When it comes to your plumbing and heating systems, if you want them to be working at optimum efficiency it’s best to get a professional out to do the work for you. However there are some jobs that are so simple and straight forward you can save money by doing it yourself.

For instance, a common problem, especially in old homes, is that the radiators will heat up fine at the bottom, but remain cold further up. This is probably because air has been trapped in your radiator, stopping the warm water spreading through it, keeping the room from being heated properly.

There’s no need to call a plumber out for this, however, as all you need to do is bleed the radiator.

The first thing you need to do to bleed your radiator is turn off your home’s central heating from the main controls. Turning off the central heating stops more air from being pushed into the system while you’re bleeding it.

Next, find the radiator that needs bleeding, and look for a small red handle on one side of the radiator. This is the bleed valve. Place a bowl or an absorbent piece of cloth beneath the valve to catch any water that leaks out. You don’t want fixing the radiator to ruin your carpets!

To open the valve you’ll need a bleed or radiator key. If you can’t find it your local DIY store should be able to give a replacement pretty cheaply. Put the key into the bleed valve and gently turn it anti-clockwise. When it’s somewhere between a quarter to halfway turned you’ll hear a hissing sound. Let the air hiss out until you see some water begin to dribble out of the valve. When water starts leaking you’ll know all the air has been purged from the system, and you can tighten the valve up again.

Clean up any spills, switch the central heating back on again, then a couple of hour’s later check that your radiator is hot all the way through, and that no more water is leaking out of the valve. That should fix any problems, but if it doesn’t, it may be time to bring in a professional.

This guest post has been provided by HGS Plumbing and Heating.