Like the radiators in the rest of your home, a heated towel radiator that is plumbed into your central heating system will require bleeding. Bleeding is the term for releasing any air which has become trapped inside the radiator.
If you have a combi-fuel towel rail which, like many of Stelrad’s designer radiators uk, combines an electric element with the plumbed in system, you will still need to bleed the radiator.
Fully electric radiators do not need bleeding.
When to Bleed Your Heated Towel Rail
The first sign that your towel rail needs bleeding is that the top section is not heating up. Feel your rail all over. If the bottom is warm but the top is cool, the issue is most likely that it needs bleeding.
Even if your towel rail is working properly, you should bleed it annually as part of the general maintenance of your central heating system.
Why to Bleed Your Towel Heater
A radiator of any kind needs bleeding when air has become trapped in the system. This air prevents the warm water from circulating the full expanse of the radiator.
When this happens, many homeowners will turn the heating up further and further to try and get more heat. This is not effective, wastes money and burns energy.
The air needs to be released to allow the full radiator to heat up once again.
How to Bleed Your Heated Towel Rail
You will first need to find your radiator key. These are universal so you can buy one from your local DIY store if necessary.
Turn off the central heating and allow the heated towel rail to cool if it has been turned on recently.
Have an old rag ready to absorb any water which is released with the air.
Locate the bleed valve. This is usually at the top of the towel rail.
With your rag ready, insert the radiator key and turn it anticlockwise.
Hissing will indicate that the air is being released. A small amount of water may also be released.
As soon as the hissing has stopped, promptly turn the key clockwise to close the valve.
After Bleeding Your Towel Rail
Turn your central heating back on.
Check the pressure gauge on your boiler. If the gauge shows the pressure has dropped into the red zone, you will need to top up your system via the filler loop.
Check your towel rail is now heating up evenly. If not, you will have to consider that there is a different issue with your towel rail. See if the manufacturer has a trouble shooting page or consult a plumber.
How Often to Bleed Your Towel Radiator
You should bleed your heated towel rail at least once a year.
It can be best to bleed all your radiators at once as you will then only have to check the pressure gauge and ensure the system is balanced once too.
The most popular time of year to bleed radiators is towards the end of summer and the beginning of autumn in preparation for the colder weather.