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Common Boiler Problems

8 Common Boiler & Radiator Problems

The good news is the worst of winter has now passed, for a year at least! As Spring arrives, we have got through the hardest parts, even though our heating systems and purse strings may have been challenged as a result of the cold weather.

There are lessons to be learned from the tough economic backdrop to another challenging winter season. A recent study discovered that one in every 25 Britons were not able to pay for an emergency boiler repair when a problem surfaced. This led to many people attempting self-service, which can be extremely dangerous if undertaken by an unqualified person.

Remember that a sound and regular heating system maintenance programme is absolutely necessary in order to keep your radiators warm and providing necessary heat throughout the year. However, it might be a good idea to investigate any deficiencies your heating system suffered this season so that you can have a more enjoyable winter next year.

The Most Common Boiler & Radiator Problems of 2013-2014 were:

1. Cold Patches at top of radiator – Usually cold patches at the top of the radiator indicate air is present in the system and interfering with the hot water. This problem can be solved fairly easily by bleeding the radiator to release trapped air. This is a do-it-yourself repair that can save you money.

2. Difficulty Bleeding the radiator – If you have trouble bleeding the radiator, there could be several causes. Often, the most common issue is that the homeowner has lost the bleed key. You can usually find radiator keys at your local hardware shop, but we certain to buy one that is the correct size.

3. After Bleeding Water continues to drip – Typically the water will force the air out of the system during bleeding. When finished, the release valve continues to drip water. This can be solved by checking the central system seal and pressure. If trouble persists, contact us for details of repair.

4. Cold Patches at bottom of radiator – Cold patches at the bottom of the radiator usually mean there is build-up in the system. The most likely culprits are scales, rust or sludge which can all accumulate over time. This can be a tricky fix so if you are not experienced at this solution, you should contact a heating system professional at Home Cure.

5. Cold Patches in middle of radiator – The dilemma indicates that there is most likely sludge or rust accumulated at the bottom of the radiator. You can probably shut down the system, disconnect the radiator and flush it and clean thoroughly. This is not a task to be undertaken in the thick of winter. A good flush should work for at least two years and maybe longer. For most homeowners, this is a two-person job but we would recommend that you use a professional for this.

6. Some radiators hot, others cold – Certain radiators can be stubborn and never seem to heat or do not heat as evenly as radiators in other rooms. The net effect is uneven heat, wasted energy and high fuel bills. The first remedy is to check the valves on each side of the radiator. These valves control the flow so if one is closed or there is uneven flow, your heat will be uneven The smaller valve on the radiator is called the “lockshield” valve. This valve controls the flow of water through the radiator. It may need to be opened more widely if the radiator is far from the boiler. If both valves are opened properly and heat is not emitting, you probably have a backup problem.

7. Shower hot, shower cold – This is one of the most frustrating side effects of a troubled hot water system. No time of the year is acceptable to have a hot water problem, least of all winter! Most households use about 35-40 litres of hot water per person per day. A four person household needs a hot water tank of at least 200 litres to ensure hot water throughout the day. You may need to consider adding capacity to your system, but if you think your system has a problem, contact an engineer.

8. Pressure dial low on boiler – There must be pressure in combi-boilers in order for the systems to work. If you pressure dial is not comfortably residing between 1 and 2 bars, you need a fix. This is a bigger job than most do-it-yourselfers should attempt although an experienced heating professional can accomplish the job efficiently and effectively.

There are a number of things that can go wrong in a boiler and radiator system, and these are just some of the most common issues that arise across the UK. If you have any issues with your heating system, get in touch with Home Cure today on 0800 002 9991. You can also contact us online.