Common central heating problems and how to fix them

The central heating system is, for most people, something that we rarely even think about. We switch our heating off during the summer, we switch it back on during the summer and that's it. That's as much as most people care about their central heating system. 

It's only when it breaks down, or when parts of it stop working, that we actually take notice. 

We've written a short article for the times where you do need to take notice and outlined some of the common problems that can occur with central heating systems and how to fix them. 

Your radiators are cold all over

If you've switched your central heating on and your radiators don't warm up, run over to your boiler's programmer and check to make sure both the water and central heating are on. 

If they don't light up after switching them on, there could be an issue with your fuse. 

If both are on and you've still got cold radiators, there might be an issue with your central heating system's pump - the device that controls the flow of hot water throughout your house. 

It might be that there's trapped air, or there's a build up of debris/sludge within the pump that's stopped it from working as it should. 

If you're not sure what you're doing with the pump, i.e. you're not sure how to clear trapped air, get in touch with our gas engineers and we're more than happy to take a look. 

Your radiators are warm at the bottom, but cold at the top 

If your radiators are warm at the bottom, but cold at the top, there's a good chance that you need to bleed them. 

To bleed your radiators, stop air from entering the radiator by switching off the pump, grab a bucket and place it underneath the valve and use a bleed key (purchasable at most DIY stores) to release trapped air. To do this just turn the bleed key 45-90 degrees anti clockwise until you can hear air hissing out of the radiator. 

Your radiators are cold at the bottom, but warm at the top

If your radiators are cold at the bottom, but warm at the top, there's a good chance that you need to have your central heating system powerflushed to remove the build up of sludge within the radiators. 

You'll need to hire an expert engineer to do this. 

Loss of water pressure

If you've noticed a drop in water pressure, go and check the pressure gauge on your boiler - it should give a reading between 1-1.5 bar when the boiler is cold. 

If it's giving a reading below this, you'll need to top up the pressure - refer to your boiler's manual for exact instructions on how to do this. 

Boiler making strange noises

Screeching, kettling noises coming from your boiler are caused when limescale accumulates on the heat exchanger. This limescale blocks the flow of water and causes some water to boil, steam and expand, like in a kettle. 

Noises can also occur due to trapped air in the system.  If the problem is caused by trapped air, the boiler repair will be relatively simple and will merely involve releasing the trapped air. 

Gurgling noises within a gas boiler may also be caused by air in the system, a blockage or sediment at the bottom of the boiler. Boiler gurgling may also be caused by a frozen condensate pipe, and this pipe will need to be thawed. 

It's highly recommended that you hire a Gas Safe engineer to check all of the problems above!

Have you noticed any of these common problems in York?

If you've noticed any of these problems with your central heating system and you live locally to Tadcaster, Wetherby or anywhere in York, please send us a message using our website's contact form or call us on  07834 168464 or 01904 373075. We'll look forward to hearing from you soon.