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Central Heating Problems

What is central heating?

Central heating refers to the process of providing warmth or heat to the interior of a home or building from one point to multiple rooms. In central heating, heat is created through combustion of fossil fuel either in a furnace or boiler and the heat is transferred usually by forced air ductwork, water circulating in pipes or steam fed through pipes. The heat generation generally happens at one place which could be the furnace or mechanical room. Contemporary central heating systems have solar powered sources.

Listed below are a few questions answered by the Experts on central heating problems.

How do I drain the central heating system in my Vaillant Ecotec boiler?

First turn off the system. Next, a hose needs to be connected to the drain valve which can be found at the lowest position of the heating system. Open the drain valve and bleed or remove the air from all valves on the radiator allowing the water to flow out quickly and completely from the heating system as well as the boiler. Close the drain valve. Refill the heating system with water and release the water from the system until the design pressure of 1.0 bar is obtained. Usually the actual reading on the digital pressure gauge should ideally be 0.5 bar plus an additional pressure corresponding to the highest point on the system from the base of the boiler. In most installations, the minimum pressure should not be less than one bar. If an inhibitor needs to be used, it should be applied at this stage as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

What can I do if my central heating system on the first floor does not turn off despite the thermostat setting being exceeded?

Such a system would usually have two port valves for each zone (lower and upper levels). The upper zone valve could be stuck in an open position due to a jammed mechanism on the head or a seized spindle on the body. To check for certain, you could remove the head, which has a cover with two brass screws. After which you should be able to free the spindle and turn it normally. If you are unable to do as mentioned, it would be wise to turn the power off to the heating system and call a plumber to check.

If I increase the central heat setting above 50%, my pressure gauge reading goes above 2 bars (above normal). The heating is insufficient at 50%. What can I do?

There could be an issue with the expansion tank being defective. Another reason could be that the house where the heating system is installed in could be too large leaving the in-built expansion tank too small for the purpose. The symptoms do indicate the need for an additional 2 gallon size expansion tank. Usually an expansion tank costs roughly $100. It can be easily installed anywhere within the central heat circuit piping with the use of a simple “Tee”.

My boiler is generating hot water but the central heating is not working even after resetting the pressure at 1.5 bar. What can I do?

What could have happened with you system is that if the pressure falls or gets low, air can enter and form bubbles on the top portion of the radiators. This bubble could block water flow. If the water flow is absent, the boiler’s water flow switch causes the burner to remain off. To tackle this issue you would need to bleed the air out of the radiators or any other high points on the system. Ensure the CH hot water pump is working fine as well.

My central heating ran out of oil which I refilled however the boiler is not firing up. Is this due to an air lock?

Apart from this being an issue due to an air lock, there are chances that the strainer and nozzle need replacement. This happens because when the oil tank level becomes very low, all the residue and waste settles at the bottom of the tank creating a clog. A blow out of the line and replacement as suggested earlier is recommended especially once the oil is over.

An error labeled EPRL is flashing on my central heating system and the fan is working but the burners are not lighting. What does it mean?

EPRL is a code for a flame sensor fault. Most likely the air intakes and the flame sensor rod need to be cleaned which is done in a regular service. Once this is cleaned, there is an 80% chance that your problem will be resolved. Another reason with a 20% possibility could be an electronic issue with the unit’s control card. It is dangerous for a homeowner to attempt repairing these issues and better to find qualified help.

Central heating systems are imperative to maintain a comfortable environment especially in cold or in extreme weather conditions. Minor central heating troubleshooting and issues such as bleeding, refilling oil and so on can be handled by you with help from Experts. However other central heating problems need professional assistance. Therefore to understand better, insights and information from Experts will be helpful and useful to tackle the problem immediately and effectively.

Ask a HVAC Technician

gotoman for ac
gotoman for ac, HVAC Technician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 4766
Experience:  51 years of experience install design and repair of all makes and models of AC
19613070
Type Your HVAC Question Here...
characters left:
HVAC Technicians are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

HVAC Technicians are online & ready to help you now

gotoman for ac
HVAC Technician
Satisfied Customers: 4657
51 years of experience install design and repair of all makes and models of AC
Phil
Mechanical Engineer
Satisfied Customers: 3888
Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
Rick Mather
HVAC Technician
Satisfied Customers: 3132
35 years experience, HVAC

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