Frequently Asked Questions

We have put together a list of frequently asked questions that many of our customers have asked us over the years.

We hope you find the answer you need here, but if not, please contact us.

The heating system is constantly losing pressure what should I do?

If you are constantly losing pressure in the heating system you could try the following to establish the cause by:

  1. Checking all visible joints including radiator valves and connections for obvious signs of leakage. There needs to be consideration to potential leaks to any under-floor pipe work.
  2. Check that there is no water being discharged from the pressure relief valve (sometimes referred to as an overflow). This pipe usually goes from the boiler through to an outside wall and terminates outside. Check this for signs of dripping. If it is wet, this may mean that the pressure relief valve is faulty.

In either case, if your heating system keeps losing pressure to gain advice or help you should:

My boiler is producing a ‘gurgling’ sound what could be the cause?

This gurgling sound may be caused by a blocked condensate pipe, please contact us to resolve the issue.

How to re-pressurise a Heating System with an internal filling key

To view a video that shows how to re-pressure a heating system using an internal filling key by clicking here.

What to do if the top of the radiator is cold and the bottom hot?

This is normally due to a build up of air in the radiator.

This can usually be cured by bleeding the radiator using a key. Have a cloth ready to catch the drips as the water can be dirty.

What does it mean if the top of the radiator is hot, and the bottom cold?

This can be more of a challenge. This can occur on older systems and is often due to a build up of sludge or Magnetite in the bottom of the radiator. Excessive deposits in a central heating system indicate that the water has not been treated with a corrosion inhibitor over the life of the installation, or perhaps the inhibitor has been emptied at some point and not topped up? Other indications are noisy pumps sticking valves poor warm up times intermittent radiator warm up and boiler overheating.

Although it is often possible to effect an improvement by adding a chemical ‘central heating restorer’ to the system or disconnecting the radiator and flushing it out outside with a high pressure hose ultimately the the most permanent remedy is professional flushing & cleaning. Call APG Domestic Services for a quotation, or click here for more information on powerflushing.

Some of my radiators are cold but when I try to bleed them no water comes out!

This can be caused by an airlock. Try turning all the other radiators in the house off (using the radiator valves noting the number of turns each time) and then try bleeding. Reset the valves to their original positions when you have finished (see below regarding ‘balancing’).

Alternatively sometimes central heating systems suffer from a ‘blocked cold feed’ which will gradually cause the system to run out of water because it isolates the water feed and expansion tank from the radiators, pipework, boiler & controls.

Repairing a blocked cold feed is not a DIY proposition. Call APG Domestic Services to request a service engineer visit.

How to balance performance throughout the house on different radiators?

This can be achieved by adjusting the lockshield valve (usually covered with a plastic cap) to adjust flow of water to all the radiators in the property.

Professionals usually set these up by checking the temperature differential across the inlet/outlet pipes; however a more basic balance can be achieved by reducing the flow to those radiators nearest the heat distribution point (normally the pump) and opening the valves to a greater degree on those radiators furthest away.

My central heating has started coming on with my hot water

This is usually down to a failed motorised valve (on a conventional cylinder/boiler system). My combination boiler will only deliver hot water when the central heating is on! This is usually a fault within the diverter valve mechanism; this is not a DIY job. Call us on 01772 697166 and advise the boiler/system type for an idea on costs.