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Why is my Heating not Working?

30 January 2017

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It’s always a nuisance when your heating stops working, especially when it’s in the middle of winter. There could be a number of reasons for this and diagnosing the problem yourself, if you can, can save a lot of the plumbers time if you have to call them. Alternatively, you may be able to fix it yourself if it doesn’t involve boiler breakdown or boiler installation, which should always be carried out by plumbing professionals. Here are some ways of checking whether your heating is easily fixable yourself or whether you need to hire plumbing services.

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Bleed the radiator

You should always turn your heating on once in a while, even in summer, to make sure the plumbing system is in full working order. However, in hot weather we tend to forget and when the chilly weather comes around in autumn, we’ll find the system is lagging a bit. The best way to deal with this is the bleed the radiators to get the system and warm water flowing.

You should also try this if the top of the radiator is only warm on the bottom or if it sounds as if there are air pockets trapped in the pipes, usually characterised by gurling.

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If you’re able to get hot water but your radiators aren’t working, you should check your thermostat. This is usually located on the front of your boiler and should be easily viewable without having to take the boiler apart. Try turning the dial to around 20 degrees (it should already read between 0 and 30 degrees) and see if this helps. If not, check that the programmer - which is also located either on the front of the boiler or near it - isn’t set to a specific time and that the heating is switched on via this panel.

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Motorised Diverter Valve

If the heating still doesn’t come on, it may be a little complicated and you’ll need to call plumbing services for a boiler inspection. However, if you’re savvy with plumbing systems, you may also want to take a look at motorised diverter valve next to the boiler. This valve runs off electro magnets so try switching off the electrical supply to the system, then switching it on again. If this doesn’t have any effect, do the same with the pump.

Boiler Inspection


Sometimes, rust and other material can build up in our pipes and result in our heating not working. To deal with this, simply purchase some heating system sludge remover, if you have an open vent system, and flush the system using a hose if you don’t.

Boiler Repair Servicing


If you have hot radiators downstairs and cold upstairs, this may be the cistern, which you need to refill. Don’t overfill the cistern; only fill it enough to make sure the ballcock floats. If this problem persists, however, make sure to call residential plumbing services to check out the problem and solve why it might be happening.

Boiler Breakdowns

Boiler noises

Boilers can sometimes be noisy, especially when the system is just kicking in and the pilot light is coming on. However, excessive or prolonged amounts of noise isn’t normal and should be dealt with. A gurgling noise could just be a sign that you need to bleed your radiators. However, if you’ve done this and it hasn’t done the trick, calling plumbing professionals to diagnose and fix the problem is a must, as you may need new boiler installation.

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