An expensive inconvenience at the best of times, the majority of boiler breakdowns occur during the cold winter months, when boilers – having been inactive for long periods – are forced back into life, essentially putting considerable strain on your central heating system as it works to heat your home during the winter.
While some common boiler problems can be addressed without the need to call in a heating engineer, others will require the services of a qualified and experienced professional. If in doubt, it’s always best to seek professional help from a reputable engineer.
How do I bleed a radiator?
Bleeding a radiator means getting rid of any air that has built up. Radiators should be checked at least once a year as any build up will affect the radiators performance. Bleed keys (vent keys) are readily available from a plumber’s merchants or DIY Shop. The necessity to bleed your radiators much more frequently than this is indicative of a problem with your system To bleed a radiator:
Ensure both valves at the bottom of the radiator are open.
Attach the bleed key (vent key) onto the bleed valve (air vent) at the top of the radiator.
Slowly unscrew the air vent and have a cloth ready to catch minor drips;
When the sound changes from a hissing to a gurgling it means that the air has almost been vented. Be careful not to allow too much water to escape so keep a small cloth hany.
Retighten the air vent.
What do I do if my radiator is leaking?
If you detest a leak, immediately close both valves to isolate the leaking radiator. Then open the air vent to release the pressure in the radiator which will stop, or at least slow down, the leak.
With all the necessary information to hand we will try and determine the cause of the leak (either a manufacturing fault or a problem caused on installation) and the best way to resolve the problem. We will do our best to find a solution in quickest most inconvenient possible.
Why do all my radiators get hot except one?
If all the radiators on the system get hot, bar one it is usually due to the water not flowing properly throughout. It is highly unlikely that the problem is caused by a blockage as a result of a manufacturing error. The following steps should help rectify the problem:
Making sure the radiator has been bled properly and that no air is trapped in the radiator. Depending on the position of the radiator on the system this might take more than one go.
Fully open to ensure water can flow into the radiator. Some radiators may have flow diverters to ensure the water flows in the right direction. If so, check that the radiator has been installed the correct way round with the diverter as close to the ‘flow’ as possible.
Check whether your radiators need ‘balancing’ and if so, balance it accordingly.
Please note: It is highly unlikely that the problem is caused by a blockage as a result of a manufacturing error.
My plumber needs to ‘balance the system’. What does ‘balancing’ mean?
‘Balancing’ involves adjusting the flow of water through each radiator on the heating system so that all the radiators are running at equal temperatures and take an equal amount of time to reach their operating temperature. Your plumber should ‘balance’ the system after installing your radiators. Failure to balance a system correctly is often the cause of cold spots on radiators, radiators failing to heat up properly, or radiators making noises. These symptoms are rarely due to manufacturing faults.
What is an air vent / bleed valve?
All radiators will come with some form of air vent (also called a bleed valve). You will find it at the top of your radiator and it enables any air (see below) that has built up at the top of a radiator to be let out or ‘bled’ from the radiator. You will need a special air vent key or possible a small screw driver to do this.
The first time the system is filled it is air that is vented. Further periodic venting of the heating system is actually releasing hydrogen which is the by product of rusting in the system. If regular bleeding is required it’s a strong indication that the system requires draining and refilling incorporating a corrosion inhibitor.
Why is the radiator making a noise and what can be done to stop it?
Noise from heating systems is usually the result of poor installation and only very occasionally is caused by faulty products. Radiators are only vessels containing water and without moving parts so often any noise heard is being transferred from elsewhere in the system. The likely cause of any noise in your radiator could be one of the following:
Banging from pipework – There is likely to be insufficient space for pipe expansion (copper expands 1mm lengthways per metre), and therefore if pipes are trapped between floorboards and joists you may experience a “clanking” noise.
Banging from radiators – They may be too tightly wedged on their brackets.
Whooshing/whistling water – The pump may be set on too high a setting and/or the radiators are not balanced correctly.
How do I clean my radiator?
If you need to clean the surface of your radiators you should use warm water and a small amount of washing up liquid only. Anything abrasive, solvents and spray cleaners – such as those intended for cleaning sanitary ware, tiles and counter tops – should NOT be used as they can damage the finish of the radiators and valves. If you have a specific mark on a radiator that cannot be removed using standard methods, please call us for further advice.
