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what a mess

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Jay79, 11 Sep 2019.

  1. Jay79

    Jay79

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    So recently my central heating has been playing up. The oil fired boiler seems to be going ok, but there is something amiss.

    Roughly a year ago I had 3 new mortorised valves fitted (upstairs, downsatirs and HW) after the boiler wouldnt fire.

    All going great for 6 months then one morning I woke up and it was cold. There was a bit of heat in the radiators, but not much. 2 room thermostats, 1 upstairs and 1 down seem to be cutting out early (set at 22). Have to crank both themostats to 30 for boiler to stay on. Result is that it gets warm, but there is still no real heat upstaris or down. Rads are warm. Im not so concerned about this for the moment though.

    Also, the HW switch on the control panel no longer actives the motorised valve for the hot water, I have been manually opening the valve to heat the water. Upstairs and down stairs valves are working ok. Also, the water never really heats to more that around 55 when it is manually open (i know this isnt good due to germs).

    I though I would mess about last night with the balacing on the radiators, and it was all going well. So while I was messing about balancing the radiators, I noticed that the feed into the coil of the HW cylinder was warm, even though I believed it to be manually closed downstairs at the motrised valve.

    I took the HW motorised valve off today and turned the spindle manually both ways, however there is still hot water going to the coil in the cylinder. Why would this be, and is there any ideas as to the mess of this system. No need for a plumber yet lol...
     

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  2. Madrab

    Madrab

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    need for a plumber ... maybe not ... possibly a heating engineer could be useful though? ;)
     
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  3. Jay79

    Jay79

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    The problem is is a rented house, I don’t know if the landlord would fix it or turf me out, so I’m reluctant to spend on it, and reluctant to ask him as I don’t think I will be here much longer anyway.

    I know I need a professional, I’m clueless.

    The feed to the coil in the cyclinder should not be warm though if I have it closed, right? I have turned the spindle behind the hw motorised valve both ways yet the heat still runs to the coil. I was really just wondering what else could possibly be heating the coil, or how is the heat getting to it if I have the spindle behind the valve closed.
     
  4. oldbuffer

    oldbuffer

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    1. If the boiler is running OK, then its going to be a problem with the system's controls (including motorised valves).
    2. Those motorised valves don't look (to me) like a well known make. They're similar to Honeywell's, but don't have the dimple on the lid. If they're cheap valves, one or more of them may have gne within a year.
    3. If you've got a halfway decent multimeter and know how to use it, you could probably diagnose the fault yourself. If you haven't, probably time for a heating engineer.
    4. I'd check each motorised valve in turn, as follows:
    4a. Make a meticulous diagram of the wiring in the wiring centre. Double / triple check it to make sure you can connect it all back up the way its is.
    4b. Isolate entire system (boiler, controls, wiring centre) from mains. Don't just switch off, remove fuses.
    4c. Disconnect each motorised valve in turn. Then for each:
    4ci. Connect brown and blue to 230V with earth connection in place via a length of 3 core cable and a plug.
    4cii. With power applied, check that synchron motor turns.
    4ciii. With power applied, check that orange and grey wires have zero resistance.
    4civ. With no power applied, check orange and grey wires indicate open circuit.
    5. Remove actuator head of each motor in turn, and check that spindle moves. Movement is usually only about 20 to 30 degrees from open to closed. Should be able to turn with fingers, or at worst with light plier pressure.
    6. For any motorised valve for which:
    6a. The synchron motor doesn't turn, replace synchron motor.
    6b. The motor turns, but the grey / orange doesn't become zero resistance, replace actuator head.
    6c. The movement of the spindle with the actuator head removed is too stiff, replace the whole valve.
     
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  5. Jay79

    Jay79

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    Thanks for that oldbuffer. I’ll admit that is pie in the sky to me, although I have a multimeter, I only have a very basic grasp of it.

    I did order a new motorised valve (they are “Tower” branded btw) a few days ago, so I am going to replace the current hw valve. I believe it is only 5 wires, and I am capable of that. (I can isolate the heating at the fuse box and will take picture etc of wiring before I start, and will change one wire at a time etc.). If that doesn’t solve anything, I will call the heating engineer who installed the last 3 valves and was very good and extremely knowledgable with over 40 years experience in electrics and plumbing/heating. I will update once the new motorised valve comes and I fit it.
     
  6. oldbuffer

    oldbuffer

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    When you are changing the wires within the wiring centre, an old tip is to cut the old wires leaving an inch or so attached to the wiring centre terminals, with the coloured insulation on the "stub". This gives you good guidance for connecting the new wires, one a a time.
     
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  7. Garfeild

    Garfeild

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    You pay your rent you have a problem you phone landlord he gets it fixed, that’s how it’s supposed to work, it’s not down to you.
     
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  8. Jay79

    Jay79

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    So the motorised valve arrived. I was able to fit it and as a result, the HW control switch now turns the boiler on.

    However... Still not much heat in the rads. I will be calling a heating guy in the coming fortnight to have a look. I’ll update after he has been. Thanks again for all the help and taking the time to reply.
     
  9. Nige F

    Nige F

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    Send the landlord the bill ........when you leave;)
     
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  10. Jay79

    Jay79

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    So, the plot thickens.

    Heat turned on and I’m outside this evening. I noticed the overflow was dripping. Heat off, overflow stops dripping. I go up into the loft, there is a leak, under my water tanks. Big tank is ok, f&e tank is full, ball valve is submerged. Rusty sediment on bottom of f&e tank.

    Now, I have 4 questions.

    Could there be a hole in my hot water cylinder coil & would this create rusty sediment in f&e tank? Would this make my hot water tank ”glug” (as it has been doing), and would a hole in my hot water coil be the cause of my radiators not heating properly?

    Going to bite the bullet and off to see landlord in the morning...
     
    Last edited: 20 Sep 2019 at 9:09 PM
  11. oilboffin

    oilboffin

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    Empty some water out you only need a bit of water in it then make sure the float valve isn't dripping
    if it is replace it if not and water builds up then maybe coil.Bob
     
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  12. durhamplumber

    durhamplumber

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    If you knacker it altogether and landlord finds you have been messing....You will get his bill for an engr
     
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  13. Jay79

    Jay79

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    It does have that feel about it, doesn’t it....
     
  14. dilalio

    dilalio

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    Just tell the landlord that you have a potential disastrous leak in the loft and you are worried about a flood... You need to speak landlord-ese... Their property usually features higher on the list than your comfort!
     
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