Importance of purging in the domestic radiator
With the arrival of winter, many people turn their heating systems back on to warm their homes. However, there are several cases in which, after being turned off for several months, it is likely that, when turned on, a certain decrease in performance will be noticed.
This could be caused by air building up in the system’s piping system, which is quite common when it is left off for too long. Therefore, if summer is over and you want to turn on your heating, we first advise you to check that the system is in a suitable state to be able to offer you heat and be a part of your comfort at home. Although some choose to acquire what they consider to be the best radiator of the moment, others choose to maintain their equipment.
How do I know my radiator has air?
In order to make sure that one of the radiators in the heating system has accumulated air in the chamber, you will have to turn it on and wait a couple of minutes. Then, check the temperature at the top, since that’s where air tends to collect due to the difference in density compared to water. If it’s cool to the touch, but other areas are warm, you have trapped air. This is stated due to the fact that the hot water cannot fill the pipes completely and this causes a temperature change in the entire distribution of the piping system in the equipment.
You can also tune up your hearing and try to perceive if you notice sounds that are not typical of regular functioning. One of the most characteristic signs that there is air in the system is a bubbling or gurgling sound inside the pipes.
If the system presents any of the two symptoms, it is more than recommended that you carry out a purge to improve the performance in general and enjoy a stable and pleasant ambient temperature at all times, otherwise, you would soon have to make the decision of which radiator to buy, since the heating you have at home could be damaged.
How to bleed my radiator?
To answer this question, you must first take into account what type of radiator is used in your heating. Normally, they can be made of different materials, but most have casings made of sheet metal, aluminium, iron or steel, all of which are highly durable, resistant and robust materials.
By checking it closely, you will be able to look in its control panel or in the instruction manual itself if your radiator has the automatic purge function, so you will only have to activate it so that the same system is in charge of eliminating residual and regular air. the pressure inside the pipes.
If not, you will have to do the job by hand. In case you do not feel confident to do it or do not have any experience, it may be convenient to consider hiring a specialist.
Instructions for bleeding your radiator
Before starting, you should know that the purging process must be carried out with the entire system at room temperature, so you must deactivate it at least a few hours before. Bleeding is necessary to be able to re-establish the proper pressure in case it has been lost. If your house has several floors, we advise you to start purging the units that are on the highest, since they are likely to have more accumulated air than the lower ones.
1st step: The first thing you should do before carrying out any type of manipulation or maintenance on the heating system that presents the aforementioned symptoms is to turn it off completely. Turn off any combustion elements that are generating heat and wait until the entire piping system has cooled down to begin maintenance.
Step 2: Get a coin, a screwdriver or adjustable wrench, and a large container. Go to the first radiator and locate the purge valve that should be located on one of the sides of the casing. When you’ve found it, take the tool and open the valve slowly by turning the thread counterclockwise.
3rd step: When you open the valve, you will notice how pressurized air begins to come out. Be careful not to open it all the way or too quickly, as running out of air will cause water to leak out and could cause a mess.
4th step: When the air has been completely eliminated from the radiator system, you will notice that water begins to come out of the valve and this is where the container that we mentioned earlier comes in handy. Collect the water that escapes until you notice that it begins to come out with pressure and with an uninterrupted flow.
Step 5: Now that the piping system is free of air, you can proceed to close the bleed valve by turning the thread counterclockwise. Make sure to close it completely to avoid further pressure loss or air intake. Now that you are done with the first radiator, you will need to repeat the same steps for all the radiators in your home to avoid wasting time and effort.
6th step: After having purged the entire system, the next and last thing to do is to open the passage of water to fill the pipes up to the indicated level and, since the radiators work with pressurized water, we advise you to have a pressure gauge so you can measure this characteristic and, taking into account the requirements of your radiator, verify that the system has reached the appropriate level. After this, you only have to turn on the radiator system to be able to enjoy a pleasant temperature inside the house regardless of how cold it is outside.
If you want to be more careful and be able to extend the useful life of your radiator, you also have products on the market specially designed to improve performance or contribute in some way, either by humidifying the environment, sealing the joints where heat can escape or enter the cold, among many other options.