An untended central heating system can lead to all manner of problems. Here are just a few of them.
Like with people, age brings wear and tear. As we grow older, our joints get achy and our skin weathers. The same goes for our central heating systems. Even if just a year old, these systems can cause a wide range of problems if left unattended, and whilst we might not notice them or appreciate them when they’re working well, we will certainly feel the difference when they break down altogether. That’s why it’s always wise to keep a tab on your central heating health. To avoid those winter shivers and rusting radiators, a quick once over every now and then will keeping things ticking along smoothly.
Poor circulation in your radiator system will manifest itself through less warmth radiating from your heating unit into your room. One of the causes of this is often sludge in your radiator system. This can build up over time, especially if you haven’t given your radiator a power flush in a long time, and is even more prevalent in parts of the country with hard water, leading to an accumulation of limescale.
Your radiator needs balancing if...
Radiator balancing is a solution to uneven warming of your radiator units. The central heating system works by sending hot water through the radiators which are closest to the boiler first, working in a circuit with the furthest radiators last. If each radiators thermostatic valve is not pressurised to suit its place in the circuit, you could see lessened performance further down the circuit line.
Your radiator needs bleeding if...
Radiator bleeding should be routine within your home. Although it doesn’t need to be undertaken frequently, it is a necessity to ensure the efficiency of your system. Radiators, especially central heating radiators, can sometimes get air trapped in the radiator panels, leading to colder parts of the unit. Bleeding the radiator will let out any trapped air and help the radiator regulate itself.
Reddish water and black particles
Reddish particles in the radiator can be a sign of corrosion in the radiator. Radiators are usually made of metal, and therefore are prone to rusting if they are not looked after. If when bleeding your radiator you find water with reddish particles, it is usually an indicator of the interior of your system rusting. Radiator exteriors will visibly rust and can be shielded through a layer of paint or a new finish. Whilst reddish particles in the water can be fixed through an advanced check up by an engineer, black particles can be a sign of advanced corrosion and might mean you have to replace the radiator unit.
How does your radiator smell?
The smell of your radiator can give you some top clues about its health. When bleeding your radiator you shouldn’t smell anything except perhaps, damp. If you can smell a deep sulphur smell, then it could be hydrogen sulphide. The smell of rotten eggs should be a good indicator of this or plain hydrogen. The danger of hydrogen and its sulphide being present in your radiator is that both are highly combustible gases, and if they travel through your piping and come into contact with your boilers ignition circuit, they could cause a fire or even an explosion. The creation of hydrogen in your radiator system is rare but can occur, mostly in new systems which have been built or joined together with different metals, causing a reaction which creates the chemical. If you have invested in a new radiator system and are bleeding it for the first time, watch out for these smells.