THE IMPORTANCE OF CHECKING BOILERS
Problems pinpointed at this stage may still be minor issues that your local plumber can solve easily and at a lower cost than coping with a major system failure in the middle of winter, when their availability is low and your need is greater. If your boiler stops working in the winter, you’ll be without heating and hot water.
HOW TO CHECK YOUR HEATING
Turn off your boiler or programmer and reduce the room thermostat to zero. If there is no room thermostat, just use the temperature setting on the boiler itself.
Turn on your boiler and central heating, ensuring the hot water remains turned off.
Increase the temperature on the room or boiler thermostat. You should then hear the boiler ‘fire-up’. This is the “booming” noise associated with the gas burner starting up.
Wait around 10-15 minutes. Your radiators should begin to heat up in every room. These should be heated evenly across the whole radiator. If radiators have a cold patch (usually at the top of the radiator), you’ll need to bleed the radiators.
Turn down the boiler or room thermostat again to reduce temperature and turn the boiler off.
For combination boilers (those without a linked hot water tank (usually found in an airing cupboard), turn on the hot water and await the steady flow of hot water that remains stable. Unstable temperatures could be a result of weak water flow, or a heating plate that needs replacing.
For conventional boilers, those which are older and generally sit in airing cupboards. Firstly, switch the cylinder thermostat to zero, and turn on the hot water programmer.
Next, turn the cylinder thermostat up to around 55 degrees Celsius. Any hotter is dangerous and risks scalding. At this point, the boiler should fire up.
If you follow the above steps and the heating and hot water are turning on and off according to these instructions, then it is unlikely you have any heating issues.
However, any pulses in temperature, drops in performance or cold spots could indicate problems in the system. Steps should be taken to rectify these before winter arrives. For a full system check, you should contact your plumber to book a boiler service.
Note: Please ensure the boiler is not on as you will be at risk of scalding.