Hot Water But No Central Heating


Explore solutions for the common problem of having hot water but no central heating. Stay warm with expert tips and troubleshooting advice.
Hot Water But No Central Heating

Are you facing the frustrating scenario of having hot water in your house but no central heating in your house? This common problem can be attributed to various issues within your central heating system. Before diving into complex solutions, let's explore some troubleshooting steps to help you identify and possibly resolve the issue.

1. Check Radiators

Begin by examining all the radiators in your house. If one or two are only slightly warm, it’s likely that the problem is with your radiator rather than your boiler.

Radiators that are warm on top but cold at the sides and bottom may be filled with sludge. Refer to our guide on cleaning radiators to address this issue. When troubleshooting central heating issues, the state of your radiators can provide valuable insights into the underlying problems. Here's a more detailed explanation of the radiator check:

a. Radiator Examination - 

Inspect all the radiators in your home. A crucial observation is the level of warmth they exhibit. If only one radiator feels slightly warm while others remain cold, this could indicate that your boiler is operating correctly, and the issue may lie elsewhere.

b. Bleeding a Mildly Warm Radiator -

For radiators that are only mildly warm, a common solution is to bleed them. Bleeding helps release trapped air, ensuring optimal heat distribution. To bleed a radiator, you'll need a radiator bleed key. Place pans and towels beneath the radiator to catch any water that might escape during the process. Turn the bleed valve anticlockwise to release the trapped air until you hear a hissing sound. Once the water starts to flow steadily, close the valve.

c. Addressing Sludge Buildup - 

If your radiators are warm at the top but cold at the sides and bottom, it suggests a potential sludge buildup within the system. Sludge is a mixture of debris and rust that accumulates over time and can impede the proper flow of hot water. To address this issue, you may need to clean your radiators.

2. Central Heating Settings

Ensure that your central heating is switched on. Verify that the thermostat on your boiler or elsewhere in your house is set correctly, and check that timers are accurately configured. Following a power cut, your boiler might have reset, requiring adjustments. If the clocks recently changed, make sure your timer reflects the correct time.

Properly configuring the central heating settings is essential to ensure your system functions seamlessly. Here's a more detailed guide on checking and adjusting central heating settings:

a. Switching On Central Heating -

Start by confirming that your central heating is switched on. Locate the control panel on your boiler or the central thermostat in your house. Ensure that the switch or setting for central heating is turned to the "on" position. This fundamental step ensures that the heating system is ready to respond to temperature demands.

b. Verifying Thermostat Settings -

Check the thermostat settings on your boiler or in other areas of your house where thermostats are installed. Ensure that the temperature setting is appropriate for your comfort needs. Sometimes, a simple adjustment to the desired temperature can resolve issues with the heating system not activating when needed.

c. Timers Configuration -

Inspect the timers associated with your central heating system. Confirm that they are accurately configured to align with your daily routine. Incorrect timer settings can lead to the heating system operating at inappropriate times or not operating at all. Adjust the timers as needed to match your desired heating schedule.

d. Addressing Power Cut Resets -

In the aftermath of a power cut, your boiler may reset to default settings. Check the control panel or thermostat to ensure that the settings have not been altered. If necessary, reconfigure the settings according to your preferences and the season's temperature requirements.

e. Daylight Saving Time Adjustments -

Changes in the clocks, such as daylight saving time adjustments, can impact the accuracy of your heating system's timers. If you notice discrepancies in the timing of your heating system's operation, consider the recent changes in clock settings. Update the timers to reflect the correct time to ensure your heating system operates on schedule.

3. Boiler Issues:

When dealing with central heating issues, checking the status of your boiler is crucial, as it serves as the heart of the heating system. Here's a more detailed explanation of the steps involved in addressing potential boiler issues:

a. Checking Boiler Pressure -

The pressure within your boiler plays a significant role in its efficient operation. Ideally, the pressure should be at least one bar for optimal performance. You can check the pressure gauge on your boiler to determine its current status. If the pressure is below the recommended level, consult your boiler's user manual for guidance on repressurizing.

b. Repressurizing the Boiler - 

Repressurizing the boiler is a straightforward process, but it's essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions provided in the user manual. Typically, this involves locating the filling loop, a flexible hose connecting the boiler to the water mains. You'll need to open the valves on the filling loop until the pressure gauge reaches the recommended level, then close the valves to secure the pressure.

c. Boiler Reset - 

If checking and adjusting the pressure doesn't resolve the issue, your boiler may benefit from a reset. Many boilers have a customer-operated reset button or switch on the appliance's exterior. This button is designed to reset the boiler's internal electronics and may help rectify minor glitches. Press the reset button or toggle the switch according to your boiler's specific instructions.

d. Power Cycling the Boiler - 

Alternatively, you can power cycle the boiler by turning off the electric power to the unit. Locate the power switch, which is often situated on the front or side of the boiler. Turn the switch to the off position and wait for approximately 30 seconds before turning it back on. This brief interruption can sometimes clear temporary faults and allow the boiler to restart in a normal operating state.

Also Read :

  1. Top 10 Common Boiler Problems
  2. What to do if your boiler breaks down in the winter
  3. Where Should I Put My Boiler?

4. Broken Diverter Valves 

If all else fails, a likely culprit is a malfunctioning diverter valve. These valves redirect heat between your water supply and central heating. Over time, these valves can develop faults, disrupting the proper functioning of either the central heating or hot water.

However, repairing boilers, especially dealing with components like diverter valves, should be left to experienced professionals. The costs associated with such repairs can be high, including call-out charges, parts, and labour.

Seek Professional Assistance:

If your attempts at troubleshooting prove unsuccessful or if you're unsure about handling any part of your central heating system, it's crucial not to attempt DIY fixes. Gas appliances should not be used if deemed unsafe, and safety should always take precedence.

Instead of risking further complications, consider seeking professional assistance. Contact a reliable service provider like PlusHeat. Their technical team can guide you through troubleshooting over the phone or schedule a visit from their Gas Safe registered engineers to address the issue promptly.

Remember, ensuring the safety and efficiency of your central heating system is essential for a comfortable home.