Learn how to purge your heated towel rail to extend its useful life

If you have a heated towel rail in your home, it is normal that after a while it does not provide the same efficiency as before. This may be due to the fact that air has accumulated inside it, making it necessary to purge it, thus improving its performance and reducing energy consumption.

Purging is a suitable task for any type of heating system. As far as towel radiators are concerned, purging means eliminating the concentration of air that does not allow proper circulation of water throughout its structure, generally causing the upper part of the radiator to be colder than the lower part. This is likely to cause failures in the operation of the radiator, so you will try to increase the power to heat the space in any way, producing a greater consumption of electrical energy and increasing the amount of the electricity bill, without really improving the results.

When should a heated towel rail be bled?

There are different ways to know that the radiator is not working optimally, but the main one is when it no longer heats the room as well as before and the steps, rails or upper pipes are cold. Also, it is possible to hear some noises when turning it on, during use and even while it is turned off.

The most advisable thing is to purge the radiator in the months of September or October, in this way, you will be able to have the fully functional equipment for the cold season in winter, which normally runs from November to January. Similarly, performing an annual purge is the most appropriate for better performance, even if it is one of the best towel radiators of 2022 (you can find some purchase options at this link). 

After it has been repaired or modified in any way, it is also important to purge it before use. Take into account that purging the device is an easy and quick job to keep it in the best possible condition, as well as extend its useful life, but it is not an infallible system, so it does not guarantee a solution to other failures that a device of this type could have.

In the event that the problems are not resolved after you bleed the heated towel rail, then it is time to ask for independent professional help or call the product’s technical service, to make a better diagnosis, since the problem is most likely associated with to technical problems, whether the thermostat is broken, has leaks of some kind or its pipes are clogged.

Steps and recommendations to bleed a heated towel rail

To bleed the heated towel rail it is only necessary to open a small valve that allows air to be expelled, but for this you must have some tools that you could have at home or easily buy at a store that provides DIY tools.

You will need a towel or bowl to pour the water into, as well as a radiator wrench or flathead screwdriver and a crescent or hex wrench. In case you do not have these tools, a thin coin can help with the task, it mainly depends on your radiator model and the access to the valve to bleed.

When gathering all the tools, the first thing you should do is turn off the heating completely, since otherwise it is possible that the air can enter the radiator system again and even increase. Also, it is important to wait for the equipment to cool down, which normally happens after 20 minutes from the disconnection, in this way, you reduce the danger of suffering burns and the work is more efficient.

The next step is to open all the thermostatic valves (TRV) that the radiator has, as well as the locks in case it has any. To open the valves correctly you must remove the caps and turn counterclockwise, either using a hex or wrench.

It is possible that the radiator has more than one valve, but it is important to locate the main valve with which you will be able to bleed the device. This is usually located on the top area of ​​the towel rack and has a square or hex shaped screw. This may also have a slot in its surface, which gives you more convenience to use a flathead screwdriver if you don’t have a radiator wrench available.   

Once you’ve found the area to purge, you can place the towel under the valve or on the floor if that’s more comfortable. Next, you need to slowly turn the screw counterclockwise. You will likely hear a hissing noise, less than a kettle or pressure cooker makes during use. This is because you are removing air and steam from inside the radiator.

When the air has completely escaped, it is possible that the water continues to bubble in the valve, so you must turn the screw in the opposite direction again and close it. If the air comes out completely from the radiator and it does not expel water, it means that it has run out of the necessary pressure to work correctly, then you must fill it again to continue its use.

Also, you can check the gauge on the boiler to know more accurately the water pressure, which must be between 1 and 1.5 bars, if it is 0 it means that the equipment is not working, but it should not be cause for alarm., as this is a common feature after purging it, but will return to normal when full.

To fill the heated towel rail, it is recommended to consult the product instructions, which gives you a better understanding of the quantities and method of use. Some open vent systems fill automatically without the previous step. Once it is full, it can be used as normal.

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