With winter fast approaching, many of us will be thinking about turning our bathroom radiators back on. Yet, after a long warm spell, most radiators have sat dormant and unused for a great deal of the year. This means there's a good chance that air has seeped into your radiator. Such trapped air will prevent a bathroom radiator from working efficiently to heat your space. 
Here, The Bathroom Showroom shows how easy it is to bleed a radiator. Fortunately, this is a quick and easy task that can be done as a DIY job. More importantly, this will help ensure your bathroom radiator is winter ready and at its peak performance.

What Does Bleeding a Radiator Mean?

Bleeding a radiator is a simple maintenance task that helps release trapped air in your heating systems. When trapped air is present, it prevents the hot water in your radiator from circulating effectively. The result is a drop in performance and noticeably colder room temperature or a long time to heat the room. 

Do You Need To Bleed Your Radiators?

Though many people perform this quick task annually, some people also find that several clues tell you your radiator may require bleeding. The most common is a drop in the efficiency of your radiator's performance. You may notice that your room doesn't seem to heat fully or as effectively as it used to. 
You might also carefully run your hand close to the radiator and notice how the top is cooler than the bottom. For some people, their radiators start to get noticeably noisy and make gurgling sounds. The pipes may also emit a banging sound when heating up.

When Bleeding Radiators Should The Heating Be On?

You should always switch your central heating and hot water off at the boiler before bleeding your radiators. You should also ensure that the radiator you're working on is cold to the touch. By doing this, you prevent the possibility of scalding as you work, as there’s no chance of the water in the radiator heating up. 
Also, by switching off beforehand, all the trapped air will rise to the top of the radiator, further helping you when bleeding it. 

What Tools Do You Need to Bleed A Radiator?

Fortunately, this is one bathroom maintenance task that requires very little in the way of tools! To bleed your bathroom radiator, you just need:
A radiator key - this fits the tiny release valve in your radiator.
Two old cloths or towels - To cover the wall and floor from water. 
A small bowl or jug - To catch any water that may leak out.

How To Bleed a Bathroom Radiator 

  • Turn off your central heating and hot water at the boiler and wait for the system and radiator to cool down.
  • Using the old cloths or towels, place them both behind the radiator and on the floor under your radiator, covering the areas around the release valve.
  • Taking the radiator key, insert it into the radiator release valve and carefully twist it anticlockwise, one or two turns while holding the bowl or jug underneath it. 
  • As the air is slowly released you'll start to hear a hissing noise.
  • This hissing noise will then stop when all the air is released.
  • You should then hear a gurgling sound as water from the radiator will start to ooze or spray out. 
  • When the water does this, take the radiator key once again and close the release valve by turning the key clockwise.
  • You have now removed all the air from your radiator.

Bleeding Radiators Before Winter Ensures A More Comfortable Bathroom 

Bleeding your home radiators should be an annual maintenance task best performed during autumn to prepare for the winter season. This should give you enough time to ensure your bathroom heating is in peak working performance and thus highlight any potential issues that may need further investigation before the cold weather kicks in.
That way, you can continue to enjoy your bathroom and relax in comfort while you save money on your bills, as your radiators can now reach the correct temperature more efficiently. 
For more bathroom ideas and bathroom inspiration, take a look at our Rest and Relaxation blog section.
If you’re considering a new radiator, book an appointment with The Bathroom Showroom. Experts in all things bathrooms, we can help turn your dream bathroom into a reality.