How to Bleed Pipes to Remove Trapped Air

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When a plumbing repair is made, the water supply is discontinued while the work is completed. In the absence of water, air fills the pipes. When the repair is finished and the water supply is restored, any trapped air in the pipes must be bled out of the system. Air in the pipes can cause annoying plumbing noises and interruptions in normal service. This procedure is carried out with minimal time and effort.

Things You'll Need

  • Standard screwdriver
  • Bucket
  • Rag
  • Locate a bleeder valve if the pipes being bled are part of a heating a cooling system. A bleeder valve may be on a radiator or on a heating or cooling line at the lowest level of the home. It usually has a small screw at the center that is turned to operate it.

  • Turn the screw on the bleeder valve counterclockwise to open it and let the air out. If the system is one in which there are bleeder valves on all the radiators, start with the highest and work your way down to the lowest level. Keep the bleeder valve open until only water comes out. Use a bucket to catch the water and a rag to wipe up any spillage. Depending on the amount of air in the line, you may need to empty the bucket several times.

  • Turn on a faucet or spigot at the lowest level if the repaired pipe is part of a fresh water system. Let the faucet run until no more air exits the spout. Repeat this procedure for other faucets to ensure all the air is out of the system.

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