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Got cold spots in your radiators? Click here for more information about our central heating PowerFlush service.

We install radiators and clean out radiator sludge: Call DripFix on 0845 020 0670 now! We install radiators and clen out radiator sludge: Call DripFix on 0845 020 0670 now!

Let's face it, radiators are just there to heat your home in winter and dry the laundry on rainy days.

We think radiators are much more than that and with the right style they will enhance any home.

So whether you're changing your radiators as you restyle your property or just need to fix a leaky old one, we can supply and fit exactly what you need.

Call us now for a free estimate!

My radiators don't work!  Call DripFix on 0845 020 0670 now!
Radiators not working as well as you would expect?
If your radiators aren't working, here are some checks you can do to find the cause of the problem*:

  • Step 1: Is the boiler on? Yes, it could be that simple! Make sure that the boiler is on, the timer/programmer is set to heating and the room thermostat and any radiator thermostatic valves are turned up so that the heating system is asking the boiler to provide the radiators with hot water.

  • Step 2: Is the circulation pump running? If you have a traditional heating system with a hot water cylinder then check that the circulation pump is running.

    The pump is usually in the airing cupboard and here's what it may look like:
    heating circulation pump
    circulation pump

    If the boiler is on but the water in the pipes around the pump aren't warm, the pump may be faulty.

    If you have a combi or system boiler the pump will usually be incorporated in the boiler itself, so check the pipes to and from the boiler to see if hot water is flowing in and out of it. Be careful - the pipes can be very hot!

  • Step 3: Is the divertor valve stuck? If you have a traditional heating system with a hot water cylinder then check that the diverter valve isn't stuck. The diverter valve is usually in the airing cupboard and here's what it may look like:

    2 port valve
    2 port heating valve
    3 port valve
    3 port heating valve

    If the boiler is on and the pipe to the valve is warm but the one from it isn't, the valve may be faulty.

    You can test this by sliding the manual operation lever out of the automatic position into the manual position to open the valve. Be careful - the levers can be sharp and difficult to push, even on relatively new valves.

  • Step 4: Is the radiator valve stuck? If the diverter valve and pump are working but the radiator isn't getting warm, check for heat in the pipes running to and from the radiator.

    If the pipes are warm, or one is warm and the other isn't, one or both of the radiator valves could be turned off or faulty.

    Try turning them on to the maximum setting (usually by turning the control knob anti-clockwise) to open them.
  • Step 5: Is the radiator full of air? Try bleeding the radiator using a bleed key (available from most DIY and hardware stores).
    radiator bleed key
    radiator bleed key
    radiator bleed valve
    radiator bleed valve

    Place the key over the bleed pin in the bleed valve socket at the end/top/inside top edge of the radiator and hold a cloth over it (to stop dirty water squirting out).

    Slowly turn the bleed key anti-clockwise until the sound of air hissing is heard, then hold the key in place until water comes out.

    Finally, turn the key clockwise to close the bleed valve.

  • Step 6: Is the radiator full of black sludge? The simplest test for black sludge in your radiators is to check the temperature difference between the top and bottom of the radiators in each room.

    Once your heating has reached its normal operating temperature, using the back of your hand (not the palm+) feel the temperature at the top-middle of the radiator and then down at the bottom.

    If the bottom of the radiator is noticeably cooler than the top then black sludge is probably blocking the flow of hot water through the bottom of the radiator and your heating system may need a PowerFlush.

    + Use the back of your hand rather than the palm to check for radiator cold spots.

    If the radiator is too hot, normally you will pull the back of your hand away by instinct, but if you use your palm a spasm may cause you to grip the radiator and injure yourself.

    Click on the image below for more signs of black sludge in your heating system:

    Click for larger image: Call DripFix for PowerFlushing on 0845 020 0670 now!
    Image courtesy of Kamco Ltd
    DripFix is an authorised Kamco stockist.
And of course, if you are still having problems with your radiators after doing the above, call us!

This article is provided for information purposes only. You should only attempt any procedures explained here if you are competent to perform the task and have the appropriate tools and materials, including any relevant safety equipment.

Readers acting upon this article do so at their own risk and no responsibility is accepted by the author or publisher for any loss or damage incurred by following the article or failing to follow it.

If in doubt always consult a properly qualified tradesperson or other competent person.
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