Time to test the heating...

#1
Try out your heating system now, don't leave it till it gets cold, then discover the pump or the diverter valve is jammed.

Happens every year, about 10 all ring up the same day, to be told I can't come for a week.

If the pump isn't sending water around the radiators, turn off the boiler immediately, if the impeller can be freed, it can carry on for longer, but if left powered up will burn out.

If you can see a chrome disc with a slot in it, on the head of the pump, undo, a dribble of water will follow but no more.

Then poke a slim bladed screwdriver into the hole, you should feel a slot on the impeller shaft, give it a twirl, then turn on the power, the pump should start to turn, then replace the disc.
 
#2
Try out your heating system now, don't leave it till it gets cold, then discover the pump or the diverter valve is jammed.

Happens every year, about 10 all ring up the same day, to be told I can't come for a week.

If the pump isn't sending water around the radiators, turn off the boiler immediately, if the impeller can be freed, it can carry on for longer, but if left powered up will burn out.

If you can see a chrome disc with a slot in it, on the head of the pump, undo, a dribble of water will follow but no more.

Then poke a slim bladed screwdriver into the hole, you should feel a slot on the impeller shaft, give it a twirl, then turn on the power, the pump should start to turn, then replace the disc.
Many thanks for that. While you're on, I can't seem to get a good picture on the telly? Is it because I've left food rotating in it overnight, or did I leave a fork in it by mistake.

I've taken out the clunge (and she was happy to be out of the house, to be honest) but I can't get a proper picture, for love, nor money.
 
#3
Oooh! An expert! Let's have your views on this one.

Moved into the house about 25 years ago and soon discovered that the heating system (general term) made lots of loud banging noises - usually when the timer clicks on or when the thermostat kicks in. I drained the system, got rid of loads of sludge, refilled adding Fernox and all was well for a few weeks. Then the banging returned. So I drained the system, got rid of more sludge, refilled adding Fernox and anti-knock. Fine for a few more weeks, then the banging returned.

Resorted to British Gas, with whom I have a maintenance contract. "It's the boiler." New boiler, a few weeks, banging noises started again.

I've noticed that the hot water header tank collects limescale (as in, it's dumped out through the breather(?) pipe that returns into the tank). I'm guessing that there's a problem with the hot water side of the system as opposed to the heating side and so anti-knock isn't going to help. But what is the problem and how to resolve? (British Gas's standard answer is "Need a new boiler").

Cheap answers preferred, please.


PS. It's a very hard water area.
 
#4
Oooh! An expert! Let's have your views on this one.

Moved into the house about 25 years ago and soon discovered that the heating system (general term) made lots of loud banging noises.
That will be the Austrian woman in the basement with a hammer, signalling that she wants to go home.

.-.. . - / -- . / --- ..- - / -.-- --- ..- / --- .-.. -.. / .--. . .-. ...- . .-. -
 
#5
Just what we needed a expert for questioning. My heating system keeps losing pressure but we cant see why nothing obvious leaking and such. Lots of lovely hot water just low pressure any ideas?

Yours A_A
 
#6
That will be the Austrian woman in the basement with a hammer, signalling that she wants to go home.

.-.. . - / -- . / --- ..- - / -.-- --- ..- / --- .-.. -.. / .--. . .-. ...- . .-. -
No, it doesn't sound like that. At first it made a noise like .-- .- - . .-. --..-- / .-- .- - . .-. but that wasn't related to the thermostat and anyway, it stopped after a few days.
 
#7
Oh Shit! trust me to open my mouth.....


Puttees, are you saying that the pipe that comes up and over the header tank is pouring out water into the tank when the heating comes on?

That is called "pumping over" and is caused by the pipework being badly designed so that the pump is forcing water up the vent pipe and back into the system, carrying oxygen as it goes, a bit like the pump that oxygenates an aquarium...... deadly to a heating system, it rots the radiators, which is what the sludge is....a form of iron oxide which blocks the waterways in a boiler.

This is something which should be sorted first, it causes rads to rot through in a very short time.



