The majority of central heating problems are seasonal, particularly in autumn when the system has been inactive for several months. Before winter sets in, it is recommended that you check your heating system is working correctly and avoid any problems. One of the best methods is to ‘bleed’ the radiator, but there are other heating problems that occur during the winter.  This article will provide information to solve common heating problems.

The Boiler is Making Strange Noises

The first step to solve this heating problem is to shut down the boiler. More often than not the noise is due to ‘kettling’ – a sound created when the pilot light ignites. If, however, the problem is caused by air in the boiler it is recommended that you find the air bleed screw on the pipe around the cylinder. Vent the excess air by turning this 10cm of piping and bleeding the boiler.

The Radiator is Warm at the Bottom Only

This is potentially the most common heating problem and is the easiest problem to resolve.  When a radiator is warm at the bottom only it means there is air trapped inside the radiator.  This air will stop hot water from circulating through the system effectively. The best way to resolve the situation is to bleed the radiator.

Bleeding a radiator requires you to turn off the pump so there is no air being pushed into the radiator. Once the pump is off, turn the square brass nut on the corner of the radiator to bleed the system. Unfortunately, this nut can only be turned using the radiator key which can be found in the house or purchased from a DIY or hardware store.

When turning the key, place a bucket underneath the nut to catch dirty water pouring from the radiator. The key must be turned approximately 45 degrees counterclockwise or until you hear a hissing and water leaks out. Afterward, close the valve and check later to ensure no leakage from the radiator.

The Radiator is Warm at the Top Only

If the radiator is warm at the top and cold at the bottom, it may be a sign of sludge lying at the bottom of the system. To resolve this issue, it is recommended that you flush the system out. To do this, you will need to remove the radiator from the wall and flush it out with water before refitting it. This can be done using a DIY approach if you have a basic understanding of how the heating system works. If you do not understand heating systems, it is best that you contact a professional plumber.

If you find yourself with problems in your heating system, then contacting a professional may be the best thing to do if you are unsure what the issue is. A professional will be able to better understand what the cause of the issue is and get the heating back in a quick and efficient manner.

 

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