While radiators are fairly robust pieces of equipment, they can break down occasionally, especially if they are old or haven’t been serviced for a while. There’s nothing worse when you get home on a winter’s evening and you can’t get the radiators in your home to heat up properly.
Here’s our quick guide on what to look out for and how to prevent problems in the first place through a bit of preventative maintenance.
Signs your radiator might have a problem
Our boiler repairs team in Bristol will tell you that one of the most common problems associated with radiators is when they don’t heat up properly. This usually happens when air gets trapped inside the unit, preventing the flow of hot water. To solve the problem, this air needs to be released. The obvious sign of trapped air is when the bottom of your radiator is warm but the top is cold. This can be eased by bleeding the radiator to clear out the air.
If bleeding doesn’t resolve the issue, it could mean that there’s been a build up of sediment or sludge which is stopping the radiator working effectively and preventing the flow of hot water. This may require flushing out by a servicing specialist.
Most radiators make creaking and groaning noises as they expand and contract but if this turns to louder clanging sounds it can be another sign that there’s air in the radiator.
If your radiator is leaking, the faster you get it fixed, the higher the chances of less damage to the equipment. This is the sort of problem that can happen if you have a radiator which is badly fitted or the valve has corroded because of age.
What you can do to fix a radiator
Common radiator problems involving trapped air can be fixed by bleeding – this involves using a radiator key to loosen the small valve at the top of the panel and releasing the air until water starts to come out.
If you don’t have one at home already, you can buy a radiator bleed key from your local DIY store. It simply fits on the square nut at the top of the radiator. Make sure you switch off the heating first and allow the radiator to cool down. All you need to do then is twist the bleed nut anti-clockwise until you hear the air coming out. Continue this until you start to get water coming through and then tighten the nut clockwise.
Other problems can be more complex to deal with. If you have a build up of sludge at the bottom of the radiator, it may need to be flushed out and this should be done by a heating professional with the right equipment. If you think this is the problem, and you have already tried to bleed the radiator with no success, then call a heating engineer and they’ll be able to fix it for you.
If all your radiators seem to have a problem, then it may be that the boiler itself is the issue and, again, this needs the attention of a professional boiler service team.
How To Prevent Radiator Problems
Regular maintenance is the best way to avoid any potential radiator problems. You should expect a radiator that is properly maintained to last at least a decade or two.
To avoid a boiler breakdown, it should be serviced annually, so if it’s been more than a year since your last service, contact DHS today to arrange one – it will not only make sure your system is properly maintained but will ensure that your heating system works at maximum efficiency. Contact us 0117 924 7200, email us, or request a call back.