When you have a spluttering tap, or nothing comes out, you’ve probably got an airlock. There are several ways to solve pipe air lock problems by using your cold water pressure to push the air lock out.
Here is how to use your washing machine to clear the pipe airlock.
Do you have an automatic washing machine with both the hot and cold supplies connected? Your washing machine will be connected to the mains pressure cold supply to work correctly. Turn the valve to stop the cold water going to the back of the washing machine. Take the cold water hose off the machine. Then turn the valve to prevent hot water to your washing machine and disconnect your hot water hose from the valve. Next, you need to connect the end of the cold hose to the hot valve.
Now you’re set to push the airlock out. Start by turning on the hot water valve followed by the cold water valve. The higher pressure of the cold water can push air back up the hot water pipes. After 30 seconds, close the cold valve, then the hot. Now try your hot tap, and it should flow normally.
You can repeat the process three times if the problem persists. If this process doesn’t work, please contact us for further advice.
Another way is to connect the cold tap to the hot tap.
If you have single hot and cold taps and the connections are good, you can connect a short hose between them using clips. Please always stay by your taps while you try this method.
Cover the single tap outlet with the palm of your hand until it is covered completely. To prevent the mains pressure from forcing your hand away from the tap, turn on the hot, then the cold tap. You are aiming to get the cold water to flow into the hot water pipe to push the hot water back through the hot water system.
What to do if you have an air lock in non-mains pressured cold supply.
If you have an air lock in a non-mains pressured cold supply from a mixer tap – perhaps in your bathroom – you need to use mains pressured cold water to push the non-mains pressured cold.
You can use a non-electric shower to help. Unscrew the showerhead. Cover with two or three plastic bags to form a strong barrier. Screw the shower head back on over the plastic bags. At the header tank turn only the hot outlet to OFF. Not the cold one which must remain ON. Go back to the shower to turn hot and cold taps ON.
Now at taps that have mains pressures cold water, use the hand pressure technique as previously described. The mains pressured water needs to backflow up into the hot water system. It can then flow into the non-mains pressured cold water pipes via the plastic bag blocked shower head. This should clear any air locks after three short attempts. If not, then please contact a plumber for advice.
If you require any type of plumbing, heating or boiler help, we have a team of plumbers and heating engineers in London, who provide high quality, low cost services. For more information, contact Plumb London today.