How to Fix a Cold Radiator

Chances are if you live here in Germany you have an old heating system. Some houses are pretty modern but others… eh, not so much. If you do happen to have that old heating system, (This guy) you might end up with a radiator or two that doesn’t seem to heat. Before you go calling the handyman and incurring 50 Euro worth of work, try this one simple trick. You radiators probably aren’t working because they have been off all summer. Sometimes on those old radiators the valve gets stuck. Here is a simple method to check and get those valves open.

Step 1: Locate faulty radiator!


Step 2: Remove radiator handleDSC_0127

Step 3: Push (hard) on valve. Don’t bend it!


Step 4: Reassemble and set on highest setting


Thats it, you’re all done! I did this with my cold radiators when we moved into this place and they warmed right back up. Did you have to do something like this in your rental? Let us know in the comments below.

4 Comments on How to Fix a Cold Radiator

  1. Another common reason for radiators to be cold is air getting trapped in it. Most radiators come with a small air release valves, usually on the site opposite from where the main valve is. They are easiest to operate with a simple, tiny, cheap specialized tool the size of a bike lock key — which you most likely don’t have, but a pair of needle-nose pliers will do in a pinch. Open the valve, and air comes out. Be careful, though: when all the air has been released, water starts coming out, and water that has been circulating in a hot water heating system for years is FILTHY. Have a rag handy to catch the spray.

  2. Before fiddling with your radiators, you really should consult with your landlord first (if you have one). An acquaintance of mine had tenants who broke his radiator and the tenants had to pay for the repairs. Had they asked him to fix it, he would have himself, and if that didn’t work, he would have called a company. It would not be fun to have to pay hundreds of euros to fix something if you break it, especially when it would be your landlord’s responsibility to fix it in the first place.

  3. This radiator looks really similar to mine, there is no bleed valve on min and only the first bar gets warm. Was this the same, no bleed valve? I think I might give your method a go and see if it fixes it. Would be interested if it did have a valve as well?

  4. Thanks! We own our apartment and it is almost impossible to get repairmen to come for a small repair here in Berlin. We had two radiators go out and it’s cold in the apartment. Thanks to your help I fixed one of them and we can live with that. Sending warm regards!

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