AA.. I assume it's a combi that is losing pressure, is it fairly quick, like a day?

First thing to try is fill it to say 2 bar, then using the instructions, turn off the flow and return valves on the heating pipes just under the boiler, (make sure the boiler is turned off)

If the pressure drops, open up the 2 valves again, if the pressure rises, it's the pressure vessel, which is used to buffer the pressure rise when the heating comes on.

An external one can be fitted, but if the combi is old or a crap make it's best to replace the boiler.

Right back to the SA Chenin Blanc.
 
#8
It's not a combi and the house is only 5 years old. It is a gledhill boiler mate if that is any use.
 
#9
AA, like most one man bands, we pick out areas that we know we can make a living out of and turn down the rest.

There are a lot of builders, arcitects etc out there who fit shite and walk away, never to go back, specifying by coercion or bribery in the opinion of many of us.

Here is one you could try, it could be as simple as no top up water, also there are forums like DIYNOT that could help.

Gledhill BoilerMate thermal stores in detail
 
#10
Thanks Vinnie. Seen as you did it virtually have a virtual tenner for your time.
 
#11
Hmmm. How to describe it?

I have two header tanks. One is for the radiators and seems OK. The other is for the hot water and is the one that collocts lumps of limescale. I'm guessing that the limescale may be coming from the overflow/pressure relief (?) pipe that feeds into the top of the tank, but it may be coming up the pipe that feeds into the boiler (i.e. backwards). I don't know as I've never been able to rush up to the tanks and contort myself into the necessary position to view when it happens.

After leaving the boiler, the pipework is hidden from view inside a blockwork riser that goes up to the top of the middle floor (3 floor house). The pipes must then run under the floorboards for about 10' before entering the airing cupboard. It's probably here where any pipe expansion noises must take place, given that there must be at least 2 vertical and one horizontal bend to route the pipes. But the noise isn't like pipe expansion, it's more like water boiling (or air bubbling) in a vessel. I can't track down where the noise originates as it sounds fairly similar throughout the house. The only thing I can be sure of is that it's not related to the radiator part of the system (which includes the pump) as it continues to be noisy when the heating is turned off. (There was an additional noise that related to the pump but I've sorted that by putting the pump on a slower speed).
 
#12
I'm surprised BG didn't suggest a power-flush, it seems to be their stock response. Even for a dripping tap. :)
 
#13
VTMC, seeing as you have put yourself forward as 'The All Seeing Eye' can you sort out my

little problem? every time I open our Fridge, there is a fcuking big Rat gawping at me,

making kissy kissy faces, this does not really bother me but the bwasterd looks uncannily

like PRT, to date it has only spoke once......."******* Hat"

What should I do, oh, Supreme Being?
 
#14
I have a back boiler that's never played up serviced every year
One rad in the bath room is always on
All of a sudden the rad in my bed room has gone in to over drive and is hot enough to fry an egg on I have turned it off but the sodding thing is still boiling away I have to have the windows open and a bloody fan going at mac 50 any ides?
 
#16
I have a back boiler that's never played up serviced every year
One rad in the bath room is always on
All of a sudden the rad in my bed room has gone in to over drive and is hot enough to fry an egg on I have turned it off but the sodding thing is still boiling away I have to have the windows open and a bloody fan going at mac 50 any ides?
Is this a euphemism? Is it a friend's 'back boiler' I feel we should be told.
 
#17
I'm surprised BG didn't suggest a power-flush, it seems to be their stock response. Even for a dripping tap. :)
Ummm, they did - at twice the price that any of the independent plumbers charge.

I've had run ins with BG every time they've done a boiler service in the last 10 years. "You don't have sufficient ventilation." "It was adequate when YOU fitted the boiler." "The regulations have changed, you need more ventilation." "Would you put in writing that you've put my family at risk for the last 10 years?" "No, it's not dangerous." "Then why do I have to increase the ventilation?"

