My radiator is leaking

Your radiator can leak from either a valve, the pipework or from the radiator itself.

The advice is different depending on what type of boiler you have, as leaks on radiators can affect heating systems in different ways.

The leak is from the radiator itself

You will need to try to isolate the leak. Turn the radiator valves off to isolate the radiator. The thermostatic valves (TRV) should be turned to the 'off' position.

On the other side of the radiator, turn the lock shield valve off (in a clockwise direction) with a pair of pliers or a spanner. There may be a white plastic cap over it, which needs removing first. The plastic cap is just a cover which must be removed to turn the valve off.

Watch our video here that shows you how to do this. 

The leak won’t stop immediately, so you may need something to catch the water. If both valves have been turned off the radiator will be successfully isolated. If you can’t contain the leak and it is severe, then give us a call to report the repair.

If you have a combi boiler, you need to check the pressure gauge, as the leak could cause the pressure to drop. Your pressure should be between 1 and 1.5 bar. Here is a video if you need help to re-pressurise your boiler.

The radiator is leaking from the valves or pipework and:

I’ve got a combi boiler

When a leak occurs on a central heating system fitted with a combi boiler, it will eventually stop on its own. This is because the system is filled via a filling loop, which is manually opened and closed when more water is required. As the filling loop should always be in the closed position when it’s not being used, the system will not keep filling in the event of a leak. Usually, once the pressure has decreased, the leak will stop or slow down.

Turning the main stop tap off in this instance will not stop the leak on a radiator or associated pipework.

Check the pressure on the boiler, as the leak will cause the pressure to drop and potentially stop the boiler working. If the leak is severe, the pressure will drop instantly, so it will not be appropriate to attempt to top up the pressure. If this is the case, give us a call to report the repair.

If the leak is not severe, you should be able to place a towel or bowl underneath it to catch the water. Keep an eye on your boiler pressure as you might need to top up the pressure on the combi to keep it working until the leak is repaired.

If the leak is on the radiator valve, on the side where the nut is attached to the radiator, it can be isolated by turning both valves off. 

I’ve got a heat only boiler with hot water cylinder tank (with these types of boilers you will have a programmer to turn your hot water on and off on a timer)

When a leak occurs on this type of system, there are a couple of ways it can be isolated. If the water is not isolated, the leak will continue indefinitely, so it’s important to try to contain the leak. The system is filled via a tank, this is usually in the loft.

If the leak is more serious, and can't be contained, there will usually be a stop tap on the pipework above the hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard. Turn this stop tap in a clockwise direction, which will turn the water off to the tanks above. This will turn the water off to the heating system and the supply to your hot water taps. You may find after running some hot off, water stops running from the tap altogether. You need to turn your central heating and hot water system off at this point to avoid the risk of damage to the boiler and pump. The water will not stop immediately, as the system may well drain before stopping, which should be contained as best as possible. By doing this you can keep the rest of the water turned on.

The main stop tap is usually found under the kitchen sink and this will isolate the water to the whole property. You should only turn this off if the property is becoming flooded, and you can't find any other means of isolating the water or containing the leak. Call us to report the repair as soon as possible.

How do I report a repair?

You can report a repair to us at anytime, anywhere using My Account or contact us via Live Chat. Let us know when reporting that you’ve followed the advice and what you’ve tried to get it working, this helps us to assess what to do next to get the right person for the job.

If your home is at risk of flooding or you can’t contain a leak, give us a call on 0300 456 2531 to report it so we can get one of our plumbers out as soon as possible.