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It is essential to maintain your radiators to avoid costly repairs and keep energy bills down. If you have bled your radiators and are still experiencing cold areas at the bottom, this indicates you have sludge that needs flushing out.

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What is it?

Over time your radiator corrodes inside, the rust particles mix with water and this forms a sludge that collects at the bottom. One of the easiest ways of knowing if your radiators need flushing is by bleeding them. If the fluid coming out is light or dark brown then a flush is required. You can call a plumber but it is an easy enough DIY job.

What you will need

1.      A radiator key
2.      A bucket to catch the fluid
3.      Old towels or sheets
4.      Two adjustable wrenches
5.      Plumbers tape (PTFE tape)
6.      An outside area and hosepipe

What to do?

There is information online about bleeding and flushing radiators and it’s a simple procedure with six steps to follow:

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1.      Turn your heating off.
2.      Lay down old sheets or towels, paying attention to the area around valves.
3.      Turn the temperature valve to off or ‘0’ and on the other side of the radiator remove the cap over the valve to access the lockshield. Turn fully clockwise with your wrench, making a note of how many turns are required. Return to the temperature valve and use one wrench to hold it and the other to loosen the nut connecting the radiator to the valve.
4.      Place a bucket under the opened valve and use your radiator key to open the bleed valve which is usually on top – any fluid should collect in your bucket. Loosen the valve on the other side to the one you have just done and tilt the radiator to empty out any fluid, close the bleed valve.
5.      Remove the radiator and carry it outside to flush out with the hosepipe to clean out the remaining sludge.
6.      Take the radiator back inside and reverse steps 1-4 to reconnect it to the wall. You can now turn your heating back on.

It is worth thinking about maintenance like this when choosing your radiators as you may want to pick aluminium radiators http://apolloradiators.co.uk/Category/3/header/3/radiator-ranges which are smaller and lighter, making this job a lot easier.

Simple maintenance can help to make your central heating system more efficient and cost-effective.

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