I can’t remember how many times I’ve been asked why a radiator or two are not working or why a radiator takes longer to heat up than others or why a room is colder than the others, or why a radiator doesn’t get as hot as others. For these scenarios we would make sure the radiator valves are working properly, then we would need to determine if there could be a blockage in the pipes and one question we would ask, if it isn’t obvious is “has this radiator been added onto the system after the original heating system was fitted?” This scenario would arise from having an extension with new rooms with radiators in them, or some renovations where radiators have been changed.
If the answer is “yes” and it was proven that the issue is not the radiator valves or a blockage in the pipework, we would then need to find out how the radiator has been plumbed into the heating system. When we do find out the result 99% of the time is the 1st fix plumbing was not done properly. By this I mean either the pipe size is too small, or where the pipes branch off to the new radiator is plumbed in the wrong place, or there are too many bends in the pipe. Either way the end result is the customer will have to pay for the plumbing to be done again, and pay for the plastering to be done again and the painting to be done again because the person who did the work won’t come back, because they’ve already been paid in the summer when the work was done but you’ve only realised now because it’s winter, or something like that. Obviously I’m generalising on the scenario as I know there are good plumbers who do pay for their mistakes, and there are some plumbers who don’t.
There are laws in place which mean you could take legal action against the company involved but it’s not straightforward and you’ll need to get a solicitor involved etc, etc. Basically it’s a massive hassle.
If you are planning an extension or renovation make sure of the following:-
If you make sure the above questions have been dealt with you have done all you can to have a properly working heating system, or at the very least won’t cost you an arm and a leg to rectify.
Below is a before and after picture of a radiator installation. The radiator in the room was undersized which meant the room was never warm in the colder months. For this job we had to fit larger pipes going to the radiator, then fit a larger radiator after the walls were plastered.
Pavlou Plumbers have years of experience in plumbing in heating systems properly so if you’re planning a renovation, extension or need a new heating system get in touch with Pavlou Plumbers.
As from April 2018 there will be new rules that must be followed when installing a combi boiler in order to comply with new government legislation in the UK. The reason being the current regulations came about a long time ago and there is new technology out now that makes heating your home and hot water even cheaper. The main aspects of the new legislations means that one of the following needs to be installed when fitting a new combi boiler.
I’ll briefly explain what these four different options are.
Flue gas heat recovery systems – This is another heat exchanger that would sit on top of your boiler, and would extract the very little heat from the fumes that go through the flue of the boiler. This heat exchanger would then apply that heat to the cold water inlet of the boiler.
This flue gas heat recovery system takes up a lot more space and costs around £500 / £800 plus fitting. Not exactly my first choice.
Weather compensation – A weather compensator would be an additional feature of your heating controls (timer). This would measure the outside temperature, using a sensor or online information and switch your heating on later on a warmer day and earlier on cooler days. These can vary in price depending on the boiler you have.
Load Compensator – This means the boiler would increase the water temperature in your radiators when the house is cold and not so much when the house gets warmer. As far as I’m aware these are only available when you use certain boiler manufacturers own more expensive heating controls on their own boilers. Alternatively if you have a boiler and heating control that supports OpenTherm then this would compensate the load, however this is very rare at the moment. Again, as far as I’m aware only certain Ideal and InterGas boilers currently have OpenTherm.
Smart controls featuring automation and optimisation functions – There are a lot of ‘smart’ heating controls available at the moment however, the only ‘smart’ control that would not only provide automation and optimisation functions but would also act as a weather compensator when connected to the internet, and a load compensator if installed with an OpenTherm compatible boiler would be the Nest Learning Thermostat. The Hive, Tado, Salus and all the others do not work like the Nest.
Even though the Nest Learning Thermostat can be used with an internet enabled device the Nest will save you money because it automates your heating. What does that mean? As the Nest has a motion sensor built into the device if the Nest does not see any movement for a while then it won’t switch the heating on. What it also means is you would never have to programme the heating schedule again. All you would do the 1st few days you have the Nest is to turn the temperature to your preferred temperature when you are home and when you are away or in bed and that’s it.
The Nest Learning Thermostat can do a load more stuff, too many to mention in this blog so I’ll just say The Nest or the Nest E (cheaper version) really is the best there is for most boilers. The Nest can be fitted to any heating system, not just combi boilers. The Nest will make even the oldest boiler a lot more efficient. Your standard heating controls would be charged from around £50 upwards. To have a weather compensator fitted could cost an additional £60 plus depending on the boiler. The Nest currently cost £200 and the Nest E will be cheaper when it is available in the UK. Fitting a Nest control to a combi boiler would be my first recommendation because they are easy to fit and comply with the new regulations.
