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Do You Know How to Bleed a Radiator?

By David Holmes on January 4, 2010

RadiatorAccording to new research undertaken by Screwfix, it seems the problem with around half of young men in the UK is they simply do not know how to bleed a radiator.

As reported by Northern Gas Heating, the study into how men of different ages cope with a poorly performing central heating system shows that approximately 50% of males aged in their 20s would call for professional help where the situation requires a radiator to be bled. In contrast, only 17% of older men would hire the services of a plumber or suitably qualified gas engineer in order to bleed a radiator. Why are younger men seemingly incapable of fixing this relatively straightforward problem?

It has been suggested younger generations know much less about practical DIY matters because they have been brought up in an academic environment. Whilst such an opinion is impossible to dismiss or endorse with any reliability, the fact remains many young men in the UK are either incompetent or not sufficiently confident to fix their own central heating systems. Although this is arguably a good thing (nobody could seriously suggest a clueless individual tinkering around with a gas condensing boiler is a good idea) it does become somewhat more problematic where the simple task of bleeding a radiator is concerned. In fact, it is thought the relatively minor issue of trapped air in radiators accounts for many cases of inefficient central heating systems in the country, which is obviously not good for the environment.

Bleeding a radiator is a relatively straightforward task that can be safely handled by even the most inexperienced of men (or women). In most cases, bleeding a radiator simply involves loosening the valve at the side of the radiator with a special key (sensibly called a radiator key). As soon as water begins to drip out of the radiator (usually after a hissing sound associated with escaping air is heard), the valve can be tightened again. This simple process removes the air from the radiator and ensures that it works with optimal efficiency.