Fixing Airlocks in Pipes 

Airlocks in Pipes, Hot Water and Boiler Problems

The tell tale sign of an airlock is if you notice the hot water tap hissing or spluttering. An airlock in the pipes is one of the main issues that can affect your household plumbing. We recommend calling the emergency Plumber in Belfast to get it fixed right away!


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What is an Airlock?

Water pipes are of course designed to carry water around your home to sinks, baths, and showers. Inside those pipes there is always going to  be some air. Air is lighter than water so usually rises to the top.

Sometimes when pressure is applied to the water system, the air gets trapped and restricts or blocks the water from free movement. Usually the water pressure from the tap may be slow, and in the worst case, may stop altogether.

If you know what you are doing, most airlocks can be cleared by using a hose. You do need to be careful though as you could also cause more damage that you already have.

airlock in hot water taps

How do you know you have an airlock?

There are 2 main signs of an airlock:

  1. Spluttering of water out of taps even when they are fully open
  2. If maintenance of the plumbing system, where the tank is emptied and is being refilled

Sometimes airlocks just happen over time. Air can build up slowly and will slow down the supply to taps and shower heads.

If a plumber has been working on your plumbing systems, then they should have done this properly and checked for airlocks before they left.

There is always a reason, but irrespective of that, it does require attention.

Airlock Solutions

You can attempt fixing an airlock yourself, especially if you have some experience with plumbing. By increasing the water pressure, air bubbles can be forced out a pipe. Bear in mind that airlocks usually occur in hot water pipes because the water will not exert enough pressure to push the air bubbles out of the way. It is less common in cold water pipes since they are often connected to the water main.

We have included a video below of how to attempt this yourself. We would only recommend attempting this if you have some type of plumbing experience.

We have listed the steps below:

  1. Connect a normal garden hose to the hot water spout that has the airlock
  2. Then attach the other end to a cold water tap that will have more pressure
  3. Make sure to really tighten the connection to both ends using something like hose clamps or clips
  4. Now turn on the hot water tap first and wait for a while
  5. Then turn on the cold water and wait for about 30 seconds
  6. Turn off the cold water tap first and then the hot water tap
  7. Remove the hose from the hot water spout and then try turning the hot water back on
  8. You may need to repeat this process three times if the airlock is still present

If this doesn't work, then we recommend calling the emergency plumber in Belfast. We do all of this type of work, and it is easier for us as we have all the right tools and equipment. We also have the experience of knowing exactly what to do, and in preventing any major issues.


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