What does the dial on
the boiler do?
The dial on the front of
the boiler is a temperature thermostat. Once you turn it beyond the quarter
position turning it up more will make the radiators hotter. Turn it too low
and not only will the radiators become cooler, but also the hot water will
not be hot enough. It was once said that if the boiler was run too cool it
would create condensation in the flueways. Advice on exactly where
to set the thermostat is on our page setting up your system.
Should I leave the
heating on all day?
Yes you can, it will
cost no more. Many of our customers have told us that it costs no more to
keep the heating on all day rather than turn it on and off. The fabric of
the home gets warm and takes less heat to warm up.
Does gas escape when
the pilot goes out?
No, not normally. There
are fail-safe mechanisms that prevent gas from escaping when the pilot goes
out. If you smell gas, turn off the supply at the meter and call TRANSCO
0800 111 999.
Should I bleed my
Only if they are cold at
the top and hot at the bottom. Turn off the system before bleeding. Have a
rag handy and only turn the air key about a ¼ turn to release the air. You
can feel the heat of the radiator to tell when to turn off. Check the header
Is there some stuff I
can put in my radiators?
Yes. This is best done
in the summer months. If you are a bit handy the instructions are on the
box. It is quite labour intensive and so to call an engineer is a bit
The main brands are FERNOX
MB1 and SENTINAL.
The liquid inhibits the
system and prevents corrosion. To test the system, to check the strength of
the inhibitor, get two clean jam jars. Using the air release from the
radiator, drain a little water into one of the jars. Put clean tap water
into the other jam jar. Find some steel nails and drop one or two in each
jar. You will now be able to compare the two jars over the course of a
couple of weeks. The radiator water should not cause the nails to go rusty
if inhibitor strength is adequate.
Why is my water
Have you left the
electric immersion heater on?
With some older systems
the hot water is hotter in the winter when the heating is on. It is due to
the heat from the boiler continually heating the water. If you have a dial
on the hot water cylinder, check to see if has been moved.
Why is my boiler
making a noise?
Usually this is due to a
build up of scale or sludge in the system. If the boiler is not very old,
then it can be caused by the oil that the radiators were protected with when
they were made, which is now in the system, or jointing flux used on the
pipes, which is also in the system. Old systems are very hard to clean as
anything too aggressive can cause a leak. Newer systems can be cleaned. B&Q
sell cleaners for the D.I.Y enthusiast, or in the trade we use a special
Why do some of my
radiators get hot when they are not supposed to?
If they have always done
this, then it is usually due to poor design of the system.
On most occasions it is
due to a failure of a change-over valve which is sticking. Usually it will
need to be replaced. Cost should be about £150. You could turn the radiators
off in the summer. It will do no harm.
Do magnetic or
electronic scale reducers work?
I have done some trials
and they do seem to reduce scale.
They will not make the
water any softer and it does take some time. I have had a magnetic devise on
my incoming pipe and there is less scale in our kettle.
Have I Got a
have a gas leak you will be able to smell it. The smell is added to the gas.
If you think you have a gas leak turn the gas off NOW and call Transco on
0800 111 999.
water leaks they can come from four sources. The heating system, the hot
water system, the mains water or from damp/ rising water levels under the
property. If suspect you may have a leak that you cannot see here are some
of the things you can check.
have a leak from a “combi” boiler the water gauge which is usually on the
front will go down and you will need to top this up using your link, which
in the trade we call the filling loop. You may lose a bit of water as a
result of evaporation, or off course when you bleed the radiators, but you
should not need to top the system up more than say once every three months.
One of the weak spots on a combi is the pressure relief valve which releases
water outside if the boiler overheats. These valves sometimes leak a little.
During the period of dry weather you could string up an old tin can under
the pipe that goes outside to check to see if there are any escapes.
have system with a small tank in the loft you can tie the ball float valve
up with some string to prevent water getting into the system. Make a mental
note of the water level in the tank and return after a period, depending on
the severity of the leak, to check to see if any water has been lost.
around joints of radiator valves. If a wall is damp you may well have a very
fine leak on the back of a radiator that is spraying onto the wall. If you
get a torch, it looks like a cobweb.
leaks on the heating system may be able to be cured by using “Internal Leak
Sealer” which is available from plumbers’ merchants.
on the hot water system are noticed when the hot water will not get to
temperature. No matter how high you put the boiler of immersion heater on
the water just not get hot. This is because water is draining away from the
cylinder. To check, if the valve is not jammed, turn off the supply that
comes from the big tank and feeds the cylinder. Check to see if you have
turned the water off tight by opening the hot taps. Turn on your boiler for
hot water setting. Wait an hour, turn the water back on, and see if it is
have water constantly overflowing from your small tank it is quite likely
that you have a leak in your hot water cylinder. This is an internal leak
that causes the domestic water to mix with the heating water that then
water leaks usually will give a constant noise. Turn off the mains stop tap
and see if the noise stops. Some water authorities can help with this.