With the UK weather being so unpredictable, you never know when you will need to use your radiators. Jokes aside, after long periods of inactivity, your radiators might need some TLC to help them run safely and efficiently. As plumbers can be expensive and sometimes unnecessary, you may wish to do some DIY radiator maintenance. So, to keep them in tip-top condition all year round, follow these handy tips below.
How To Maintain A Radiator
There are three important steps to follow when maintaining your radiators. These are:
- Cleaning the radiator
- Bleeding the radiator
- Lubricating the bolts
It’s important to note that before undertaking any of these steps, your heating should be switched off completely and left to cool for several hours. Even if your radiator feels lukewarm, there is still a potential to be burned.
How To Clean A Radiator
Radiators often go untouched for long periods of time, so dust and grime can accumulate without us noticing. This dust can become a health risk if it is left for too long, so it’s best to maintain a regular cleaning routine. To remove this build up, we recommend using WD-40® Multi-Use Product. After giving the bottle a good shake, spray the product onto the affected surfaces, and buff away using a soft cloth. It really is that simple!
How to Bleed A Radiator
Now that your radiator is clean and prepped, you can move on to bleeding. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds! Essentially, bleeding your radiator means getting rid of any air stuck inside of it, which may cause the top to remain cooler than the bottom. You should aim to do this once per year to maintain the best efficiency.
Always start downstairs in the room that is furthest away from your boiler and make your way towards it. Once all of your downstairs radiators are done, you can move upstairs and follow the same steps. You will need a radiator key, and a cloth or container to catch any leakage. Again, make sure that your heating has been turned off and has had sufficient time to cool.
Use the radiator key to turn the bleed screw (the bolt at the top of the radiator) carefully anti-clockwise. This can be tough if the screw is stiff, so be patient and do not use enough pressure to damage the fixings. You may hear some hissing – this is the trapped air being released from the radiator. When the hissing stops, re-tighten the bolt. There may be some leakage, but don’t worry, this is normal!
When you have finished bleeding all of your radiators, it is good practise to re-pressurise your boiler, turn the heating back on, and do a quick check that none of your radiators are leaking.
Lubricating The Radiator Bolts
When fixings aren’t used regularly, they are often stiff and hard to work with. Now that you have already done the hard work for this year, make it easier for your future self and use some WD-40® Multi-Use Product to lubricate your bleed bolt.
You should also check and lubricate your thermostatic radiator valve (the part you turn to change the temperature) as this is essentially the part that controls the flow of hot water into your radiator. If this mechanism gets stuck, it is unlikely that any warmth will get into your radiator.
And there you have it! All of your radiators are prepped and ready for whenever the UK weather calls for them. We hope you found this article useful. If you’re looking for more money saving WD-40® hacks, why not check out our guide to more great ways WD-40® can be used in the home; you can learn simple DIY tips for beginners & more, all with the help of WD-40®!