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How to bleed a radiator

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Are your radiators cold at the top and warm at the bottom? This could be a sign that your radiator needs a little maintenance.  The last thing you want is a radiator that isn’t working properly, which is why bleeding your radiators regularly could solve your problem and save you money on your heating bills. It’s easy and can be completed in a short time. Follow our helpful guide which will result in a warm and cosy home!


  • Bleed Key
  • Bucket
  • Absorbent rags

Step 1 – Boiler

  • The first thing you need to do is turn off your boiler, this will prevent any unwanted water escaping.

Step 2 – Bleed Key

  • Each radiator has a bleed valve which is located on to the top side of the radiator. It has to be a specific key which can be purchased at most DIY shops for just a few pounds. Place your bleed key to the bleed valve.

Step 3 – Radiator

  • Place the bucket underneath the radiator, have a few rags on hand in case any water escapes – It will avoid making a mess!
  • Turn the valve anticlockwise about a quarter of a turn, you will hear a hissing sound; this is the air escaping from your radiator.

Step 4 – Close the valve

  • When the hissing has stopped a little water may escape, close the valve immediately and tightly.
  • Store the key in a safe place and repeat every 2 months or as and when required.


If your radiator is still cold, it could be blocked with paint, if you have recently been decorating this can be solved simply.

  • Close the valves at each end of the radiator followed by removing the screw from the centre of the bleed valve.
  • Now clear the hole with a piece of wire, and reopen one of the valves slightly to eject some water from the hole.
  • Close the valve again and refit the screw in the bleed valve.
  • Open both radiator valves and test the bleed valve again.

There it is! Our simple and easy guide on how to bleed a radiator. Follow these steps and your radiator will be back to working order in no time at all!


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By Amanda Bainbridge