It will not be long before the mercury drops and the winter starts to bite.
As blogger Robert Kyriakides states: “A stitch in time saves nine, an ounce of prevention is better than cure” so if you want to keep your boiler working over the winter here are some tips of what you should do now, to save you problems later. I shall assume that those reading this are some of the 80% of UK households who have natural gas boilers.
Get your boiler serviced each year by a competent professional. The important badge to look for is “Gas Safe Installer” which has replaced the old CORGI system of certification.
Bleed any air out of your radiators.
This is fairly simple. You will need a key and rag to collect any drips. Only bleed the radiator with the system turned off.
Bristolians will need enough time to batten down the hatches as winter sets in. The weather usually stays between 1.8 degrees Celsius to as much as four degrees from November to February; the record for lowest temp is at -14.4C in January. This is when your home’s boiler system will be stretched to its limit, warranting adequate support from a plumber in Bristol like the crew at SWN Plumbing.
The article already took note of letting professionals handle servicing for the boiler, particularly those with the “Gas Safe Installer” labels. However, after the radiator bleed, Kyriakides advises to “check that the pressure gauge remains in the green zone, when the system is cold”, particularly if the boiler’s a sealed mechanism. A professional can help repressurize or depressurize the system, he adds.
“Lofts can get really cold in winter even if they were insulated to begin with”, but Kyriakides recommends checking the insulation on the piping and tankage. It will also be wise to recheck the overall design of the heating system with a plumbing professional to see the big picture. On condensing gas boilers, the writer said they should be hard plastic to handle the “mostly acidic” condensate water, which already corrodes metallic pipes.
The condensate pipes freezing up is a major cause of boilers breaking down during bad weather, Kyriakides said. A team of plumbers from Bristol like SWN may recommend rerouting the system piping indoors so as to not be affected by the elements. In the end, it will be worth it in terms of increased heating during the coldest days.
(Info from How to prepare your gas boiler for winter, Robert Kyriakides’ Weblog, November 9, 2010)