Your boiler system breaking down during the winter months can be a massive inconvenience to you and your family. There are maintenance measures you can implement to try and stop this from happening. With the efficiency and practicality of modern boilers. However, ensuring you are taking care of them properly will prevent any expensive potential breakdown that will result in a  repair or replacement needed for your central heating system.

Here at Origin, our Gas Safe engineers are highly trained and experienced in all aspects of emergency plumbing. If you experience a boiler breakdown, call Origin to get your issue fixed quickly and efficiently.

Booking a Boiler Service

Most plumbing companies advise an annual service. You will often need to keep a log of this to comply with your warranty. Boiler servicing involves checking and cleaning all the parts of your system. Any faulty parts that are affecting the boiler’s work efficiency should be replaced.

Giving your system a thorough clean should help to remove and prevent any blockages that could affect the efficiency of your heating. A good hack is to book this service before the winter months so that you can fix any underlying potential issues before they cause a breakdown. Having your boiler serviced before the winter months should ensure that your system runs smoothly during the colder period of the year.

Checking Your Boiler Pressure

If your boiler pressure becomes too low, this can affect its efficiency. The gauge on your boiler will give you a pressure reading. Between 1 and 1.5 is the recommended pressure reading for maximum efficiency.

If your pressure reading is too low, you’ll need to use the taps on your boiler to raise the pressure to the recommended reading. If your pressure is too high, you’ll need to use the taps to reduce the reading. It’s better to aim for the lower end of the scale as pressure will rise slightly as your system heats itself up.

Bleed Your Radiators

If air has become trapped in your radiators, warm water can be prevented from circulating your system effectively. A good indication that this has happened is your radiators being cold at the top, but warm at the bottom. To resolve this problem, you will need to bleed your radiators.

To do this you will need a radiator key and a clean cloth or towel.

Bleeding Your Radiators – Step by Step

  1. Turn off your heating. If left on, you may get hot water spraying out of your radiators.
  2. Use the radiator key to turn the valve on the top of your radiator. Attach the key to the groove in the center of the valve and turn anti-clockwise. You should hear a hissing sound as any trapped air escapes from the radiator. Use your cloth to clean any excess water that leaks out.
  3. When the hissing stops and there is only water leaking out, retighten the valve by turning clockwise.
  4. Once these steps are completed and the valves have been tightened, turn your central heating back on.
  5. Check the pressure of your radiators by checking the reading from the gauge on your boiler. Bleeding your radiators can cause the pressure to drop. If the pressure has become too low, you’ll need to top it up. To do this use the lever tap on your boiler.
  6. Check your radiators to make sure they are heating up properly.

Keep it Running

Engineers advise turning your boiler on and letting it run for 10-15 minutes regularly in the months before colder weather periods. Your boiler can lose pressure over time which can cause operating issues. Keeping it active during these months will help to prevent this. Switching your system on will also help ensure all parts are working properly and highlight any potential repairs.

Insulate Your Pipes

Standing water in your pipes can freeze during the winter months, causing blockages resulting in pipes bursting. You can use tepid water to unfreeze pipes by pouring it over them. Do not use boiling water as this can cause further damage.

A great way to prevent frozen pipes is to insulate them. Most reputable engineers will offer a pipe insulation service and will be able to advise you how this will help your system and if it’s necessary. Pipes becoming faulty could result in a complete system repiping, which can be costly and time-consuming and not an ideal situation to be in over the winter.

Here at Origin, our engineers are Gas Safe registered and highly experienced in boiler installations and repairs and emergency plumbing. If you require a gas safe engineer in Bearsden, Burnside or surrounding Glasgow areas, contact Origin today.