How to bleed different radiators – aluminum, plate finned and trench

How to bleed a radiator – aluminium

Aluminum radiators are among the most popular because they have affordable prices. They are also available in a decorative version.

Such heaters should not only be useful, but also aesthetic. Aluminum radiators are light, so they are easy to transport, move and install. They have a small water capacity, so they heat up quickly. Heating rooms with their use is therefore quite fast.

Aluminum is corrosion resistant and therefore suitable for permanent contact with water. Some heaters contain admixtures of other elements that increase the strength parameters of aluminum.

An interesting solution are aluminum section heaters. As standard, they consist of ten identical elements, but you can buy more and combine them into one installation. The smallest models can have three elements, the largest – a dozen. Thanks to this solution, it is possible to adjust the size of the radiator to the size of the room. Aluminum radiators can be combined with modern and automated installations.

Below is a step-by-step instruction on how to vent them:

We close the thermostatic valve .

  1. Place a bowl or a bucket under the radiator valve.
  2. Unscrew the vent valve. You can use a knob, screwdriver or a special wrench for this – it depends on the type of valve.
  3. We are waiting for more air to blow out. When this happens, water will start to flow from the valve slot. It should flow down into the pan.
  4. We turn off the vent valve. You need to tighten it tightly.
  5. We set the thermostat in the selected position.

How to bleed radiator – plate

Plate radiators are installed in most new buildings. They are composed of two plates welded together, i.e. simply sheets of metal. Between them there are spirals through which heated water or steam flows. From the outside, these radiators are covered with corrugated sheets.

This is the most popular solution, but more and more often you can also find radiators of this type, which are supposed to perform decorative functions. The standard models have a minimalist design that suits a multi-room arrangement. Panel heaters are constructed in such a way that their sides are protected by solid steel plates. These are covers that protect the radiator against various objects getting inside it, and at the same time they make the heated air move upwards. There is a grille at the top that allows the heated air to easily flow upwards.

Panel heaters can consist of one, two or three plates. They differ in design and construction. Unfortunately, panel radiators are not characterized by very high thermal efficiency. In this respect, they are superior to traditional finned radiators. However, they perfectly cooperate with automated installations, which makes them a modern and practical solution.

How to vent them:

  1. Close the thermostatic valve in order to cool the water in the radiator.
  2. Place a bowl or bucket under the deaeration valve.
  3. Then unscrew the vent valve. For this purpose, we use the right tool depending on the type of valve – a screwdriver, a special key received when installing the valves or a knob built into them.
  4. Now all you have to do is wait for the air to flow out of the radiator. A sign that it is no longer there is the water flowing from the valve. It is precisely in order to catch it that the vessel is set up. It does not have to be too big, because the valve should be closed as soon as water starts to flow into it.
  5. We tighten the valve tightly. The harder the better. It should be tight.
  6. We turn the thermostat to the selected position.

How to bleed radiator – finned

Ribbed heaters may seem like a relic of the past, but in fact they are not. They used to be in virtually every home that used central heating. Later, they were replaced by other types of radiators in order to become fashionable again. Currently, they are chosen by people who trust and sentiment them.

Ribbed radiators can be used as decorations in old-style rooms (e.g. retro, vintage). An interesting fact is the radiators painted in some non-obvious colors, e.g. red of the fire engine or silver. Such a device can attract the attention of anyone who enters the room.

However, these heaters are not considered economical because they have a large capacity. Hence, they also have high thermal inertia. This means that a lot of energy and time are needed for such a traditional radiator to warm up. It is worth noting, however, that these quite bothersome disadvantages apply to old-style ribbed radiators. Modern models lack them. They are much lighter and they heat up faster. Their great advantage is the fact that the investor can adjust the number of radiator ribs by himself. The smallest of them may have even two ribs, the largest may have as many as 50. Therefore, they can be used to create a structure longer than two meters. This will allow you to easily heat even a very large room.

This type of heaters can perfectly complement loft interiors. They will certainly be a perfect complement and decoration.

