If you have a combi boiler, it's important to know about the diverter valve. This valve is like the boss of your central heating system and plays a big role in making sure your home stays warm and your water is hot. Imagine it as a lever behind the bath taps that you can pull up or push down. If this valve gets messed up, your heating and hot water might not work properly.
In this article, we'll break down what a diverter valve does, why it's so crucial, the problems it can cause if it's broken, and what fixing it might cost you. Stick around till the end, and you'll be a pro at looking after your boiler's diverter valve.
What is a diverter valve?
A combi boiler diverter valve has an important job – it guides and controls the water flow. This valve handles both the water for daily use and the water that warms up the radiator. Unlike other systems and standard boilers with separate hot water storage tanks, diverter valves are crucial for combi boilers, especially when you want hot water right away.
Diverter valves play a big role in combi boilers, making sure hot water gets to you quickly and efficiently. By managing the water flow, they keep the temperature and pressure just right, which is important for your comfort and safety.
What does a diverter valve do?
The diverter valve serves a critical function in your heating system. It automatically interrupts the water flow to the radiators and redirects it to the taps when hot water is in use. Conversely, upon turning off the taps, the diverter valve reopens, allowing the water to resume its course back into the heating system. This mechanism ensures a continuous supply of hot water without compromising the efficiency of the heating system.
This component is pivotal in facilitating on-demand hot water usage while maintaining the integrity of the heating system. Beyond its primary function, the diverter valve contributes to energy conservation, effectively minimizing wastage. Consequently, this translates into tangible savings on energy expenditure, positively impacting your financial outlay.
Symptoms of a faulty diverter valve
1. Hot water but no heating
A diverter valve plays a vital role in managing water flow in your home. It automatically stops the water from going to your radiators and redirects it to your taps when you need hot water. Conversely, when you close your taps, the diverter valve opens up again, allowing the water to return to your heating system. This process ensures a continuous supply of hot water without disrupting your heating system.
This essential component, the diverter valve, guarantees that you can access hot water whenever you need it, all while maintaining the efficiency of your heating system. Additionally, it helps reduce energy wastage, ultimately saving you money on your energy bills.
In summary, the diverter valve not only ensures a seamless supply of hot water but also contributes to energy efficiency and cost savings.
Related article: I have no hot water but central heating works.
2. No hot water or lukewarm hot water
When the diverter valve in your heating system goes faulty, it can let the warmth slip away from the water going to your hot taps and showers, especially if it's a bit stuck open on the heating side. That's a bit of a bother because combi boilers are great at making sure you get hot water without things getting too toasty.
But here's the hitch: If that diverter valve isn't doing its job right, your heating system takes a hit. This means you might end up with higher energy bills and a not-so-cozy home. To keep things running smoothly and avoid more problems down the line, it's best to sort out this diverter valve business as soon as possible.
3. Central heating must be on to get hot water.
A frequent problem occurs when the central heating system needs activation to access hot water. Typically, this arises from a malfunctioning diverter valve that becomes stuck, impeding water flow.
If you find yourself without hot water: Follow these steps:
First, switch on your hot water; if it remains absent, activate your central heating.
Should hot water become available after turning on the central heating, the issue likely stems from a defective diverter valve.
Should I consider buying a new boiler?
Considering a new boiler can be a smart move for saving money in the long term. Not only does it help cut down on energy bills, but it also prevents the need for frequent repairs. Modern boilers are designed to be more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, making them a sensible investment for both your finances and the planet.
Don't be put off by the initial expense of upgrading your boiler. **PlusHeat offers flexible finance options for boilers, allowing you to spread the cost over time. This makes it more manageable for your budget, ensuring a cost-effective and efficient solution for your home heating needs.
How do you repair your broken diverter valve?
If your diverter valve is acting up, it's important not to try fixing it yourself. Leave the technical stuff to certified heating engineers—they're the experts. If you give it a go and something goes wrong, your whole central heating system could be in trouble. So, for a proper fix, reach out to a GasSafe engineer.
Got a boiler cover policy? Awesome! Get in touch with your insurance provider for help. That way, your heating system gets fixed up safely and quickly.
No boiler cover? No worries! Just call PlusHeat, and we'll sort you out with a policy that fits your needs.
Cost of diverter valve replacement or repair
If you're wondering about fixing or changing the diverter, the money you might spend is around £250 to £350.
Now, for more info, let's break it down.
The diverter itself can cost between £80 and £200. If you're considering replacing it, the range is typically £80 to £120. Additionally, the budget is around £100 to £130 for parts and labour. Suppose your existing diverter is valued at £150 to £200. In this case, the additional expense, covering both parts and labour, may vary from £160 to £200. It's essential to note that these figures are approximations, and hourly labour rates can vary based on your location.
We trust this article has given you a good grasp of what a diverter valve does in a combi boiler and how to spot if it's not working right. If your diverter valve gets stuck or malfunctions, it's important to get a gas-safe expert to fix it.
Moreover, if your boiler has been around for more than 15 years and the diverter valve keeps causing trouble, it might be a good idea to think about getting a new one. Here at PlusHeat, we're always ready to offer knowledgeable advice and help you out with choosing a new boiler or replacing an old one.
Feel free to get in touch with PlusHeat if you need more details. Our Gas Safe-registered engineers make sure your home heating system is always in tip-top shape.