Plumber/heating engineers advice please

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by A evans, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. A evans

    A evans New Member

    Hi there.

    2 days ago we had a combi boiler fitted in place of a conventional system.

    Hot water runs hot, whenever we want it.. amazing.

    Heating works too. Its not cold yet, but im sure it will be very toasty in the winter that is fast approaching.

    HOWEVER i have 2 issues.. they may or may not be related.

    First off, i should mention that the boiler is a alpha eco tec 28 (or something to that degree :) )

    Problem 1 : we havnt tested this ALOT yet.. but... It seems that with heating off (or, more accurately.. thermostat not asking for heating) and running hot water, the rads heat up. Surley this iant right.. but what can cause it? A quick google suggests a driverter valve, similer to the 3 port valve in the old conventional system. But this boiler is brand spanking.

    Problem 2 : only really mentioning this incase somehow its related.. but a radiator downstairs, in the kitchen dosnt bleed at all. No rush of air.. no water. My GUESS is that its blocked up with gunk and sludge.. and il need to close off the valves.. take it off the wall and get the hosepipe on it in the garden. Probbaly brought on by the draining of the system?
     
  2. dcox

    dcox Screwfix Select

    Problem 1 sounds like an internal diverter which I’d expect Alpha to come out and sort FOC.

    Problem 2 could be a blocked radiator vent. If it’s a conventional vent at the top end of your radiator you’ll be able to completely unscrew the vent (not just the square bleed screw) and give it a clean. Turn both radiator valves off first, counting the number of turns on the lockshield side so it can be reset to the current setting.
     
  3. A evans

    A evans New Member

    Thanks for your swift reply.
    Il mention it to the fitter who did the boiler and im sure he will investigate and pursue alpha if that is indeed the case, might even clean the rad vent while hes there.

    The cost is what worries me, as you can imagine, just forked out for a boiler replace and upgrade. But like you say, if its a fault.. its under warranty.
     
  4. dcox

    dcox Screwfix Select

    Shouldn’t be any cost to you or the installer for the boiler fault but if I’d installed it I’d want to have a look first.

    The rad issue is different and there could be a few reasons why. If the bleed valve turns out to be ok then next step would be checking valves as you suggested, but even if only one valve was working I’d still expect to get air or water out of the vent unless it’s airlocked.
     
  5. jonathanc

    jonathanc Screwfix Select

    warranty or not, consumer rights act applies which gives you the right to reject faulty goods within 28 days. in practice they;ll sort it but its worth recognising that they need to under the CRA irrespective of warranty and the obligation rests with the person or organisation that you bought the boiler off ( maybe the fitter?)
     
  6. Mike83

    Mike83 Screwfix Select

    The installer should have checked that all radiators were heating up.
    I’m surprised he didn’t share his findings with you.
    More likely that both the valves are turned off.
    Was recently at a job that vokera refused to repair under warranty due to poor system water condition.
    Poor installs happening constantly now.
    Not saying that what’s occurring with this job but just hope it’s not **** in the system.
     
    pppmacca43 likes this.
  7. pppmacca43

    pppmacca43 Super Member

    I’m with Mike83, the installer shouldn’t have left without ensuring every radiator was warm and vented properly and that the system was all running properly. If the manufacturer comes out and finds the system hasn’t been flushed and cleaned then it’s a possibility they will refuse to honour the warranty.
    Get the installer back to sort and liaise with the manufacturer if needs be.
     
  8. exbg

    exbg Active Member

    To be truthful, the general standard of boiler install work is dreadful, and I fear for the OP.

    If a rad is not working, it is likely, as said, a blocked vent or valves turned off. Either situation raises a massive red flag in my eyes (along with the fact that it is an Alpha) - has the system ben properly cleansed?
    Hopefully, it is actually an airlock.

    OP: Do NOT offer to pay anything. If he mentions a payment, look surprised and say that you assume it is under his warranty. If he insists that it is chargeable, tell him that you do not currently have the funds, or that you need to "move some money". If it was me, I would tell him to sue me, or similar, but we do not all have that confidence in the face of a tradesman (if, indeed, he actually is one). Ask him for an itemised invoice and/or an explanation of why it is chargeable, and let us know.

    Combis are always "great" when first fitted, but a year or so down the line the regular issue is that folk complain of inconsistent hot water - a sure sign of a dirty system.

    Were you happy with the work?
     
  9. A evans

    A evans New Member

    Thanks all for the replys. Ive spoken to the installer, hes going to contact alpha and repair it / get it repaired or replaced. Hes not happy. (With them)

    Probbaly a bit embarrassing that he didnt notice it. I thought 2 days was good.

    So thats going to get sorted one way or another.

    regarding The kitchen rad.. just to clarify after closer inspection ect.

    It gets hot at the top only.
    Cold at the bottom
    The feed pipe is hot (obviously)
    The return pipe is cold and dosnt run
    The bleed valve dosnt do anything.

    Im gonner close the valves and take it off the wall, into the garden and flush water through

    Hopefully it comes out black and that fixes it.
    Il have an inspection of the bleed vent too.
    Again.. hopefully thats just blocked too.

    My worry is that the return pipe may be blocked?
    Might let the valve open while the rad is off to see if water runs. Hopefully it does.

    Thanks all
     
  10. dcox

    dcox Screwfix Select

    If the return pipe was completely blocked the rad wouldn’t be getting hot at all. Good plan to flush it through though and definitely open each valve into a bucket to check that a: the valves work, and b: there’s no blockage or airlock.
     
    pppmacca43 likes this.
  11. exbg

    exbg Active Member

    I am sorry, OP, but if it comes out black, get the installer to do the job properly. The boiler will be throwing regular faults within 2 years
     
    RobJamesHeating likes this.
  12. A evans

    A evans New Member

    To update and finalize this thread.

    Alpha came an fixed the boiler part.
    Works as it should now.

    Regarding the rads downstairs.

    It seems it WAS a balancing issue.

    Thing is.. on all my rads theres no caps (other then a few)

    But the majority of them are just the metal, exposed.. no plastic locksheild caps or turning handles.

    So first i had to find out (and mark, inconspicuously with a RED pen) the flow pipe.

    I turned the heating on and ran around feeling and marking the pipe that gets hot first.

    Then i knew that the otherside (some flow was on the right, some on the left) was the return.

    I turned ALL the return down. Along with the flow.

    Then went around turning the flow on by 720° and the return by about 90°.

    Then let the heating warm up.. and went around feeling them all.

    FINALLY.. HEAT ON THE RETURN PIPES OF THE RADS DOWNSTAIRS. And, also the kitchen rad gets hot throughout.

    I continued to balance and fine tune the whole system. (The spare bedrooms return was FULLY open, and the main bedroom not far of!)

    Also, changed the kitchen rads bleed valve, which had blocked up somehow.. seemd like the screw at the end had sheererd off. But hard to tell with such a small hole. Closed rad valves... Slacked a nut off to level off some water (into a paint tray) changed the bleed valve, £2.

    Thanks all.

    All in time for winter.
     
    pppmacca43 likes this.
  13. dcox

    dcox Screwfix Select

    Well done. I think people are often told they need a power flush when actually the rads just need balancing. Glad you’re sorted.
     
    pppmacca43 likes this.

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