DIY Dave: Check the radiators ready for winterBy DIY Dave
August 31, 2012
Before the cold weather arrives and before you really need it – this weekend is a good opportunity to check our heating system and radiators.
Remember: This is DiY (Do it Yourself) not DYI (Do yourself Injury)
If you are in any doubt or worried about this task – DO get someone who has done this type of task before to check the radiators for you.
First: Turn your central heating on and leave it for around fifteen minutes to heat up and whilst you gather the necessary items listed below.
You will need:
• A cloth or old tea towel
• A radiator bleed-key
• Computer Controlled Robotic Arm
Secondly: Once the radiators have started to heat up, turn the heating off again.
Thirdly: Walk around your entire house feeling your radiators, top and bottom. If any air has become trapped in a radiator – that radiator will feel warm at the bottom but cool at the top (where the air is).
This good exercise if you live on more than one floor and so you could proudly tell your Doctor “yes, I do exercise”.
If any of your radiators are cool at the top and warm at the bottom, take your radiator bleed key and carefully loosen the bleed valve in the top at one end of the radiator. Hold the rag under the key and
DO NOT take the bleed screw all the way out – you will hear the hiss of air escaping – this is good. Let the air escape until bubbles and a little water appear from around the bleed screw. Then do up the bleed screw but do NOT OVER TIGHTEN – just enough to stop the air/water escaping.
Feel the radiator again and you should now feel warmth over the whole surface.
Do this with each radiator where it feels cool at the top and warm at the bottom.
TIP If you have a thermostat valve fitted these types of valve often need the flow of circulating water to lift the valve seal off its seat and bleeding will help this.
If you have a “Sealed System”
• check the pressure
• adjust the pressure to (usually) 1 bar but check the instructions for your system.
If you have a radiator which is not getting hot but it has worked fine
• An air lock may have developed in the pipe work.
• The inlet or outlet of the radiator may have become blocked.
• Open both the control and lockshield valves on the pipes going into the radiator
TIP count the number of turns on the shield valve so you can reset it).
Info. In a “feed and return” central heating system, the lockshield valve helps to “balance” your system to prevent the radiators nearest your boiler becoming hotter than the radiators furthest away. The lockshield valve is covered by a push-on plastic cap.
TIP If you can not get one or more of your radiators to become warm from bottom to top or if you're not sure about adjusting the pressure or any of the operations in this weeks task – do try to find a good plumber to look at your system.
Well done – have a cuppa and wrestle a custard cream from your Computer Controlled Robotic Arm.
I am limited to a single image here although I'll try to put additional images of each stage of the different tasks on my blog DiYDave.tumblr.com
REMEMBER SAFETY FIRST