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CENTRAL HEATING
RADIATORS

Are you having radiator problems??

Radiator not getting hot?
Noisy radiator or boiler?
Radiators are taking too long to heat up?
Radiator are too hot?
Radiator valve leaking?
Radiator hot downstairs but cold upstairs?
My radiator is cold?

Radiator Replacements
and Upgrades

Considering installing
a Combi Boiler?

As winter closes in and temperatures across the UK begin to plummet, you want to be certain that you and your family have the warmest, coziest home possible. You might not realise it, but the chances of a boiler breakdown if you have an old central heating system is actually significantly higher than if you have a more modern combi boiler unit.

What is a Combi Boiler??

A combi boiler is a (relatively) new kind of boiler design. All the heating components, including the pump, hot water storage cylinder, flue, and feed/expansion tanks are all combined into a solid, single unit – so it’s a space-saving option. Unlike a traditional boiler, you won’t have to wait long for a combi to heat water which makes it typically more energy efficient. Before you jump in head first and start shopping around though, there are some important things to consider when purchasing and installing a new combi boiler. To help out we’ve made a quick mini-guide that tells you everything you need to know:

What is radiator ‘Balancing’?

At its simplest, balancing means adjusting the radiator valves so that the radiators all heat up at the same rate. If a radiator is too cool, it needs more hot water flowing through it, and if another is too hot, then the flow through it needs restricting. Balancing is achieved using the balancing or “lockshield” valve — the one at the opposite end of the radiator to the main on/off wheel valve or TRV.

The term “lockshield” means that once adjusted, the valve is shielded with a plastic cap that prevents it being accidentally changed. Balancing is a simple operation that any competent householder should be able to do.

Start by fully opening the main wheel valves or TRVs on all the radiators. Then unscrew or prise off the plastic caps on the lockshield valves. In most cases this will reveal a half-moon-section brass spindle sticking out of the top of the valve, which can be turned using a small adjustable spanner. Try to avoid using pliers, as the jaws might slip and burr the spindle.

Then, starting with the radiator nearest the boiler, close the lockshield valve completely off (fully clockwise) and then open it a one-quarter turn. Do the same with the next radiator, this time opening it three-eights of a turn. And so on until the radiator furthest from the boiler, which should have the lockshield valve fully open.

With the boiler and pump running, see how quickly the radiators warm up and how comfortable the rooms are. Make further small adjustments until the system is balanced to your satisfaction. Then replace the plastic covers on the lockshield valves.

A more precise method is to use a pair of clip-on pipe thermometers on the flow and return pipes at either end of the radiator. Starting with the radiator nearest the boiler, adjust the lockshield valve until you get a temperature drop of 11C across the two pipes. Then move on to the others in turn.

QThe inner rubber core of my shower hose is broken. Can I replace the rubber tube or do I have to get a brand new shower hose? RL, by email

A Buy a whole new shower hose. It will probably cost a lot less than you think – from around a fiver. DIY stores and hardware shops usually stock a standard 1.5 metre length — for other lengths take your old hose to a local plumbers’ merchants. Make sure you are given a new pair of rubber washers to go inside the screw fittings.

What’s the difference between … a beam and a joist?

Estate agents love describing structural timbers as “exposed beams” in the mistaken impression that this turns an ordinary house into a “period property”. Often these timbers are simply ceiling joists or wall studs which were never meant to be left exposed. A main beam is a large load-bearing member, usually hidden within the wall structure. A secondary beam spans two main beams, to lessen the span of upstairs floor joists and might well be left on display.

source:  The Telegraph

1.

Choosing a suitable model
that you can afford

2.

Choosing an installer
that’s right for you

Once you’ve chosen the perfect model, it’s time to have your combi boiler installed. There is the option of doing-it-yourself, but if you lack the confidence or expertise in plumbing and electrics then it is always best to leave the job to a professional fitter. You can get in touch with suitable combi boiler installers from a number of different sources; local plumbing companies in the Yellow Pages, for instance, recommendations from friends or family; or even going direct to your energy provider or combi boiler manufacturer.
Before signing any sort of contract, however, make sure the company have had previous practice in installing your particular model.
Check things like the guarantee and/or warranty they provide – that way you might be able to get follow-up servicing and maintenance included in the combi boiler installation price

Finally, before the combi boiler installation begins, you will need to make sure you are completely and comprehensively prepared to make the final fitting run as smoothly as possible. That will include clearing any clutter out of your chosen space for your new combi boiler; if radiators are being replaced, checking that each one is turned off and there is enough space for dismantling to begin; and if an old heating tank is being removed, making sure you and your family are out of the way for a few hours so it can be taken out as quickly and safely as possible.

It might be a little bit of a hectic environment for a couple of days, but by following these three simple steps you are making sure that your combi boiler installation will be smooth sailing for you and your family – allowing you to turn up the heating within a matter of days.

3.

Making sure you
are fully prepared for installation

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