The water in your hydronic heating system contains some air. During the normal heating process, air is forced out and accumulates in the water lines. As it builds up over time, you’ll begin to notice uneven heating and unusual noises. Eventually, a build up of air in the lines can block water circulation completely.
Bleeding a hydronic heating system to remove any air is a routine maintenance chore that’s usually required once or twice a year. You can tackle this task in just a few easy steps:
- Turn off the heating system at the thermostat. Find the bleed valve on the radiator that’s farthest away from your boiler. Look for a half-inch high, cylinder-like fitting attached to the water supply line. The valve has a screw head on the top, and a small nozzle on the side. You may need to remove the radiator cover to access it.
- Place a container or cup under the nozzle to catch draining water. If the valve is situated close to the floor, you can use a folded adsorbent cloth instead. Using a screwdriver or radiator key, open the valve by turning the screw counterclockwise. Keep turning until you hear air hissing out and see water flowing out of the nozzle. Leave the valve open until the hissing stops and only water comes out.
- When you’re sure that the air has stopped escaping, turn the screw clockwise to shut the bleed valve. Keep turning until the water stops flowing completely, then replace the radiator cover. Follow the same procedure with each radiator, ending with the one that’s situated closest to the boiler.
- When you’re bleeding air from a hydronic heating system, don’t allow too much water to drain out of each radiator. The goal is to get all the air out without affecting the necessary water level within the system. Once you’ve finished bleeding the radiators, turn on your heating system again and check that everything is working properly.
For expert advice about bleeding a hydronic heating system in your Grand Traverse County area home, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about hydronic heating systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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