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How Do I Clear an Airlock in My Pipes

How to Get Rid of an Airlock in Cold Water Pipes

Airlocks in water pipes can be a frustrating issue, often resulting in reduced water pressure or an interrupted water supply. Fortunately, there are several methods to effectively clear an airlock from your cold water pipes. In this article, we’ll explore various techniques to remove airlocks from water tanks and water pipes, ensuring your plumbing system functions smoothly.

Understanding Airlocks in Water Pipes

An airlock in water pipes occurs when air gets trapped within the plumbing system, blocking the flow of water. This can happen in both hot and cold water pipes but is particularly common in cold water systems. Airlocks can be caused by a variety of factors, including recent plumbing work, draining of the water system, or changes in water pressure.

Signs of an Airlock in Water Pipes

Common signs that you might have an airlock in your pipes include:

  • Irregular water flow from taps.
  • No water flow from certain taps.
  • Gurgling noises within the pipes.
  • Reduced water pressure.

How to Get Rid of an Airlock in Cold Water Pipes

Method 1: The Simple Tap Method

  1. Connect Taps: Start by connecting a hosepipe to the affected tap and another working tap (preferably a tap that is at a lower level than the one affected). Ensure both taps are securely connected to the hose.
  2. Open the Taps: Open the affected tap first, then the working tap. This allows the higher pressure from the working tap to push the airlock out of the affected tap. Leave the taps open for a few minutes.
  3. Close the Taps: Close both taps, starting with the working tap, then the affected tap. Disconnect the hose and check if the water flow has been restored.

Method 2: The Direct Hose Method

  1. Attach a Hosepipe: Attach one end of a hosepipe to the affected tap and the other end to an outside tap or another tap with a direct water supply.
  2. Open Both Taps: Turn on the affected tap first, then the outside tap. The water pressure from the outside tap will push water through the system, clearing the airlock.
  3. Monitor the Flow: Keep the taps open for a few minutes to ensure the airlock is completely removed.
  4. Close the Taps: Turn off the outside tap first, then the affected tap. Detach the hosepipe and check the water flow.

How to Remove Airlock from a Water Tank

Airlocks can also occur in water tanks, affecting the overall water supply to your home. Here’s how to address this:

  1. Turn Off the Water Supply: Begin by turning off the main water supply to prevent any water flow while you work on the tank.
  2. Locate the Airlock: Identify the outlet pipe of the water tank where the airlock might be located.
  3. Bleed the Pipe: Using a suitable tool, gently open the bleed valve or the outlet pipe connection to release the trapped air. Be prepared for some water to escape.
  4. Restore the Water Supply: Once the air has been released, close the valve or connection and turn the water supply back on. Check for normal water flow.

Preventing Future Airlocks

To minimize the chances of airlocks occurring in the future, consider the following tips:

  • Regularly check and maintain your plumbing system.
  • Avoid unnecessary draining of the water system.
  • Ensure all plumbing work is done by a professional.
  • Install air vents or automatic air release valves in your plumbing system.

By following these methods and preventive measures, you can effectively get rid of airlocks in cold water pipes and maintain a smooth-running water supply in your home. Remember, if you’re ever in doubt or unable to resolve an airlock, it’s best to consult a professional plumber to avoid potential damage to your plumbing system.

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