Below are some of the most common problems that occur while using your gas boiler:
No heat or hot water– potential causes include broken diaphragms and airlocks, failure of motorised valves, issues with the thermostat or low water levels. A good place to start is to check if your boiler is not working because of an issue with boiler pressure or your thermostat. You can find more information on these issues and how to fix them below.
If you think you may have a broken diaphragm, airlock or valve it may need to be replaced with a new part. We recommend calling out a Gas Safe registered engineer who will be able to thoroughly diagnose the problem and replace any broken parts where necessary.
Leaking and dripping– a variety of issues could cause your boiler to leak water. It will depend on where the water is leaking from to determine the cause – however you should never try to fix a leaking gas boiler yourself, always call out a Gas Safe registered engineer.
The most common cause is a broken internal component, such as a pump seal or pressure valve. If the leak is coming from the pressure valve it may be a case that your boiler pressure is too high. If it’s coming from the pump seal, it may have become worn out and need replacing.
You may also find your boiler is leaking around the pipes or tank – this can be a result of corrosion or in some cases where the system has not been fitted properly. In any case, we recommend calling out an engineer who will be able to diagnose and fix the issue for you (in the worst case advise if you need to replace your boiler).
Strange banging, whistling or gurgling noises– air in the system is a common cause, alternatively it could be that the water pressure is too low or it’s kettling. Imminent pump failure, particularly in older systems, could also be responsible for strange banging noises.
You might be able to determine the type of problem your boiler is having based on the type of noise it is making. For example a noise similar to that of a boiling kettle is usually a result of kettling (you can read more about this below). Our guide to central heating noises can help you determine the cause of your noisy boiler.
Losing pressure– if your boiler pressure drops too low, your central heating system may not function properly. To check a boiler’s pressure level, simply look at it’s built in pressure gauge – if it’s below 1 you may have an issue. There a number of reasons why this may be happening: a water leak in the system, the pressure relief valve needs replacing or as a result of recently bleeding radiators.
The first thing to do is check for a visible leak in the system. If you find one you should call a registered engineer, if not you could try repressurising the system. Only do this if you feel comfortable doing so (if not call out an engineer) and ensure you follow your heating systems’ manual.
Frozen condensate pipe – condensing boilers have condensate a pipe which transports the acidic water, caused by waste gas, away from the boiler. This usually runs outside into a drain, and because of its location it faces the risk of freezing.
A condensate pipe can be identified simply by looking at your boiler. Underneath the boiler you will see pipes entering and exiting – if you have a plastic pipe (usually white and roughly 2cm wide) and the rest are metal then this is likely the condensate pipe. It should lead outside of your property, into a drain.
Your boiler will often have a fault code or warning notification if your condensate pipe has become frozen. Whilst there are tutorials online to thaw a frozen condensate pipe by pouring warm water over it, if you feel unqualified or unsafe doing so you should call out a registered engineer.
Thermostat issues– if the thermostat is losing accuracy or turning the heating on/off when it’s not supposed to it might be time to invest in a new one. It’s worth making a couple of common sense checks first though, as sometimes these can be easily overlooked. Check your thermostat to ensure it’s in the on position and that it is set to the correct settings i.e time and schedule – it’s always possible that it could have been knocked.
One other considerations to make is that your home might be warmer than you think and a thermostat won’t allow the boiler to heat your home higher than the temperature it has been set at. If this is the case then try increasing it in very small increments until you find the temperature that’s right for you.
If none of the above apply it’s possible that your thermostat may have malfunctioned or lost accuracy over time, in which case it is probably time to consider a replacement.
Kettling– hearing a strange rumbling noise similar to when a kettle is boiling? When lime scale or sludge builds up on your boiler’s heat exchanger you can get something called kettling. When these deposits build up in your boiler, they can restrict the flow of water within the heat exchanger. This can overheat the water, causing it to steam and boil (causing the kettle-like sounds).
