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Hints and Tips
Constant Bleeding of Radiators
Why is it sometimes necessary to constantly bleed radiators?


Constantly venting a radiator is necessary to eliminate air (usually) or hydrogen gas. Both can cause the radiator to become cold.

A 23 pin hole leaking rad

It is usually assumed the problem is due to air but often it's because of the formation of hydrogen gas resulting from electrolytic corrosion, the evidence of which is a black sludge deposit in the system, including radiators.

Black sludge can be dealt with by dosing the system with a suitable de-sludging agent.

It is possible to confirm the presence of hydrogen gas by venting the radiator vertically into an empty jam jar, or similar. Being lighter than air it will remain in the inverted container.

Take the container outside and apply a lighted taper and a distinctive 'pop' will confirm the presence of hydrogen gas.

If when venting the radiator, a 'rotten eggs' smell is apparent, this is very likely to be due to the formation of hydrogen sulphide.

If air is the problem, rather than hydrogen, then it's presence may be due to an incorrect 'configuration' of the cold feed and vent pipework and expert advice should be sought.

However, brand-new systems will always initially give up lots of air, which collect in radiators and will usually need to be vented a great deal for the first few weeks.

rad pin hole

Why do radiators become 'pin-holed' and leak ?

This can be due to the 'ingress' of air, often as a result of an incorrect 'configuration' of the cold feed and vent pipework and expert advice should be sought.

Why don't the radiators give out as much heat since the boiler was changed?

It may be that the new boiler is not operating at the same temperature as previously, so, initially, just try turning the boiler thermostat to it's highest setting.

If that doesn't solve it, then you should arrange for your installer to confirm that the boiler is able to achieve the normal 82deg C flow temperature when set at maximum.

If it is confirmed that the boiler is operating at it's correct temperature, then it may be, if other work has been carried out, that the system has not been balanced.

This can be done by progressively throttling the lockshield valves to ensure that every radiator achieves the same average temperature.

(Note)the radiators nearest the boiler usually require the greatest degree of regulation)

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