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Central Heating - advice needed please if you can help

(16 Posts)
hanette Wed 19-Nov-14 14:18:26

Hello I would be very grateful if someone could advise me about my central heating system. I have read the manual but still can’t get the programming right.

There is a panel of controls on the boiler itself plus a thermostat in the hall. Pictures attached.

On the panel of controls there is a switch with option of water only or heating plus water. Then a knob/dial which I am not sure of its function but has a pic of a radiator next to it. Then there is another identical knob/dial with a tap next to it but again not sure of function. Then there is a pressure guage and lastly a timer with out/in slicks to set the on/off times. I have set the timer to a morning and afternoon session.

Basically I can’t get the timer to kick on as I would like. If I set the heating and water option, then have the radiator knob at a low level, heating comes on regardless of the timer and regardless of the thermostat (eg all day/night not just when it is supposed to come on). Basically the knob seems to take precedence over all other controls.

Can anyone explain what I should do so heating only comes on for the morning and afternoon sessions? Many thanks in advance.

I am currently stuck with having a cold house and coming down and turning on the radiator knob/dial then turning it back off again!

wowfudge Wed 19-Nov-14 14:53:29

Okay - looks very similar to our boiler.

The dial with a diagram of a radiator beside it controls the max temperature your radiators will get with the valves on them fully on. It's barely on, so I would turn it up if I were you.

The dial with a tap beside it controls the temperature of the hot water coming out of the taps. Looks like it is turned off. Crank it up, or you'll be getting no hot water.

The pressure guage looks fine - probably has to be above 2 on its dial?

Now the timer clock on the right. The white arrow pointing right at 3 o'clock indicates the time now on the outside dial, so rotate the outside dial so that time now is lined up with the point of the white arrow. Then arrange the pins for the time you want the heating to be on both morning and evening. You push the pins out for the block of time you want the heating on. The little slider in the inner dial of the timer needs to be in the middle for the boiler to respond to the timer settings on the clock. At the bottom the boiler will not come on; at the top it will be on constant.

Wall thermostat - set that to somewhere between 19 and 21 degrees. This will turn the heating on or off depending on whether the desired temperature needs to be reached or has been reached in the room the thermostat is in.

Try that and see how you get on.

wowfudge Wed 19-Nov-14 15:00:02

Basically the set up as you have it at the moment has the room thermostat set to almost tropical, but the radiators are only ever going to be slightly warm as the temperature dial for them is down so low, so the boiler will be on constantly, attempting to do the impossible: make the house very hot with just warm radiators!

hanette Wed 19-Nov-14 15:02:10

oh thanks SO much wowfudge!!! This is fantastic. Apart from making the adjustments to the thermostat and radiator control dial, I also realised the little slider was on 1 - which is why it was coming on all the time (unless I turned to water only mode). I have now switched it to the middle between 1 and ) so the timer should work.

You are a total star - thanks so much!

wowfudge Wed 19-Nov-14 15:04:20

Sorry - just thought of something else. If the time you set the heating to come on is later this afternoon, you'll need to move the slider up to constant to get the heating to come on now.

When it is cold it is probably best to have the heating on for more than an hour in order to warm the place up, especially in the mornings, or it'll feel like it never gets properly warm. Our is on for an hour and 3/4 in the mornings and 3 hours in the evenings.

wowfudge Wed 19-Nov-14 15:06:01

You're welcome: looks like your boiler is a newer version of ours. Hope it warms up for you.

hanette Wed 19-Nov-14 15:07:25

Good idea I'll go twiddle with the timer now it's working... Just wished I'd asked you before!

PigletJohn Wed 19-Nov-14 15:21:12

I can't read it, but the most economical temperature for a modern condensing boiler is about 60C. This means that the pipes on the Flow (hot) side of your radiators will be "too hot to hold" and the pipes on the return side of the radiators will be "too hot to hold for long." If your radiators are undersized, you may need to turn it hotter in very cold weather.

Try the room stat between 18C and 22C to find your comfort area. The warmer it is the more it will cost. Set the timer to come on half an hour before you get up, or come home; and to go off half an hour before you go out or go to bed. Depending on the construction of your home, it may heat up or cool down faster or slower, so you can adjust that. That type of wall stat, with a rotating knob, is slower to react and less accurate than some modern types of stat, but it can be changed very easily.

Do your radiator valves have numbers on them (TRVs)? What number is the one in the room with the wall stat set to?

PigletJohn Wed 19-Nov-14 15:25:10

there appears to be a gap in the indicator mark at the bottom under the knob, that may be to show the 60C point.

"preheat" keeps the boiler warm so that there is less delay when you turn on a hot tap. It does increase gas cost though.

PigletJohn Wed 19-Nov-14 15:28:31

You can probably download the instructions from www.potterton.co.uk/products/

It looks like yours is a Performa 28i

hanette Wed 19-Nov-14 15:44:36

Thankyou Pigletjohn, I have set the thermostat to 22 and will see how that turns out.
Do you mean the sliding round pillar on the radiator? It gives options 1 to 6 and they are all currently set at 3

hanette Wed 19-Nov-14 15:45:53

Also I just noticed the lights on the boiler panel are illuminated to 40 degrees?

PigletJohn Wed 19-Nov-14 16:08:47

3 is about right. Adjust for comfort or economy, but no more than half a number per hour as it takes a while to settle.

However, in the room where you have the wall stat, turn it up to max. Otherwise the room may never get warm enough for the thermostat to turn off the boiler. There should not really be a TRV in that room.

Do you own or rent? Do the rooms heat up at about the same speed?

hanette Wed 19-Nov-14 16:24:14

Ok great - have turned up the one in the hall. It seems to get hotter more quickly upstairs but then the rooms are smaller - downstairs is partly open plan so it's a bigger space. Should I adjust the settings do they are 4 downstairs and 3 upstairs?
We own but I only moved in during June's heatwave. I had a British gas service when I moved in and the system was given the all clear, I just didn't think to ask about operating the system

PigletJohn Wed 19-Nov-14 17:09:48

higher numbers do not make it warm faster, they just increase the eventual temperature. People tend to prefer bedrooms cooler than living rooms.

hanette Wed 19-Nov-14 17:24:19

Ah right, thank you!

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