Three common radiator issues and how to troubleshoot them

Radiators are notoriously difficult to deal with for beginners, however, once you know some basic maintenance techniques they are surprisingly easy to handle. Read on for three common problems you could encounter with your radiators and how to correct them.

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Radiators are often in constant use over the coldest winter months so it is important to ensure they are in good working order before the cold weather kicks in. The most common problems are: leaking valves, hot and cold patches and radiators not heating up.

Leaking valves

Water leaking out of the radiator is a common issue, whether you have column radiators, horizontal radiators or another type. This can be due to radiator nuts being too loose, which means you have to tighten them with a spanner.

If they still leak after tightening then you might need to replace them. Thermostatic valves are a great idea because they give you more control over your heating system and let you turn individual radiators on and off, which can also save money on your bills.

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Another tip is to make sure you buy good radiators from expert stockists, such as Apollo Radiators or a similar brand. However, even with high-quality radiators, you could still meet problems in your heating system.

Hot and cold patches

If air is trapped in your system, hot water can be stopped from entering the radiator properly, leading to cold patches where the water cannot fill. This means you need to bleed the radiator using a radiator key to release air from the bleed valve. Check out this guide from The Express to see how it is done.

Another reason for hot and cold patches is a build-up of sludge from corrosion. Small bits of metal can break off and travel around heating systems, eventually resting at the bottom of radiators. To solve the problem you need to flush the radiator with water. To prevent it happening, use chemical inhibitor in your heating system to stop the rust from forming.

A radiator not heating up

Sometimes one radiator does not heat up due to an imbalance in your heating system. Another reason for one rad not heating up is a stuck thermostatic radiator valve pin. To correct this, remove the valve head and wiggle the pin with grips until it frees the pin.