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Thread: Central heating - problem which is beginning to make me pull my hair out

  1. #1
    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    Default Central heating - problem which is beginning to make me pull my hair out

    Hi guys.


    We have been having ‘issues’ with our central heating system.

    It is a standard setup, with modern Baxi boiler, hot water cylinder, numerous radiators on a 2 pipe system (feed and return), with a 3 port motorised valve to direct hot water either through the cylinder or to radiators (or both ).

    Recently, the downstairs radiators have not been getting warm at all, whilst the upstairs have worked OK though and also the hot water.

    The other day I had a look into the reason for this malfunction, as it will only be getting colder from now on.

    The problem lay at the door or the motorised valve actuator (Honeywell 40003916-003), so I replaced it last night. The old one didn’t do very much when the heating was switched on – little or no movement of the motor, and making a few noises that I didn’t recognise. Whilst the actuator was off, I also removed the valve cover and cleaned the valve internal parts of any crud that had accumulated, and the port entrances too.

    Anyhow, The valve then starts working and such. Still no better than before though for the downstairs rads.

    As the pump had been making a few strange noises, I also changed that, it was also getting quite hot too (although this may be normal).

    Still no improvement !

    I have gone round each radiator to bleed them – nothing but water came out.

    I have also switched every rad off at their tap, and turned each one on sequentially – all worked and got hot when individually turned on. So I started turning more on, so the rads I had on were, hall, front room, kitchen, bathroom, front bedroom, bedroom 2 all stayed on hot.

    Then I switched on the shower room and landing rads, and after a while the downstairs rads went cold.

    I went to work, and asked the wife to switch off the shower room and landing and front bedroom rads to see what effect it had. – still waiting for her to answer.



    Anyone got any ideas, as it’s beginning to pee me off.

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    Regular Member VinnyPeewee's Avatar
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    hmmmm try bleeding all the rads... incase there is an airlock somewhere in the system preventing the system from working properly.

    Or just buy a Log burnng stove like i have!! not put oil in my Tank for 2 yrs.... and it cost me £20 a month for coal.... the rest of the time i burn free logs!!!

    Cheap as chips!!!

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    Regular Member SignumPhil's Avatar
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    Sounds like you might have a blockage of some sort (obvious answer, I know) I'm no expert, but there are some on these forums (Chnukster and Ion gave me some useful advice when my system failed a year or so ago.
    Maybe a flush out would help?

    Phil

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    Regular Member MalcGSI's Avatar
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    Go to India

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    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    Here lies part of the problem, I am going to India today. I really wanted it sorting before I went - so the family aren't cold when i'm away.

    HELP !

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    Regular Member boba's Avatar
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    From what you say it doesn't sound as though there are any airlocks etc. Possibly the pump isn't running fast enough - is it on its highest setting? Possibly there is a bit of an accumulation of sludge in the system partially blocking things - was there any black gunge when you removed the valve and pump or when you tried bleeding the radiators? If the flow isn't high enough it'll likely go preferentially to the upstairs radiators. You could possibly help things a bit by rebalancing the radiators (ie restricting the ones closest to the pump and/or the upstairs ones). If you have a real build-up of sludge a powerflush may be the answer.

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    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    Not a lot of gunge when pump removed or valve cleaned.

    I have thought about flushing the system, but the drain point in the kitchen is completely seized up and painted over by a previous owner, and the removal stub has been snapped off too.. So it will need a new radiator fitting with drain tap.

    I wonder if putting some system cleaner into it would help?



    Forgot to say. The boiler kept 'overheating' and tripping out before I changed the pump - it doesn't do it now.

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    Regular Member yorkshireborn's Avatar
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    sounds like your pump isn't strong enough to handle all the rads on at the same time.

    other than that ive no idea maybe sludge try flushing the rads see if that helps.

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    Full Member Big Sig's Avatar
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    Short term answer is to half close some of the rads to get the flow to go downstairs.
    Now I need a turbo to keep up!

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    Regular Member boba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ste View Post
    Forgot to say. The boiler kept 'overheating' and tripping out before I changed the pump - it doesn't do it now.
    One of the indicators of a build-up of sludge.

    If the pump is new and already running full speed your best short-term hope is to restrict some of the radiators and turn off any you can do without. Maybe turn the bedrooms down to a trickle?

    System cleaner will only help if it can circulate so the first thing is to get to a state where water is at least moving through the radiators. Most cleaners are supposed to only stay in the system for a shortish time before being replaced by an inhibitor but generally you should be ok for the odd 2-3 months. You will still need to get the system drainable later on though to get the stuff out.

    Beware of potential seepages/leaks if the sludge is presently blocking them off.

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