When it comes to central heating systems, the last thing anyone wants to experience is a leak. A leak means frustratingly low temperatures just when you need to desperately regulate the temperature. The earlier you discover the leak, the faster you seek a solution; it’s the only sure way to ensure that you and your family keep warm when the temperature drops.
Water leaks in central heating systems are common during winters across many homes and premises here in the UK. The reason for this is due to the sudden low temperatures; there are frost related damages to the heating system.
Another reason is that during winter, the heating system is in use more often than before, and this adds more pressure on the system.
Once you understand how a central heating system works then you will have a deeper understanding of the signs of a leak.
What are the signs to look out for?
There are a few signs that you can look out for, that might indicate a water leak in your central heating system;
If your boiler needs constant re-pressuring or topping up, this could be a sign that you have a water leak in the central heating system.
So, what do you do when you suspect you have a water leak in your central heating system?
- The first step is to call a heating engineer to check it out. They will be on the lookout for any faults in the internal components like check for fault pressure relief valves or diaphragms. When these are damaged, it results in the boiler removing water out of the system via the pressure relief pipe.
- In the event of this, you might see drops of water coming out from the pressure relief pipe. This pipe usually protrudes from an external wall.
- Look out for stains on the wall or drops of water coming out from it. This indicates that your PRV (pressure relief valve) is faulty.
- Another way to test this is to tie a clear food bag around it and tape it in place. Leave it overnight, and if there is any water in the bag the next morning, there is a problem with your PRV.
- Once you have tested the pressure relief pipe and the heating engineer has inspected the boiler and confirmed there is no fault, chances are that you have a leak in the central heating pipes.
- Check under radiators for any signs of leaks.
More often than not, these leaks can be very small and are not easily detected. What happens is that the water escaping from the system is hot and it evaporates, leaving no visible trace. This makes it even more difficult to trace where the leak is coming from.
Sometimes, due to the cooling and heating of the pipes, they may only leak during expansion or contraction, which actually makes it even harder to trace the leak.
What do you do if this is the case?
In this instance, expert advice and solutions will be required. Reach out to companies with the experience and the equipment to handle this.
Nowadays, there is hi-tech equipment which can detect water leaks in heating systems and can track the source of trouble. We have the following equipment at our disposal to help trace water leaks without causing any damage to your property;
- Tracer gases – a tracer gas is formed by mixing nitrogen and hydrogen, which is safely introduced into the water pipes. Since the gas is lighter and smaller than water, gas sniffers can detect even trace amounts of it, thus locating the exact spot where there is a leak.
- Acoustic listening devices – also called ultra-sonic devices, they are used to determine the precise location of a leak. They can detect leaks up to 2.5 meters in the ground and can detect both internal and external leaks.
- Thermal imaging cameras – using thermal imaging, our team looks out for any damp or warm patches. The thermal cameras can scan through any material and detect leaks in any building or area. This works best to prevent damaging the ceilings, floors, and walls in attempts to find the source of the leak with 99% accuracy.
- Leak correlators – these come in handy when the area to be covered is vast like in an airport, an industrial park or even a field where there could be an underground mains leak.
We have the tools needed to carry out non-invasive water leak detection and our experts are always on standby for locate a leak – call our friendly team on 0800 731 3843 and prepare to be amazed at our service.