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radiators not getting very warm

(12 Posts)
iloveithere Fri 26-Dec-14 10:57:45

Hi, we moved into a new house last week. The radiators get warm at the top, but not towards the bottom. I have tried bleeding them, but it has made no difference.
Some have individual temperature controls, which were up to the maximum. I have turned these on and off a few times, to no effect.
Any idea what else I could do? Thanks

LookImStuckInTheChimney Fri 26-Dec-14 11:00:55

I think you need to balance them. Close them all and then reopen one at a time, starting with the one that you think is the first on the loop. When that one is hot, move on to the next one and do the same thing until you reach the last one. That one may well need bleeding at the end.

Though I'm not an expert, someone else will probably come along and correct me!

PigletJohn Fri 26-Dec-14 11:16:30

are any of them fully hot?

have you got a hot-water cylinder?

iloveithere Fri 26-Dec-14 11:19:21

No cylinder, its a combo boiler. I don't think any of them a really hot. There are two in the conservatory that are different. They look newer. I don't have a key to bleed them with, so could the problem be there?

PigletJohn Fri 26-Dec-14 11:24:36

it is not a bleeding problem. Gas makes radiators cold at the top.

Are they cold in the middle and hot at the sides?

It is very important to know for sure if any of them are fully hot.

How long has the heating been turned on?

What temp is the room stat set to?

iloveithere Fri 26-Dec-14 11:35:19

Thanks pigletjohn. I'll have a proper investigation tonight when dh is back from work. Its hard to do it properly with ds 'helping' mesmile

iloveithere Fri 26-Dec-14 14:04:36

Ok, I've managed to have a proper look at all the radiators I have turned the thermostat to 21 so all of them should be hot.
They all seem warm at the top, slightly warm at the bottom. The centre and edges seem the same as each other.
There is one that feels a little warmer than the rest, in bedroom 3, but the one in bedroom 1 is definitely the coldest, its not even very warm at the top.

The house was empty for about 18 days before we moved in. We have had the heating on constant, but low for most of that time. The thermostat was at about 18 in the day, I dropped it to 15 at night and when we went out of the house. I was aware that some of the radiators were not getting war, bur I assumed it was cos it was set at 18. Today is the first cold day that I have really noticed the problem.

Does any of that help you suggest anything, pigletjohn?

PigletJohn Fri 26-Dec-14 16:14:39

unless the radiators are too big for the size of boiler (which is unlikely with a combi) or the boiler thermostat is turned down too low (it should be about 60-70C), then you seem to have a circulation problem.

If your radiators are not cold in the middle, then it is probably not the radiators themselves that are sludgy. It might be the pipes, or it might be that the pump is not working correctly, or it might be that the diverter valve in your boiler, or a bypass, if any, is letting by.

there may not be a DIY fix.

- Are the radiators noticeably older than the boiler

- are the pipes going to each radiator the size of your finger, or the size of a pencil?

- try to identify the radiator flow and return pipes going into your boiler. They will be bigger than your finger, they might come out of the top. They will be the two biggest pipes. One should be "too hot to hold" and the other should be "too hot to hold for long." Are they? The flow and return pipes going into every radiator should be also be "too hot to hold" and "too hot to hold for long"

- try turning off all your radiators except one. Does that one now get fully hot?

iloveithere Fri 26-Dec-14 16:36:53

I can't tell the age of the radiators or boiler, the pipes going into the radiators are about the thickness of my finger.

I have identified the heating flow and heating return pipes, using the manual. (Are they the ones you meant) Neither are hot, just slightly warm.

i think i need a boiler service.
On looking through a load more old papers we were left when we moved in, I have found a receipt from May this year, for a problem with the hot water. It says he cleaned the filter, advised that the system was very dirty and needed a Powerwash at £550.

I can't see a receipt for this, so do you think that could be what is needed?

PigletJohn Fri 26-Dec-14 17:11:16

it's possible, though the radiators do not seem to be clogged, which is more typical of a dirty system.

Try to identify the system filter. It ought to be on the return pipe close to the boiler. It might be clogged again. It might be a cylindrical canister or it might be funnel-shaped. It might be black or red plastic, or brass.

Here are some examples:

iloveithere Fri 26-Dec-14 17:26:45

I can't see one of those, its all behind a panel /false wall. However, more reading has helped me find a 'heating flow temperature adjustment' dial. It was midway, so I have turned to to max. Hopefully it was that simple, ill wait a bit then check the radiators again.

iloveithere Fri 26-Dec-14 17:48:30

Wooo hoooo I'm warm again. Thanks for all your help, pigletjohn. it was the thermostat on the boiler rather than the one on the wall that had been turned down. I only sussed it when re reading your post of 16.14.

Glad it didn't need £550 of work!

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