Non standard Radiator Bleeding

14 Dec 2009
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United Kingdom

I have a combi boiler closed system. The two upstairs radiators are not hot at the top hence I assume they need to be bled. Only problem is the radiators don't seem to have the standard key fitting anywhere on them?

They are like two radiators stuck together with a the intro feed coming from the bottom right which has a large turn handle. The exit valve in the bottom left looks pretty standard.

The only "exit" which I guess is for bleeding is found on the back of the radiator flush to the main face in the top left. It appears to be a small valve of some description but is smaller then that fitting a radiator key?

Is this going to be the bleed valve? Is there a special smaller radiator key that will fit it? Or can I just use a small spanner? I just want to check that this is indeed the correct valve before I start turning it.
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Well the standard vent key is too big. It's the same for all the radiators in teh house like this.

I can use an adjustable spanner to do it but just wanted to check that this is indeed the bleed valve.... I don't want to twist this and suddenly find it falls off and water spews everywhere! Especially not at half eleven at night ;)
Looking at the piccie, maybe the bleed valves were a standard size when they left the factory, but a few applications of various non-standard 'keys' (pliers, mole grips etc. etc.) have left them looking more like something the dog has been chewing for the last fortnight....

Shutting both valves completely (make a note of the number of turns to close the lockshield) should allow you to unscrew the valve completely to replace it if you wish without much water escaping.

As you appear to have a thermostatic valve on one end, either fit a decorator's cap, or do the job when the room is warm, and work quickly (no nipping out to the hardware store to get the bits halfway through), as TRVs try to open themselves again as the room cools.

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