Downstairs radiators not getting warm

31 Mar 2012
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United Kingdom
Yesterday I turned on my heating and my hot water and the upstairs radiators got hot as did the water in the tank whilst the downstairs radiators stayed cold. I knocked the valve above the boiler with a broom and turned the heating off and on again. Foolishly I did both at the same time and one of the two things made the downstairs radiators warm up.

Today I turned on just the hot water and the upstairs radiators have turned on as well as filling the tank with hot water. As neither of these things were happening last week I'm suspect I have one fault.

Looking around I can find explanations for each of these things happening on their own but not one fault that has both symptoms.

I'm not a plumber but what I know about my system is that its gravity fed; I have a tank in the roof and a hot water tank upstairs. There is a pump directly above the boiler and another three-way pump in the airing cupboard, which I think I can guess what I does but I don't know enough to risk fiddling with it.

Can anyone explain this set of events with a single fault? I can do it with two but that seems rather unlikely.
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