Clogged Radiator: Signs That Your Radiator is Clogged and How to Fix It

If your radiator fails to heat up the cause is usually a clog of rust or sludge either in the unit itself or in the central heating circuit. Another common sign of blockage is uneven heating up of the unit, with most warmth collecting at the top while the bottom remains cold.

We Have All the Radiator Supplies You Need

Column Rads has some of the best heating system protection and maintenance products on the market. We have in stock Fernox F1 Super Concentrate Central Heating Protector to protect your pressurised system or combi boiler against corrosion and limescale. Fernox F3 Super Concentrate Cleaner is ideal to pre-commission a new system or restore heating efficiency in an existing system. You can easily add either Fernox product directly through a radiator unit. Fernox F1 Express Protector will maintain and extend boiler life. It doses in 30 seconds and is suitable for use with all materials, including aluminium. We also have the Magnaclean Micro System Filter protects against black iron oxide sludge and non-magnetic debris in any central heating system, along with a selection of high-quality leak sealers, protectors and boiler noise silencers.

View radiator protection products here

First Steps in fixing a clogged radiator

Of course, the best protection for your home heating system is always clog prevention, but if your maintenance measures (or lack thereof) have strayed into more serious territory, there are steps you can take to solve the problem of a clogged radiator yourself. You must remove the affected radiator(s) to clean them, so you’ll want to have the proper tools at hand, including towels, radiator key, and adjustable wrenches. Before this, however, check to see if the problem is with the air valve by the boiler: The piping to the radiator failing to produce heat should be tilted back toward the boiler, or water will collect and not enough steam will be produced to reach that radiator. If all is well with the air valve, it’s time for more aggressive action.

The Manual Flush

Turn off the central heating unit and let is cool completely. Next, push absorbent towels beneath and around the pipes serving the radiator you’re removing. Things may get messy. Turn off the valves with an adjustable wrench, beginning with the thermostatic radiator valve. (Place a bucket beneath it first.) With an adjustable wrench, turn off the lockshield valve. (Note the number of clockwise turns required to close this valve because you must repeat the same turns counterclockwise when you replace the radiator.) Next, use the radiator key to loosen the bleed valve - and keep that bucket in place beneath the thermostatic radiator valve! This will release all the water in the unit. Using the radiator key, loosen the lockshield valve and tilt the radiator to drain off as much water as possible. Use the radiator key to close the bleed valve and remove the radiator from the wall. You can now take the unit outside and use a hose to manually flush out dirt and residue.

If this manual flushing process fails to return your radiator(s) to full function, just admit you’ve met your match. Call a qualified and registered plumber with the expertise to repair gas boilers and central heating systems. Contact ColumnRads for additional info.