How to Bleed Air From Water Pipes

If there is air in the plumbing, the idea is to systematically give it a path out.

Air can enter piping systems in several ways. There are many ways air may get into your pipes. Commonly, air can get in following the installation of new lines. Or alterations to your plumbing. 

Air bubbles may also form following repeated heating, as evaporated water cannot escape your pipes properly.  

Other ways are as follows:

  • Empty Pipelines

Pipelines not in operation get occupied with air. Most of it gets evacuated during startup. But some air pockets can remain in the system.

  • Air in The Fluid

Liquids like water can contain trapped or dissolved air depending on the temperature and pressure. It separates from the liquid during fluid flow and can become trapped at the system’s high points. Also, in pipelines conveying sewage, the liquid waste can undergo chemical reactions and become gases trapped in the wastewater system.

  • Mechanical Equipment

Air can also get into the pipeline through mechanical systems like pumps, pipe joints, valves, etc. These components’ leaks or faulty seals can lead to air infiltrating the piping system.

  • Leaks in your water well system or piping
  • Malfunctioning or losing check valves,
  • A good pump cannot draw in enough water, causing it to send a mixture of water and air.

Air and vacuum formed in water mains may lead to operating severe problems and dramatic consequences.

Signs and Problems Caused By Air In Water Pipes.

  • Noise

Air trapped in any water pipes in your home will produce some kind of gurgling or bubbling noise, whether the lines are part of your hot water heating system or drain pipes. In most cases, this noise is not very loud or bothersome, but as the air in the line builds, the noises can become louder and more disruptive.

  • Pipe Vibration

Symptoms caused by air trapped in your home plumbing lines often make assumptions that the problem is a water hammer, an issue with different causes and solutions.

For example, your problem is trapped air if your pipes vibrate or make prolonged noises instead of one loud bang or shake when you turn on a faucet. These vibrations can loosen the pipe fittings that prevent leaks and the straps that keep them from banging against your floor or wall structures. Leaks and loud banging noises may develop if this is the case.

  • Loss of Water Pressure

When you turn on a faucet, sputtering water strongly indicates that your pipes have trapped water. Low pressure can also get caused by air bubbles that prevent water from flowing higher through a specific plumbing portion.

If the loss of pressure or sputtering flow doesn’t disrupt your appliance’s functioning, it can be left untreated for a short time without causing further problems.

  • Blocked Pipes

When an air bubble becomes large enough and lodges in the right part of the pipe, it can completely block water flow. Turning on sure faucets or appliances will simply release the water left between the blockage and the faucet until that section of the pipe empties.

Losing water flow to one or more parts of your home is a severe problem. Once your pipes have enough trapped air to stop water flow, flushing the system may be the only repair possible.

  • Rust and Corrosion

If air is entering your plumbing system constantly, as indicated by a return of problems after flushing the system or other repairs, your pipes are at risk. The constant air inflow into tubes will lead to rust, slowly weakening the pipes and leaving the sediment in your water. If you suspect your system has an air leak compromising your lines, talk to a professional plumber about testing the design and making necessary repairs.

Steps for Getting Rid of Air in Water Pipes

  • Step 1: Close the Main Shutoff Valve

A valve or switch in your home should allow you to turn off your water supply. You need to do this first.

Otherwise, anything you do afterward is pointless. They often look circular or star-shaped and are made from metal, similar to what you see on a garden hose.

If you can’t locate your main water valve, or it will not budge when you attempt to turn it off, do not force it.

You may cause more damage than you intend to, which will only add to your problems. In addition, it may have calcified over time, which will require professional assistance.

  • Step 2: Open Every Faucet

Once all your faucets, including the outside spigots, turn on the water valve. Let the water run through your faucets for 10-15 minutes to ensure you see a steady stream of water or aren’t hearing any noises from your piping anymore.

Once you have drained all the water from your pipes, turn on the mains water system valve to get water flowing back into your home. Follow this by turning on all the faucets in your residence.

Make sure you start at the top of your house and work downward. It is only necessary to open the faucets a half turn to allow the air in your pipes to escape.

After turning on all the cold and hot water faucets in your house, you should also flush your toilets to clear out the air trapped in your pipes.

The idea is to get all water in your home to flow freely, so turn on your washing machine and let it run through a rinse cycle, and make sure that you remember to turn on your dishwasher.

Let the water from all faucets and appliances run for 10-15 minutes until you no longer hear sputtering and spitting from your faucets.

  • Step 3: Wait for All Faucets to Stop Running and Flush Toilets

Wait for all water sources to run dry. How long this takes depends entirely on how much water your house was holding before turning the main valve off.

You should flush the toilets at this point (every one of them). Keep flushing until there is no water available.

  • Step 4: Turn the Main Water Supply Back On

Once all your water sources have run dry, it is time to turn your main water supply back on. Once the valve is twisted, water should begin to flow through your faucets again. You should keep the water flowing for ten to fifteen minutes. Only stop once a steady stream has gotten achieved.

You should also flush your toilets and rerun your washer and dishwasher. At this point, you should not hear any noise from your pipes. The lack of noise and a steady stream from your faucets indicate that the trapped air has gotten effectively removed.

  • Step 5: Turn All Faucets Off Again in the Correct Order

Just as you turned all your faucets on in a particular order, you must turn them off in the reverse order. Again, start with the tap furthest from your water supply valve and work your way back. Once you have completed this final step, you should get it done!

If the problem persists, you may need to contact a professional to take a look. Loud thumps or bangs followed by no other noise are most likely to indicate water hammer, not trapped air. However, this can be much more serious and require an expert’s opinion.

While this is not a complicated procedure, you need to complete this systematically to avoid missing any faucets. You don’t want to turn the taps on full force, just enough to let the water and air escape. Also, you don’t need to shut down the water to your house, as the water flowing through the water lines pushes the air out of the open faucets and fixtures.