Do Your Radiators Need to be Bled?

Is your boiler acting funny? At this point in the season, many homeowners have at least turned on the boiler to test its operations, and among those that have, many have found that their hot water boiler system has been acting a little strange. Popping, clicking, and knocking noises coming from the radiators and pipes, radiators that only get partially heated, and radiators that just don’t work at all are all symptoms of the same problem, and the solution is to bleed your radiators or baseboards.

Ask a Pro for Some Help

            If you have never bled your radiators before, you may want to trust a trained professional to handle the job for you. Most HVAC companieswill even encourage their servicemen to educate boiler owners on how to properly bleed their boiler so that they can handle this task in the future. The last thing you want to do it cause damage to the system, so play it safe and watch a pro before you take on this task. For those that have seen this performed before, you may just need a refresher on the steps needed to get this job done.

Do It Yourselfer Radiator Bleeding

            To bleed your radiators you will need a valve key and a rag or small bucket. If you don’t have a valve key, you can purchase one at your local hardware store, or some radiator valves can be opened with a screwdriver. Shut the boiler system down, and open the bleed valve on the radiator. You should hear or feel air leaving the system. Initially some water may sputter out with bursts of air, so keep your rag close. Once the air is gone, water will begin to flow out of the valve. When this begins, close the valve tightly, and you have successfully bled that radiator. Repeat this process all over the home and then test the boiler.

You May Have Bigger Problems

            Sometimes boilers need multiple bleedings in order to function properly, so be prepared to re-bleed the radiators if necessary. If you are still having problems with your system after you have bled all of the radiators, it is time to call a professional. A seasoned boiler service technician will find the problem and have the proper tools and knowhow to handle the repair. Whether you do this yourself or trust a pro, the point is to get your boiler working its best before the cold weather arrives.


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