Kettling is more common in areas with hard water, but can also affect boilers in soft water areas. Not only does it cause your boiler to work harder and thus cost more to run, it can also shorten the system’s life. If your boiler is kettling, it’s advisable to call out a gas safe registered engineer who will likely flush out your system to remove the build-up of these deposits and ensure the system is working properly once more.
Boiler keeps switching itself off– could be low water pressure, a problem with the thermostat or a lack of water flow due to a closed valve, air or the pump not circulating the water in the system properly. We’ve covered each of these issues in more detail above, but if you still can’t identify the cause we recommend calling out a Gas Safe registered engineer to take a look at your boiler.
What is the avarage electricity consumption of Maktek Omega electric boiler?
Maktek Omega electrical boilers are designed for rapid efficient heating of households with 3 or 4 modulation levels to minimize electricty consumption. The nominal capacity values of Omega boilers do not represent the electricty consumption directly. On the table below you can see the heating elements contained inside each Omega model. Upto 30kW 3 resistances are used and in larger capacities this number is 4. This means that upto 30kW the boilers have 3 modulation levels and beyond 30kW 4 modulation levels. If we examine 24kW model as an example, we see that the smallest resistance has a capacity of 7kW. This shows us that the boiler will not consume 24kW all times, after the heating area reaches the desired temperature the smallest 7kW resistance switches on and off to keep the boiler temperature at the adjusted value. There are many different factors affecting this operation. The major factor is the insulation of the heating area. If there is sufficent insulation, the boiler will operate with maximum capacity (24kW) for a short time and then will operate with 7kW capacity to match the heat loss. If the heat loss from the heating area is low, the boiler will never require to use the second or third resistances and the operation time will be short. This will result in very low consumption of electricty.
12 KW (4 KW X3)
18 KW (5-6-7 KW)
24 KW (7-8-9 KW)
30 KW (9-10-11 KW)
32 KW ( 8KW X 4)
36 KW (9 KW X 4)
Similar to natural gas boilers, electrical boilers have high capacities in order to reach the desired temperature level quickly. Heating appliances working depends on balancing the heat loss in the heating area. As explained above, the insulation has high effect in the fuel consumption in electrical or any other fuel fired boilers.
To understand the avarage consumption of an electrical boiler below there is an example:
An avarage izolated house of 100m2 has a heating requirement of 7745kcal/h in Izmir outside temperature conditions. Since Athens is similar climate, we can use the same value. In order to heat this house lets assume we use 20.000kcal natural gas boiler first:
1) Low heating value of natural gas = 8250kcal/h
In one hour = 7745/8250 = 0,93m3 natural gas is used. You can multiply this value by the price of 1m3 natural gas in your area to find the hourly amaount paid.
Secondly we look at diesel: Low heating value = 10150kcal/h
In one hour = 7745/10150 = 0,77kg = 0,87 liters diesel fuel is used.
When we look at LPG: Low heating value = 11000kcal/h
In one hour = 7745/11000 = 0.7 kg LPG is used.
Finally when we examine 24kW Omega electrical boiler: 24kW = 20640kcal/h
In one hour = 7745x24kW /20640 = 9kW electrical energy is consumed in one hour to meet the heat loss when first heating the place.
We made the calcualtions for each fuel type with the selling prices in Turkey and as a result the list as following starting from the cheapest.
1- Natural gas
These calculations are made for the first time operation. When the tempreatue reaches the desired degree the consumption decreases significantly according to the modulation level of the boiler. In order to obtain maximum efficiency and low operation costs we recommend using room thermostats. By this way the room is kept in a desired temperature and excess heat is not generated by the boiler.
In conlusion we can say that Maktek Omega Electrical boilers is a cost efficient alternative for heating. As can be seen on the table, after the boiler reaches the desired temperature the capacity is lowered enabling low consumption of electricty. Due to other benefits such as;
No exhaust gas generated, ecology friendly
No chimney connection required, easy installation on any part of the house
Silent operation, no burning sound
Does not require natural gas installation or fuel tanks like other fuel types
Omega electrical boilers are very popular in the Turkish market and eve though natural gas network is widespread, electrical boilers are highly demanded by our customers due to economic operation and additional benefits.