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common central heating problems to look out for
Winter is coming and, we’re in for another frosty one. This makes an efficient and reliable heating system more important than ever. But nothing is without its faults and, sometimes, central heating problems can appear out of the blue, which can prove to be particularly troublesome in the colder months. In this post, we’ll highlight a few of the common central heating problems to look out for.
Radiators are Completely Cold or All Taps are Cold
When this happens, your first step should be to check that your thermostat is on (this sounds obvious, we know, but you’d be surprised how many times it’s not), and set between 17 and 20 degrees. If your radiators don’t generate heat, check your programmer to make sure that both central heating (CH) and hot water (HW) are switched on. Finally, check that your system is getting electricity, as the heating fuse may have blown.
If the issue continues, check the motorised diverter valve, which you’ll find next to your boiler. This valve regulates the flow of hot water and could be the reason for your lack of heat. From here, try the classic “turn it off and on” technique to see if it rectifies the problem.
If you’re still having no luck, then the issue could be the pump. This sends water down the flow pipe to your taps and radiators. If there are any problems when you turn this off, there may be a mechanical failure or blockage. If it appears to be clogged, the solution is to have it cleaned by a professional.
Radiators Are Only Warm at the Bottom
This tends to be one of the most common central heating problems and, arguably, the most straightforward to fix. If you’ve noticed that your radiators are only warm at the bottom, then you need to “bleed” them.
First, you need to prevent air from entering the central heating by turning off the pump. Before you do anything else, it’s vital to put a bucket underneath the corner that you’re working on — a floor covered in dirty water isn’t something you want to add to your list of problems. Use a radiator key to turn the square nut at the top corner of the radiator. Turn the nut anticlockwise until you can hear air coming out of the radiator and water begins to drip into your bucket. Finally, tighten the nut and continue to check it for further leaks. Once bled, heat should start moving to the top of your radiators.
Your Boiler Is Making a Weird Noise
When a boiler is making a strange sound, it’s often referred to as kettling which is because the noise being produced sounds similar to that of a kettle boiling.
Start by turning the boiler off to see if the noise being made is due to trapped air. You can vent any excess air by locating the air bleed screw. However, this may be due to sludge causing a blockage in the system and preventing enough water from filtering through.
If your boiler continues to make a kettling sound and shows no signs of improvement, a plumber will be able to diagnose the issue and fix it efficiently. Whether your heating system requires a flush or a more advanced fix, having a professional on the case will ensure that you are covered in the long run.