How to bleed a radiator without bleed valve

How to bleed a radiator without bleed valve. It is not a difficult job to bleed a radiator but bleeding a radiator without any key or bleed valve is a tough task to do. When air is trapped in the radiator then, it gets cold and will not heat up.

You will have to bleed out the air to normalize the radiator. Normally there is a radiator key to bleed the radiator, but what if you lost your key or tool to do it?

Don’t worry. These keys are easily accessible at DIY stores of the same size, but if you want to fix the issue of the heating system immediately, then there are also other ways or methods to bleed the radiator.

You can use a flathead screwdriver or Allen key to bleed a radiator. After reading this article you will be able to know the alternative methods to bleed the radiator without having a bleed valve.

How to bleed a radiator without bleed valve

bleed a radiator without bleed valve

If your radiator is gone cold, then it is a thing to worry about because it will affect the whole heating system in the home.

Things gone even worst when you check that the radiator key or bleed valve is also missing from the toolbox.

If you are up to such a situation, then don’t get panic. There might be some other tool in the toolbox which could be helpful in such a scenario.

Here are some other ways of bleeding a radiator.

Switch off the heating system

It is very important to note that you can not bleed a radiator easily when the heating system is on because it is very hot to touch it.

You can also burn yourself from the hot water of the radiator. So turn off the valve of the radiator because after bleeding, its pressure will surely cool down.

Flathead screwdriver

A flathead screwdriver is usually found in the toolbox of every person. The radiators which are manufactured in the latest years have a little indent that permits the flat head screwdriver to lodge in the bleed plug of the cold radiator.

First of all, hold a towel and grip any of the drips and slots in the edge of the spanner or screwdriver, and softly turn it to the anticlockwise position.

Now, if the air is confined or trapped in the radiator, you will listen to the buzz of air that is getting away from the radiator.

After the buzzing of air stops and you will see that water starts flowing out, immediately fix the bleed plug with the help of a screwdriver but now turn it in the clockwise rotation.

Use Allen key

use allen key

In some radiators, there is no option to use a flathead screwdriver instead of the bleed key to escape the trapped air.

Especially in the old radiators, in such case, you can also use some other key like the Allen key or a small panner.

You can also use a pair of pliers to escape the air.

But very careful using these tools to bleed the radiator.

Don’t get in a hurry while opening it anticlockwise, and then after escaping the air, tighten the bleed plug in a clockwise direction.

With a towel rail

You will need a wrench if you want to escape the air from the cold radiator by using a towel rail. If you have a towel in hand, then you can easily catch the water that sprinkles from the radiator. Here are the steps to follow.

  • Switch off the heating system to let the radiator cool down. It will prevent you from burning the hot water of the radiator.
  • Firstly, hold the towel in hand and then unfasten compressing joints.
  • Open the bolt gently, which joins the radiator to the rail.
  • You will listen to the sound of air which will emit from the radiator.
  • Refix the valve with the help of a wrench immediately after the escaping of all air.
  • Switch on the heating again.
  • Check the radiator after half an hour that heat is dispersing across them.


The bottom line of the article is if you lost the bleed valve and your radiator is cold, then don’t worry about this situation.

There are alternative tools also to bleed a radiator, like a flat head screwdriver, Allen key, and spanner. You can also do it with a towel rail.

Another option is that the bleed valve key is easily available at DIY stores.

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