Your radiators are extremely important for your home, and they’re going to be your savior during the chilly winter days. However, there may be times when they suddenly stop working properly, leaving you and your loved ones in the cold. Fixing a radiator can sometimes be an easy job, but it all depends on how serious the issue is. So, if your radiators have stopped heating your home effectively, keep reading and discover 5 reasons why that might be. You’ll soon be able to diagnose the issue and contact professionals for help!
- Air Pockets
If you touch your radiator and it feels cold in places and warm in others, you could have a build-up of air pockets within the system. This is where air gathers within the heater and prevents the hot water from moving freely through it. However, this problem has a very simple remedy! All you need to do is bleed your radiators, and you should be able to resolve the issue. Simply unscrew the bleed valve until you hear the air come hissing out. Keep unscrewing it until water starts to come out. As soon as you notice the water, tighten it back up again, and you should find that your radiator heats much more evenly.
- Blockages From Sludge
Sometimes, you may find that your radiator is cold on the bottom and hot on the top. Or you may feel as though some rooms are colder than others, even if the radiators are at the same temperature. This is extremely unusual and normally points to a blockage caused by sludge or debris. This build-up then prevents the hot water from entering the system properly and causes the radiator to remain cold in most parts. The best way to resolve this problem is with the help of a professional as they will need to perform a system flush. They do this by using a power flush throughout your system and it helps to remove the debris or sludge that’s become trapped in your heater. They may advise you to have a boiler filter fitted too, as this can prevent it from happening again.
If you notice that your radiator is leaking water, you might be worried that it means you need to completely replace it. However, depending on the severity of the leak, you may just be able to have it professionally sealed instead. Sometimes a leak can be caused by the valves not being tightened enough, which can be easily remedied. But if you’ve tightened the valves and nothing changes, then it could be a leak from the system itself. A lot of the time, leaks are caused by corrosion, so if the damage is bad, you may need to have the system replaced. This isn’t always the case, but it can be cheaper to replace it in the long run than to keep calling out someone to put on a temporary fix.
- Issue With The Diverter Valve
When this problem occurs, it normally impacts multiple radiators, so if more than one isn’t working, this could be your culprit. The diverter valve is motorized and helps to control the hot water that flows into your heating and your taps. This valve will always put hot water into your taps first as opposed to the radiators. However, if you find that you’re getting hot water to your taps and it’s not going to your radiators at all, then the valve might be completely stuck. This issue can’t be fixed in a DIY way either. It’s always the job of a gas-safe engineer who can do the job properly and safely. So, if your radiators stop working in unison, the diverter valve could the problem.
- Problem With The Thermostat
If you turn the thermostat up on your radiator and nothing happens, this could be a simple case of the thermostatic radiator control being switched off by mistake. This normally happens when a higher temperature is chosen on the thermostat, and then the valves seize up into a closed state in response. There’s a very easy way to check if it’s seized up too. All you need to do is take the top cover off of the valve and undo the knurled nut. Then check the center pine and see if it can be moved up and down slightly. If it doesn’t move at all, then that means that it’s seized up and is the root of the problem. Try to tap it gently and see if it becomes loose. If it doesn’t, then the whole valve area will need replacing and it’s always best to get a professional to complete this job.
Looking after your radiators is important, as regular maintenance will help to prevent some of the common issues like air pockets and corrosion. Never attempt a fix that you aren’t 100% confident with either, as you could end up hurting yourself quite badly. Things like bleeding your radiators is something that you can do, as it’s extremely simple and recommended by manufacturers. However, things like flushing systems and replacing diverter valves really aren’t something that you can do yourself. So, if your radiators aren’t working, try to see if these 5 tips help you to diagnose the issue. You’ll soon be back to enjoying the warmth once the problem is solved!