For more information on how to get a new boiler or better heating controls feel free to contact Pavlou Plumbers.
Here’s a picture of Louie because he’s ace!
A customer in Hawarden had an old Worcester 280 which was expelling water from the pressure relief valve and the hot water temperature was not constant. Like a car, when a poorly maintained boiler gets to a certain age parts will start to fail one at a time. Its at this point the boiler owner needs to decide if they would be happy to wait for the boiler parts to fail one by one. Is happy to have to wait in for a gas engineer to attend to look at the boiler then wait in again to repair the boiler when the replacement part is sourced. Is Happy to deal with no heating each time the boiler breaks down.
Boiler break down covers are a good idea for customer who have an older boiler however some companies will not cover your boiler when it passes a certain age. I have heard of cases where customers have been paying a monthly fee for years then needed to make a claim only to be told that the customers heating system is not covered!
This Hawarden based customer who had the boiler pictured below installed decided he did not want to pay a monthly fee for his boiler break down cover because this combi boiler comes with a 7 yr manufacturers warranty. Other boilers come with a massive 10 yr warranty! Instead this boiler owner will have hassle free heating for at least 7 yrs (providing the boiler is serviced every year), and lower gas bills.
If you would like any advice on the state of your boiler then please do not hesitate to get in touch by phone 01244 88 88 01 or email email@example.com
Its been a long time since my last post. The main reason for this is I’ve been busy repairing boilers and heating systems and replacing boilers over these last few weeks. If you have a non – condensing boiler, specially if your boiler was installed before the year 2000 then its likely that the boiler is coming to the end of its life cycle. The average life cycle of a boiler is 15yrs. If you have had your boiler serviced every year and the manufacturer of the boiler is a reputable one then your boiler could still be running fine, and it could last for up to 25yrs. However if the boiler has not been well maintained and it is a lesser known manufacturer then I would recommend saving for a replacement boiler. In 2005 it was made compulsory to install only condensing boilers due to them being a lot more efficient. This means it was not possible to buy an non – condensing boiler after 2005.
How do I know if I have a non – condensing boiler?
The main reason why condensing boilers are more efficient is because they extract more energy / heat out of the fumes that leave the boiler through the flue (chimney if you like) of the boiler. Due to more heat being taken out of the fumes condensing boilers have a plastic internal tube, which is fine because the fumes are not hot enough to melt plastic. A non – condensing boiler must have an all metal flue because the fumes are a lot hotter.
Here are a couple of pictures of old non – condensing, less efficient boilers.
Below is a picture of a more efficient condensing boiler
If you are still uncertain if you have a condensing boiler or not, or you would like a boiler service would like a more efficient boiler then get in touch to arrange an appointment.
If you are thinking about renovating your property then I would strongly recommend installing underfloor heating because it is much cheaper to run and provides a much better performance. Due to the source of heat coming from the ground, the temperature of the water running through the underfloor heating pipes is much lower than the water temperature in radiators. Lower water temperature means your boiler works less which means lower bills. Have a look at the YouTube video below for more information on why underfloor heating is better than radiators. Pavlou Plumbers are BPEC qualified underfloor heating installers so please get in touch for more info or to book a review.
[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaPo7x0KlKg[/youtube]
When choosing a radiator for a room it is important to make sure the heat output is enough to heat the room. The heat output on each radiator will be shown as BTU. To find out how many BTUs a specific room needs to heat up measure the length, width and the height of the room and then go to this link.
[youtube height=”” width=””]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCP-io2mkMc[/youtube]
[youtube height=”” width=””]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL4ot-MNYfE[/youtube]
[youtube height=”” width=””]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUsBw1ZpiKY[/youtube]
[youtube height=”” width=””]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_Jz6NrlsvE[/youtube]
[youtube height=”” width=””]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_Jz6NrlsvE[/youtube]
[youtube height=”” width=””]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNrRDd_w6Fg[/youtube]
[youtube height=”” width=””]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IxwrI3K74o[/youtube]
[youtube height=”” width=””]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dtwza-Azr0[/youtube]
[youtube height=”” width=””]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5okWefImvo[/youtube]