Your central heating system is one of the most important necessities for a happy and healthy home. Most of us take it for granted and don’t pay that much attention to how it works or even contemplate regular maintenance with the exception of an annual service. However, a little knowledge and monthly checks can help you to spot any impending problems before they become more serious.
Your boiler pressure is a key indicator of the health and efficiency of your central heating system. We recommend that you should check the pressure on your boiler a minimum of once a month. Although every boiler varies, in general, the boiler pressure should be between 1.5 and 2 bar anytime your heating is switched on. Although this is easy to read, to make the checking process even easier, most boilers have a colour-coded dial or display a fault code. When checking your boiler pressure, all you need to do is verify that the needle is within the green section of that pressure gauge. Most modern boilers will have a red section, which indicates when the pressure is either too low or too high.
I Have Noticed That My Combi Boiler Pressure Increases When My Heating Is On – Is This Something I Should Be Worried About?
Your central heating system works by heating the water in the pipes and the radiators, which in turn deliver heat to your property. As the water heats up, a natural side-effect of the process is that the water expands, which in turn increases the pressure within the system.
Therefore it is entirely natural for the boiler pressure to increase slightly, although it should never move above 2 bar. This is because boilers have a pressure release valve built into them, designed to react quickly and release pressure if it builds up too quickly. Another benefit of this valve is that it is perfectly safe to use your heating and hot water at the same time, without any safety issues or concerns.
What Pressure Should My Boiler Be At When Hot?
Your boiler pressure should not exceed 2 bar, and as a general rule of thumb, it should never increase by more than one bar above its optimal working pressure, even when the heating and hot water systems are working at full capacity.
My Boiler Pressure Has Dropped How Do I Increase It?
If, having read this article, you notice that the pressure in your boiler has dropped into the red zone, there is a quick and easy fix. To increase the boiler pressure, you simply need to add mains cold water to the system, using something called the external filling loop. Before beginning this process, you must ensure that your boiler is turned off and give it time to cool down as otherwise, this could affect the reading on the boiler.
Do not worry if you have to undertake this process a couple of times a year; this is perfectly normal. However, if you find yourself having to top up your boiler more often, weekly or monthly, then it is very likely that your central heating system has developed a leak. This is something that needs to be investigated quickly, for two main reasons. The first and most obvious concern is that a leak in your central heating system could and most likely will cause damage to your property. The second reason, which is not quite so obvious, is that as you continue to add more water to your central heating system to build up the pressure, you are diluting the inhibitor.
The inhibitor is a type of liquid that is added to the central heating system to protect it; think of oil in an engine. As your central heating system ages, the inside of the radiators and the pipework starts to rust. Slowly but surely, this causes heating sludge, which can then cause blockages in the pump, radiators, and in some cases, the heat exchanger, none of which are inexpensive to fix. When your system has a leak, some of the inhibitor is naturally lost, and then as you top up with cold water, the remaining inhibitor is diluted, making it less effective.
What To Do If You Suspect That You Have A Leak In Your Central Heating System
If you are topping up your central heating system more than twice a year, the likelihood is that you have a leak. This is not something you can ignore as if anything, it will only get worse and cause even more damage. Many people initially and understandably call a gas engineer to find their leak, but this could be an expensive mistake.
The problem is that finding a leak in your central heating system when it is not apparent requires a range of specialist tools, knowledge, and expertise, which most plumbers will not have. AT ADI, we specialize in leak detection; in fact, we were the first specialist leak detection company in the United Kingdom. In the vast majority of cases, we can find the source of your leak on the first visit to your property.
Perhaps just as importantly, we can locate the leak to within a few millimetres, which means significantly less damage needs to be caused to your walls or flooring to effect the repair. If you suspect that your central heating system is leaking, do not delay any longer. Call our friendly and helpful customer services team today on 0800 731 3843 and get your leak fixed properly, quickly, and with the minimum disruption.