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Cold/slow-heating radiator

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Darren9571, 26 Feb 2017.

  1. Darren9571

    Darren9571

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    Hello

    Our bathroom radiator has started to not get warm or only get slightly warm very slowly. The radiator is upstairs and is the closest to the boiler on the upstairs run.

    It is a chrome, ladder-type towel radiator and the pipe sometimes gets hot before the flow valve but the rest of the radiator is cold or luke warm. It doesn't have TRVs and both valves are wide open and don't get routinely adjusted, so I don't think it is a sticking valve.

    Things tried so far:
    1. Bleeding, no air in it.
    2. Getting the heating hot then closing the valves on all other radiators - seemed to solve the problem for a few days, even when I open the rest of the valves the radiator worked, but now it has stopped working again.
    3. Re-balancing the other radiators - all other radiators in the house get hot and I have tried turning down the lock shield valves, but that hasn't helped.
    3. I added a new radiator to the system 18 months ago and put a chemical cleaner through the system and flushed it through and added inhibitor when I re-filled.

    I am guessing the likely cause is sludge build up? Could it be the inside of the radiator failing and blocking? I am wondering what to try next, would it be worth replacing the radiator or do I need to get the get the system power flushed?

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. Plumbman1979

    Plumbman1979

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    Could be the pipework leading up to it. Whst type of system do you have?
     
  4. twgas

    twgas

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    Plastic pipe?
     
  5. Darren9571

    Darren9571

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    It is a copper system, combi boiler, but to this radiator it is flexible pipes, like tap pipes.

    The flow pipe gets hot, as does the valve, but just above the valve at the start of the radiator it is cooler and then cools quickly away from the valve.
     
  6. Aquaheat

    Aquaheat

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    If its flexible hoses then the internal bore of these will be tiny, around 6mm. Ideally replace with proper pipework or spend an hour balancing your system out. Flexibles really shouldn't be used to pipe radiators as they are not designed for that and have a very high rate of premature failure.

    Jon
     
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  7. Darren9571

    Darren9571

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    Thanks Jon. The flexible pipes had been used before we moved in, one of many 'interesting' jobs that had been done in the house. Unfortunately replacing them will require taking up the laminate floor in the bathroom, which will require the bath and toilet to come out.

    Again, thanks.
     
  8. Aquaheat

    Aquaheat

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    Multi tool, a decent blade a bit of filler and a bit of patience and you would be able to sort it if you wanted to. No need to remove bath and toilet come at it from below and patch in the ceiling. (assuming a plasterboard ceiling and you have access from below!)

    Jon
     
  9. Plumbman1979

    Plumbman1979

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    The flexes will almist certainly be blocked
     
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  11. Darren9571

    Darren9571

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    Sadly can't get to it from below, there is an RSJ underneath where the chimney breast has been taken out in the kitchen, but left in the bathroom above. Will have to see whether I can take off the skirtings and pull up enough of the laminate to cut the floorboards and get access.
     
  12. Aquaheat

    Aquaheat

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    Any chance of some pictures and we might be able to come up with some ideas that will help you out.

    Jon
     
  13. Agile

    Agile

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    Photo?
     
  14. Darren9571

    Darren9571

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    Here are photos of the radiator, the flexible pipe and the the position in the bathroom
     

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  15. Agile

    Agile

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    Thanks.

    That confirms my worst fears.

    Almost the worst DIY bodge that I have even seen in terms of just how problematic it will be to correct it.

    To do a proper repair from the bathroom will need breaking up and then relaying perhaps 2-4 tiles. IF matching tiles can still be obtained. Probably at a cost of £200-£400 !

    I think my best advice will be to try to live with it and to ensure the boiler system pressure is kept as low as reasonably possible.

    Tony
     
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  16. Aquaheat

    Aquaheat

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    Its not tiles its a laminate Tony. The boards will be about 7mm thick and have a locking edge on them. If you can find an area where you can start to slide them apart then it may not be too hard to start lifting to get at the pipe work. Shower panel off at the bottom and see if there is any room for movement.

    Jon
     
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  17. dilalio

    dilalio

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    What's behind the wall with the towel rail on it? If it's a bedroom and not an exterior wall, I would try and access the heating pipes from there. Bring them up into the bedroom, chase them into the wall and then 90 degree them through the wall, into the bathroom. Then raise the towel rail and get it fed through the wall, from the bedroom - if there's a bedroom there!

    If not... floor up in that area of the bathroom and get rid of those damn flexis :eek:
     
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