Venting the finned heater:

  1. We close the thermostat.
  2. Put old towel or rags under the radiator. Ribbed heaters are usually tall and it may be too difficult to place the vessel under the valve. Of course, we can try, but it certainly won’t hurt to additionally secure the floor.
  3. The valve vent should be secured with a cloth. If we do not do this, the water may flow directly to us and give us an unplanned shower. It is necessary to pay attention to which direction the valve outlet is placed, because it is where the water will flow.
  4. Unscrew the vent valve using a dedicated wrench, screwdriver or knob.
  5. All air should come out of the valve. You can tell by the fact that water is starting to flow out of it.
  6. We close the valve as tightly as possible.
  7. We wipe the water from the radiator and its vicinity. We can use the same old towel and cloths that protected the floor under the ribbed radiator.
  8. Set the thermostat in the right position so that the heating radiator warms up to the desired level.

Trapped air – venting the trench heater

Trench heaters are not very popular yet, but they can be found in modern homes and public buildings. They are installed in the floor so that the heat is emitted close to people moving around the room.

Some models of trench heaters also have a cooling function. They can therefore be used all year round. They can be installed along the glass walls of buildings – tall windows, balcony and terrace doors, and glass entrance doors .

Typical trench radiator details

The length of the radiators should be greater than the length of the glazing, although this condition is not always met. They can also be installed in the corners and along the internal walls of the building. Then, however, they may work a little less efficiently due to the lack of natural air flow.

The most common trench heaters are 100 to 350 cm long, 9 to 14 cm high and 18 to 42 cm wide. This is a very large span, but there is also an additional option to order a radiator to size. Then it is perfectly suited to the place where it is to be inserted.

The construction of such heaters is quite simple. It is a long steel bathtub in which a copper and aluminum heat exchanger is placed. Many models are also equipped with a fan , which additionally stimulates the air movement and forces it to mix. This makes heating more efficient.

If you need to know advantages

Their greatest advantage is the fact that they do not occupy any space above the floor surface. They can be completely hidden, especially since the protective grilles on them are available in various patterns and textures. So you can also find those that imitate the floor located in a given room.

Another advantage of this type of heating is the lack of evaporation of the windows. Less cool air is blown inside the rooms, which in turn affects the even distribution of temperatures throughout the room and better air circulation.

The downside of this solution is unsatisfactory performance. Especially models without an internal fan are not able to effectively heat rooms, however, they are perfect as a supplement to the installation and an additional source of heating.

Dust, dust and sand from shoes can also get inside the heaters. They must be removed regularly so that the radiator is not damaged.

Venting trench heaters

  1. Prepare the necessary tools – a special key or a screwdriver, if the valve is unscrewed with their help. An alternative are valves with a handwheel. A bowl or bucket will also be useful to collect the water flowing from the radiator.
  2. We remove the upper grate from the radiator. Sometimes it is simply called a grate. Without it, it will be much easier for us to get to radiator bleed valve and the whole procedure will be simpler and faster.
  3. We turn off the thermostat, ie set it to “0” position.
  4. Place a bowl under the vent valve, and if it does not fit in this place, simply wrap the valve with a cloth. Thanks to this, it should catch the water. However, it must be done skillfully so that you can observe when the water actually starts to fly.
  5. Unscrew the venting valve. At this point, we will hear the characteristic hiss of released air. Close the valve as soon as water comes out of it. This is a sign that all the air has come out of the heater.
  6. We tighten the air vent valve tightly.
  7. We remove the bowl with water (if it was set) and unscrew the thermostat so that the radiator heats up again.
  8. We put the upper safety grille back on. It is important that it fits tightly and that no one will trip over it. To be sure, it can be pushed firmly to the floor.
  9. It is also good to clean the radiator of any sand and dust during each venting. This can be done with a vacuum cleaner with the safety grille removed.

Summary – is central heating system impacted?

As presented in this document, heating system may be sometimes impacted and hot water may not be distributed properly in radiators. Air trapped inside impacts all the radiators or just few in the building, for example downstairs radiators. Bleeding radiators solves a problem so there are no longer cold spots, no hissing sound, whole radiator is warm in a few seconds and there is no need to worry about how much air blocks heating system from working efficiently.

Follow step by step guide presented in this article and apply solutions dedicated to your radiator. You will fix heating issue and your energy bills will be under control. Bleeding multiple radiators will be more time consuming but once you detect gurgling noises and you know what to do, this fix will not cause you any problems.