4 Ways To Fix Your Cold Radiator

If your radiator isn't as warm or hot as it should be there could be several reasons for this. A good heating engineer will be able to diagnose your individual needs. With numerous reasons your radiator isn't warming up, we list 4 ways to fix your cold radiator.

1. Bleed the Radiator

Before bleeding your radiator you'll need to make sure it has been “bled” properly before. Where air is present at the top of the radiator it means there isn't any water to warm up and therefore your radiator wont warm up efficiently. By bleeding a radiator the bleeding process will rid any air that has accumulated within the radiator and this can be done using the vent / bleed valve. A radiator in an ideal world would be bled on an annual basis to rid the radiator of any air accumulated and can be done easily with a bleed key (vent key) that can be purchased from a plumbers' merchant or a local DIY store like Wilkinsons, these keys can be picked up for as little as 50p.

How to bleed a radiator

Before bleeding the radiator, both valves at the bottom should be open. Attach the bleed key (vent key) onto the bleed valve (air vent) at the side of the radiator. Use a cloth to catch minor drips unscrew the air vent. As you slowly unscrew the radiator, you'll hear a hissing noise. The hissing noise is the air escaping and slowly the noise will change to a steady squirt of water. At this point tighten up the air vent. You can see a full step-by-step guide to bleeding a radiator in the video below.

2. Check the valves are open

Ensure the water can flow through your radiators by checking to make sure the valve is fully open. This valve can be located at the bottom of the radiator.

3. Is a “flow diverter” required?

Some radiators require internal fittings called “flow diverters”. They ensure that water flows in the right direction through your radiator. The flow diverter is designed to ensure all parts of the radiator get as warm or hot as it should be. As much as radiators that require flow diverters are shipped with them, heating engineers often forget to install these and, as a result, radiators that require flow diverters often do not perform properly. Ensure your heating engineer installs the flow diverter when they install your radiator.

4. Does your heating system require 'balancing'?

If your radiator is still not performing and heating up, you'll need to check whether your radiators need 'balancing'. Your heating engineer should balance your system following the installation or maintenance of your overall central heating system. Radiator balancing is adjusting the flow of water running through each radiator so that each radiator is running at equal temperatures and takes the same amount of time to reach their operating temperature. Signs that your system needs balancing are:
  • Cold spots on radiators
  • Radiators failing to heat up properly
  • Radiators making noises

Ensure your plumber checks the radiator before leaving

It is rare that the radiator would be experiencing faults because of the manufacturer. Your heating engineer should ensure the performance of the radiator before leaving your home and therefore testing the radiator after the installation process. With that said, if you're changing one radiator, your heating engineer should check that this hasn't caused a deterioration on your other radiators across your house. Check out the wide range of designer radiators available at Trade Radiators. After purchasing your radiator, if you require a professional to install it, check out Find Your Plumber. This is an online marketplace for plumbing work and services where you can receive quotes from local heating engineers for installation of your new radiator.
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