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Ways to fix central heating

Although modern boilers are efficient and less prone to faults than older models, it is likely that from time to time you will face minor problems with them. Here we will provide a few ways you can fix common boiler problems.

Central heating has stopped working

If your central heating has stopped working, it’s likely that the pilot light on your gas boiler has blown out. To fix this, you will need to check the manufacturer’s instructions to relight it. If the light is not the problem, you may find that your thermostat is set too low or that the timer is not working properly. Check both and try again. If you are still having problems, get in touch with your provider or local plumber.

Dripping pipe

The overflow pipe is designed to allow water to escape if the water tank becomes too full. If you find your pipe is dripping, it may be as a result of a worn float valve washer or a damaged float valve. You will be able to pick up a new part from your local plumbers’ merchants. Before replacing it, turn off the cold water supply to the feed and expansion tank in the loft. You will then need to lift up the tank cover and have a bucket ready to remove the water from the valve so you can replace it.

Leaky pipework

Noticed dark patches on your ceilings or flooring? Your pipework may be leaking. First you will need to locate the position of the leak. If it is at a joint, turn off your central heating and tighten the joint using a spanner or wrench. Once you have done this, wrap the joint in tissue and check to see if any water is still escaping.

If on the other hand you have noticed cracks or holes in your pipework you will need to replace the damaged pipe. Always turn off and drain your system first. Make sure you keep an emergency plumbing repair kit in an easy-to-reach location.

Radiator is not heating up

If your central heating system is working but one of your radiators is not heating up, you first need to check that the manual or thermostatic valve (whichever applies to you) is open enough for water to pass through to the radiator. If this is not the issue, check that the lock shield valve (located at the other end of the radiator) is open properly. You can adjust this using a spanner.

Knocking noises

Knocking noises are usually a sign that there is a blockage in your pipes or that they have not been clipped down properly. If this is the case, you will need to call out a plumber. Before doing so, check that there is enough water going into your boiler, as lack of water can also create knocking sounds. Go into your loft and check the feed and expansion tank levels. If you notice water flowing into the tank when you move the float up and down, you will need to replace the float valve unit. If water is not entering the system, your mains water supply may have been cut off or one of your pipes may be frozen.

These problems are all fairly common and easy to fix central heating but if you are not comfortable doing it yourself or the problems are more serious, always call out a qualified, Gas Safe engineer.