The last thing anyone wants at this time of year during one of the many cold snaps is for their central heating system to break down. As very few of us are qualified central heating engineers, we believe that there is very little we can do to avoid such an occurrence and therefore leave it in the lap of the Gods.
There are some very simple steps you can take that will prolong the life of your central heating system and avoid those dreaded breakdowns.
Service Your Boiler
You should have your boiler serviced and checked regularly. This should be done at least once a year and in doing so you will prevent gas leaks and other problems occurring. Having your boiler serviced regularly will also give your engineer the opportunity to spot any future problems and fix them before they occur (or your boiler breaks completely).
You should always contact a central heating engineer if you find that the pilot light is not working, if there is lime scale build up, or a lack of water in the system.
Treating Faulty Pipes
While frozen pipes can be easily fixed by using warm water and some insulation, they will return the next time there are similar conditions. You should contact an engineer to determine why the pipe has frozen – he will be able to look at ways of remedying the problem for good rather than just providing a quick and temporary solution. It could be that the pipe simply needs proper insulation, but it could also be that the pipe needs moving or replacing.
However, there are some instances when you don’t need to call out an engineer. For example, if your radiators are lacking heat, you could just need to bleed each radiator to remove the air that has become trapped in the system. This is easily done by taking a radiator key and releasing the pressure of each radiator until no more air comes out, just hot water. Repeat this on every radiator in the house and you will soon feel the room temperatures rising. Avoid burns when doing this by using a towel to absorb the dripping water and not undoing the radiator valve too much.
Typical boiler pressure should range somewhere between 1.0 and 1.5 and is normally clearly indicated on the gauge itself. If the boiler pressure is under 1.0 you can easily remedy this by simply adding more water to the system. This will place the correct pressure back in the system straightaway. Your manufacturer’s manual will give you clear instructions on how to do this. You should always call an engineer if this is a consistent problem or the pressure varies wildly from the recommended amount, as this could indicate something more serious.
This article was provided by Aquatek, a leading supplier of qualified, Gas Safe plumbers in London.