until the hissing sound stops and water starts to leak out before turning the key clockwise to close the valve again.
  • Once necessary radiators have been bled, check the pressure of your boiler gauge, located on your boiler. If the pressure is too low, you’ll need to rebalance the pressure. If the pressure is normal, you can switch your heating on and check that there aren’t still any cold areas.
  • If you find one or more of your radiators is hot at the bottom, cold at the top, or even cold all over, this means you will need to bleed your radiator.
  • Do all of your radiators starting from the ground floor up.
  • If the pressure drops again, the radiators may need topping up and you may need to call a Ableforce engineer.
We recommend doing a full check of all the radiators in your home every couple of months.

Defrosting a frozen condensate pipe

You can identify if you have a problem with your boiler’s condensate pipe by checking if the blue light on the front of the boiler is flashing.
The blue light is in the small window gap on the front of the boiler flap.
Ensure the power to the system is switched off.
Located in the top right-hand corner underneath the flap is a digital window, this may be flashing up the letters EA.
This either means that there is no gas getting into the system or condensation isn’t getting out. If its mid-winter this usually means a frozen pipe.
Locate the condense pipe outside.
To cure the frozen pipe, simply get a kettle of hot water (not boiling) and put this evenly along the pipes, paying special attention to the joints.
Alternatively, you can tuck a hot water bottle around the external pipes and leave it for half an hour.
If this doesn’t work, we recommend you call one of our experts to help you fix the problem.

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