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When an air lock occurs in your plumbing system, it can be frustrating to break it apart. When these air bubbles occur, they will stop water from flowing through your system properly. Even worse, it can cause jams and clogs that cause overflows and other serious problems. Thankfully, it is possible to deal with this issue in a quick and efficient manner.
The following methods are the best ways to get an air lock out of your pipes for good. The great thing about these methods is that they can be easily understood and implemented by just about anybody. Try them out the next time your tap stops working.
The Best 5 Ways to Clean an Air Lock in Your Pipes
#1. Using a Hosepipe
One of the quickest ways to break apart an air lock in your pipes is to attach a hosepipe to the tap suffering from the air lock. Connect this pipe to the problematic valve and then wrap the other end of the pipe to a tap that is working. Make sure that the seal around these pipes isn’t broken to ensure that no air or water pressure escapes during the process. Pull the ends of the pipes up as tightly as possible and then turn on the problem tap.
Once it is open, turn on the tap that does work. Water will fill up inside of the hose and create pressure on the struggling tap. This pressure should work its way down the pipe and break apart the air lock. Using this method takes at least a few minutes of water pressure to work. After a few moments have passed, remove the hose and try the tap.
If no water comes out, try this process again for another few minutes. If this method doesn’t work for your pipes, then it is time to consider another. Thankfully, there are many other ways that you can break apart an air lock in your pipes without excessive work.
#2. Open All the Faucets in the House
One interesting method that takes no special skills or tools to implement is opening all the faucets in the home at the same time. While a little inefficient, it creates an increased pressure in the pipes that can shake loose an air lock. Make sure to open all the sink faucets, as well as the shower head, for this particular method to work.
You may have to run water for several minutes before the air lock breaks. The benefit of this approach is that it works all the pipes in your home and increases the chance of breaking apart an air lock that may occur in a harder-to-reach area.
#3. Bleeding Your Radiator System
When an air lock occurs in a boiler, it is important to bleed all of the radiators in your home. Start by going into the basement and turning off your boiler. After finishing this step, go upstairs and open all the radiators one at a time. Start with the first one in the line and continue until the end. Make sure to close the return valve after bleeding it.
It is important to count the number of turns it takes to open your radiator valves. The same amount of twists must be used to close them at the end of the process. When this is done, go back to the first radiator and open all the valves again in order. At this point, the air lock should have broken.
#4. The Washing Machine Method
This particular method is a variation of the hosepipe method that utilizes the power of your washing machine. It is only appropriate when used on an automatic washing machine that has both hot and cold water connections. Start by turning off the valves of both inputs on your washing machine and then disconnecting their hoses. Connect these valves with your trusty hosepipe and then turn on the hot water valve.
After this, you need to turn on the cold water valve. Leave both taps open for at least 30 seconds. The added pressure here is likely to cause the air lock in your pipes to break. This method is useful if you don’t have a two-tap system in your home or if you need extra power to break it up. When done, close the cold water valve and then the hot and reconnect the pipes.
#5. The Shower Head Method
Here’s one last method that requires a little more work than the others. However, it can be just as effective if done properly. Start by unscrewing the shower head from the connecting pipe. Now wrap the pipe with two or three plastic bags.
This step creates a membrane that helps send pressure back down through your pipes. The reason this method is so effective is due to the extreme pressure used to propel water. After you have added the plastic bags, put the shower head back in place and go down to your header tank.
Down here, turn the hot water outlet off, leaving the cold one in the on position. Go back up to the shower and turn on both the hot and cold water taps. As this occurs, the water in the shower head will create pressure that will go back down the pipe and break apart the air lock. When done, turn off the shower’s water, remove the shower head, take off the plastic bags, restore the shower head, and turn the hot water back on in the basement.
By following these simple air lock repair methods, you can restore your pipes to proper working order in no time. The thing we like about these methods is that they require almost no special tools, beyond a hosepipe and some plastic bags, to perform. Just about any homeowner can do them without getting too stressed out. If you need more help learning the basics of DIY plumbing, check out this article here!
Do you know another method of breaking up an air lock that you want to share with us? Then please post it in the comment section below. And make sure to share this article with people you know who could benefit from this type of plumbing advice.