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Hot water/central heating help please!

(32 Posts)
apatheticfallacy Tue 20-Sep-16 12:07:34

When we bought this house we soon realised that the hot water and central heating were permanently on, despite adjusting the control panel. We were a bit annoyed as we'd specifically asked the vendors if they knew of any problems with the heating/hot water system and they said no. We took advantage of the offer of a free boiler service that our mortgage company offered us and my DH showed the boiler man around whilst I was out. He showed the boiler man the problem who showed DH some kind of manual override switch and kindly switched our central heating off for us. At the time DH said 'it's easy, there are two switches at the back'

Now it's getting colder it won't be too long before we start to think about turning it back on but of course DH has completely forgotten this ever took place!

I've had a look and the only two switches on the back of things I can see are on little silver boxes labelled 'motorised valve normally closed'. Does anyone know if this could be the magic switch? Will the boiler explode if I switch them?

We don't have much spare cash to get the problem fixed at the moment but that should change shortly so was planning to deal with the semi-working system until then. However, if the underlying problem sounds cheap and easy to fix I'd obviously orefer that.

Can any clever person advise me?

Sgtmajormummy Tue 20-Sep-16 12:17:16

I would go to the control panel inside the house, not the boiler. Has it got a temperature wheel? In that case, switch the heating on by turning the wheel until it clicks.
Your system is now asking for hot water for the radiators.
Now go to the boiler and try your switches until it starts firing.

Or wait until Piglet John gives you better advice!

dementedpixie Tue 20-Sep-16 12:27:03

What is the make and model of your boiler? You can then see if there is a manual online for it

apatheticfallacy Tue 20-Sep-16 12:27:19

ok, might be brave and give the switches a go after turning up the thermostat. I just don't want to break anything further!

dementedpixie Tue 20-Sep-16 12:28:17

Don't go fiddling with switches until you know what you are doing

apatheticfallacy Tue 20-Sep-16 12:28:52

I've looked at the boiler manual and the heating control panel manual and neither seem to cover what to do if you need to override the control panel (it's separate from the boiler)

dementedpixie Tue 20-Sep-16 12:29:45

And do you have a box with a timer that controls when it should be on or off? Have you had hot water at all?

apatheticfallacy Tue 20-Sep-16 12:34:27

Hot water is on all the time.

There's a timer box and it's set to the right time. It has no effect on the hot water or heating though - if I switch it so everything's off the hot water is still on (we came back from a two week holiday to hot water despite having turned all the switches on the control panel to off before we left)

dobbythefuckingjizzelf Tue 20-Sep-16 12:45:39

Can you post any photos of the panel and switches so we can see what you are looking at

apatheticfallacy Tue 20-Sep-16 13:08:37

Of course! Thank you all for taking the time to help me! I'll post them one at a time because it seemed to time out when I attached them all at once

apatheticfallacy Tue 20-Sep-16 13:09:09


apatheticfallacy Tue 20-Sep-16 13:09:46

Room thermostat

apatheticfallacy Tue 20-Sep-16 13:10:31

Control panel

DoubleCarrick Tue 20-Sep-16 13:11:19

Same problem I had. Yes, it's the motorised valve switch that you want. Saying that, I've just had my heating redone and it's going to be bliss this winter!

apatheticfallacy Tue 20-Sep-16 13:11:47

Silver box thing with switches that I think the boiler man may have suggested is key to the problem in some way! (There are two of them)

apatheticfallacy Tue 20-Sep-16 13:12:35

The back of the silver box thing

apatheticfallacy Tue 20-Sep-16 13:14:06

carrick does the silver box thing look like a motorised valve switch? Do I just switch it? Is there a way to know which is heating and which is hot water (if that's how they work)

PigletJohn Tue 20-Sep-16 13:48:00

Unless there is a fault, the timer should always turn off the boiler if both the heat and the hw are "off"

Unless there is a fault, the wall thermostat should always close the Heating motorised valve if the room temperature is above the thermostat setting.

Unless there is a fault, the cylinder thermostat should always close the HW motorised valve if the cylinder temperature is above the thermostat setting. Here are some typical cylinder thermostats.

Unless there is a fault, the boiler should always be off unless either the HW motorised valve, or the CH motorised valve, is open.

When you turn a thermostat up in order to open a motorised valve, you should hear it groan or whir as the motor opens it. When you turn the thermostat or timer to off, you should hear it whir as the spring returns it to the closed position. You may need to people, one to listen and one to adjust.

It looks to me like your motors have an "auto" and a "manual" setting. Set the levers to "Auto." You should not normally need to touch it.

1) do you heat the motors whir open and shut?

2) If closed, do you feel hot water warming the pipes on both sides of the valve?

They look like Honeywell, which is one of the two best makes. There may be an identifying label on the other end. If the motor is faulty, it is very easy to change (unless they are an old model) but some testing will be needed to check. If the valve itself (the brass part) is worn out, it is a plumbing job as water is involved.

If you feel the pipes, the HW one will warm up when HW is on, and the CH when the CH is on. If there is a fault, they might constantly be warm. When you have identified them, label with permanent marker for next time. If there is a fault it could be in the wiring or a thermostat, or it could be in the motor or the valve.

PigletJohn Tue 20-Sep-16 13:53:44

your part number 272848 seems to be one of these

seems to be identical to the one in my link.

GiddyOnZackHunt Tue 20-Sep-16 13:55:45

I belive that the silver box contains the motorised valve which is either stuck or broken.
The lever on the back controls the diverting of water to the heating and/or hot water cylinder. You might need to experiment to find which bit opens it for heating.
Some valves can have their internals replaced. Some can't and the whole thing has to be replaced.

PigletJohn Tue 20-Sep-16 13:56:23

...and here are the instructions

(also available from the Honeywell website)

apatheticfallacy Tue 20-Sep-16 13:56:50

Thanks PJ, I'll wait until DH is home so he can stand by the boiler (downstairs) whilst I turn things on and off in the upstairs airing cupboard to try to work out what's going on.

PigletJohn Tue 20-Sep-16 13:57:43


the valves appear to be two-port valves, so there is one for the HW and one for the CH. You are thinking of the three-port valve, doing both, which is very common.

GiddyOnZackHunt Tue 20-Sep-16 14:01:33

I x posted with you and you do know rather more than me grin so I shall leave apathetic in your case smile

apatheticfallacy Tue 20-Sep-16 14:20:17

Your help is still appreciated nonetheless giddy

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