How to bleed a radiator

11 Mar 2015

Bleeding a radiator is one of those scary sounding chores which is actually very easy and quick to do. You’ll normally need to bleed a radiator if trapped air is causing it to feel cold at the tip and warm at the bottom.

Check out this guide from British Gas

Here's what to do:

  • Turn off the heating – to stop more air getting into the radiator, and the problem getting worse, make sure you turn off the heating at the mains.
  • Take precautions – before you start, make sure you wrap a cloth around your hand in case the escaping water is hot.
  • Find the radiator key – normally these come with the radiator but if you can’t find one, you can pick one up from a hardware store or improvise with a screwdriver.
  • Bleed the radiator – having found the valve which will be at the top of one end of the radiator, insert the key or screwdriver and slowly turn anti-clockwise.
  • Close the valve – once water starts escaping, quickly close the valve by turning it back clockwise.
  • Check it’s working – mop up any mess, but be aware that the water may be hot. Then turn the heating back on and check the radiator after a few hours to see if it’s heating all over.


As a tenant, you should only undertake this sort of maintenance if you feel comfortable in what you're doing. Further damage could make you liable for the cost of a repair.

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