We played this game for a few years, then they started turning the boiler off when they'd finished the service and slapped a sticker on saying that the boiler was unsafe. This was despite the provided ventilation exceeding their required area! It was just that I didn't have their plastic grilles over the vent holes in the door. Eventually, I tired of it and slapped their vents on. Stupid really, given that in doing so, I've actually decreased the amount of ventilation...
 
#18
On my last BG service i remarked that the system was losing pressure, I already knew what it was & surmised that the fitter would cotton on and change the expansion vessel... but oh no he had to make another appointment to come a couple of days later.

Anyway when he returned I let him know that I had been in the HVAC industry for many years & in fact worked for the manufacturer of my particular boiler. he didn't try to convince me that my 10 y.o boiler needed replacing or that I needed a power flush although he did mention the fact there wasn't a basket covering the flue, so I pointed out it was above two metres so within regs. He changed the tank, replaced the pressure release valve & even gave me a bottle of Fernox. Job jobbed. :)
 
#19
I have a back boiler that's never played up serviced every year
One rad in the bath room is always on
All of a sudden the rad in my bed room has gone in to over drive and is hot enough to fry an egg on I have turned it off but the sodding thing is still boiling away I have to have the windows open and a bloody fan going at mac 50 any ides?

The only thing I can think of is that the heating circuit comes from the BBU and the flow pipe to the 1st floor had an anti- gravity valve on it, which has failed and the bedroom rad is now getting hot by gravity circulation. Possibly the rad valve is buggered too.

A bbu with the bathroom rad on the circuit sounds like the system is pretty ancient.

Time to bite the bullet and put in a combi with new rad valves on all rads.

If you want a reccomendation.... Intergas - Smart Choice

These are now my favourite boilers, well engineered, very simply designed, with very few parts to go wrong.
 
#20
Oooh! An expert! Let's have your views on this one.

Moved into the house about 25 years ago and soon discovered that the heating system (general term) made lots of loud banging noises - usually when the timer clicks on or when the thermostat kicks in. I drained the system, got rid of loads of sludge, refilled adding Fernox and all was well for a few weeks. Then the banging returned. So I drained the system, got rid of more sludge, refilled adding Fernox and anti-knock. Fine for a few more weeks, then the banging returned.

Resorted to British Gas, with whom I have a maintenance contract. "It's the boiler." New boiler, a few weeks, banging noises started again.

I've noticed that the hot water header tank collects limescale (as in, it's dumped out through the breather(?) pipe that returns into the tank). I'm guessing that there's a problem with the hot water side of the system as opposed to the heating side and so anti-knock isn't going to help. But what is the problem and how to resolve? (British Gas's standard answer is "Need a new boiler").

Cheap answers preferred, please.


PS. It's a very hard water area.
The knocking could be caused by expansion and contraction of the pipes as they heat and cool although I suspect that the work you have had done has eliminated that as a cause. Somewhere under the floorboards on the opposite side of the house from the boiler, I have a joint which is either not supported or is fixed too tight. On cold winter nights, with the heating turned up, it knocks like hell but I am not going to do anything about it unless I have the urge to rip up the floorboards!

Otherwise, the knocking is called "kettling" and there is an interesting and detailed solution here:

Central Heating FAQ

I think your arrangement of two header tanks is unusual. That implies that the heating and water circuits are separate. I have a simple vented system with a gravity fed hot water circuit and pumped heating circuit. There is a single header tank and any excess pressure in the HW/heating circuits is vented into the header tank. I have not found the point where the two circuits mix but I haven't dismantled everything! I suspect that it is in the boiler's heat exchanger.

Any excessive hot water in my hot water tank is vented into the cold water tank through a simple t-piece on the top of the hot water tank in my airing cupboard. Turn left for the taps and go straight up for the vent to the cold water tank. There is no evidence that my hot water tank has ever vented and I am also in a hard water area. If your hot water tank is venting on a regular basis, I suggest it is overheating at times. The water at the top of the tank should be c65-70 degrees C. Any hotter and it might boil over; any cooler and you risk breeding things like the Legionella baccillus!!

A possible culprit might be your immersion heater because the thermostats sometimes fail in the closed position (although they should fail in the open position).

Litotes
 
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