Most modern households these days use gas central heating systems to heat their homes, and understanding how they work is very important to avoid home problems.
Gas central heating systems often comprise of central heating boilers and a number of radiators.
Central heating boilers are at the heart of a gas central heating systems, pumping heated water to the pipes, which feed into the radiators to give off the heat.
Detecting blockages in central heating systems
A common problem in central heating systems is blockages. Blockages occur when pipes are obstructed with gunge and debris – causing the central heating system to lose warmth.
A build up of gunge in a radiator may damage your central heating boiler because the pump motor might fail due to overexertion. This can be an expensive problem to remedy.
In order to maintain your central heating system, therefore, you must avoid harm to the central heating boiler by regularly checking radiators for potential problems.
There are a few indicators that your radiators have gunge inside them. One obvious indicator is a when you find ‘cold spots’ on the radiator where only parts of the radiator are warm and others are cold. Check this regularly to minimise potential problems.
Changing or cleaning central heating radiators
Replacing radiators is not as difficult as you might imagine, although it is best to hire a professional so no mistakes are made.
If done correctly, however, the removal can be a fairly straightforward. First, switch the radiator valve all the way down to ensure the water supply is isolated.
The switch on the other side must also be switched all the way down so the water is completely cut off. Ensure any other thermostatic control device is cut off from the radiator.
When you are sure the radiator is completely isolated from the rest of your central heating system, you must drain any remaining water from the radiator.
Use a large container to catch water from the radiator and loosen the nut on the valve using a spanner. After the water is drained you should be able to pull away the valve and remove the radiator from the wall.
Some radiators are very heavy so you may need an extra person to carry it. Carry it outside using a hosepipe to clean it out. Radiators that are especially contaminated may require chemical cleaners.
When you affix the gas central heating radiators back to the wall, link the valves back as they were before, ensuring they are tightly connected using the same method.
Simply turn back on the valve support so the water can flow back into the central heating system’s radiator.
This is the time to check for leaks. You will need to return to the central heating boiler in order to add a little water – which you drained from the radiator earlier.
Ensure that the water is within compliance using the manufacturers recommended settings.
Use a radiator key to bleed the radiator till water flows – catching the water with a container.