Easy to learn radiator maintenance

The simplest heating maintenance can be costly but safety is always key, so here is our guide to five of the easiest tasks you can do yourself! However before reading on we do advise that some tasks do need to be done by a specialist. For example, you do need to be trained to be able to do Boiler repairs or installations if you are using a House Extensions Birmingham company to have an addition added to your home.

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1. Bleeding a radiator

Are your radiators warm at the bottom but not at the top? If so, it is likely that there is trapped air that you need to bleed from the radiator. For this, you will need a radiator key. Switch the heating system off, put a towel down to catch any water, and ensure the thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) and lock valve at the bottom are open. Undo the bleed valve slightly – you should be able to hear the air hissing as it escapes. Once water starts to leak, close the valve. Check the pressure in the boiler is not below the recommended level; if necessary, re-pressurise using the manufacturer’s instructions.

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2. Bleeding a heated towel rail

Bleeding a heated towel rail is the same as bleeding column radiators.

3. Remove a radiator without draining

Firstly, shut the valves at both ends. Open the bleed key, catch the water, and shut the bleed key again. Lay towels under each end of the radiator and undo each nut next to the valves until open, quickly and carefully lifting the radiator and folding it down to the floor. The radiator is full of water, so be careful – it will be heavy. Undo the nuts and lift the base up to completely remove the radiator. Reverse these steps to refit.

4. Fixing a radiator that won’t get hot

If you have radiators but only one won’t heat up, undo both the lockshield and the radiator TRV valve using an adjustable spanner. If this does not fix the radiator, completely remove the TRV head. Check the TRV pin – if this is stuck down, use grips to gently move it up and down to free it.

5. Adding inhibitor to a heated towel rail

Put a towel down and turn off both valves at the bottom. Use a radiator bleed key and undo the bleed valve. Leave this open, slacken off the nut at the bottom and release the same amount of water as the amount of inhibitor you wish to add. Tighten the nut again, shut the bleed valve, undo the bung, and put the inhibitor into the hole. Finally, refit the bung.


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