/ Why Isn't My Radiator working?

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Franco Cookson on 27 Nov 2012
The heating is on really high, but my Radiator isn't working. I've bled it and only water is coming out. I've taken the plastic bits off the valves and made sure they're open. The pipe running up to it is boiling, so why is my radiator cold? Could it be a broken/seized valve?

Keen to get this sorted before the full onslaught of the festive season hits.

Thanks

Talius Brute - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:


Have you had it working before? If not then try closing the valves, they might have been put on wrong. (Actually, even if you've had it working before, try closing the valve, it might have been put on wrong but you don't remember (who remembers these things?)).

Still not working?

It's buggered, mate. Need to fit a new one.
Rich Ellis - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:
Try turning all the other radiators off to see if the heat comes through to your radiator thats playing up.
Ciro - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:

If you've only just turned it on for the year, it might be clogged up with rusty sludge... if so you need to take it off the wall (remember to make sure the heating pump is isolated), take it outside, shake it around and run a hose through it till it runs clear.
Franco Cookson on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Talius Brute: I haven't had it working before. When I twist the valves round, I can see them getting higher or lower, so I assume they will be opening if they're going higher? I'll try it again anyway. Thanks for your reply.
Rich Ellis - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson: Is there a thermostatic valve ?
In reply to Franco Cookson: If it's the last one in the circuit, and the circuit hasn't been balanced properly, all the other rads will get the heat and there will be none left. Did it work before, and is the return pipe to the boiler hot?
Franco Cookson on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Ciro: I think that could well be the problem. It probably hasn't been on for a year.
Franco Cookson on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Rich Ellis: Yes
Franco Cookson on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity: It's never worked, only once a very small amount and what I think is the return pipe is cold.
spearing05 - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson: Presumably there is some flow through it else the pipe wouldn't be getting hot (unless they are relatively short T's of the main flow and return in which case they could just be conducting heat from there. Some flow but no heat in the rad says two things to me

1)It may need flushing as it is full of sludge - take it of and flush with a hose, if the system is a closed one you'll need to top it up after refitting.

2)System may need balancing. Turn off all the other radiators and see if it gets warm then. The water in the system will always take the path of least resistance and if the pump is on the small side for the system you may need to restrict the flow in some of the other rads in order to force more through this one.

Note I'm not a plumber although I did install our CH system several (problem free) years ago. Advice taken at your own risk and all that . . . :-)
spearing05 - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson: Blimey I'm a slow typer, 8 replies in the time I sent mine.
Billy the fish - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson:
Since you told us that the pipe leading up to the radiator is “boiling hot” but the radiator is cold then balancing or heat availability isn’t the problem. The problem must be that the hot water is not getting to the radiator – you have a blockage somewhere. You’ve checked the valves are both in the open position so the next thing is a sludgy blockage as suggested above. Try turning all the other radiators off, and run the heating to push all the water through the one blocked radiator; tapping it with something while the system is running will help dislodge any sludge.
If that doesn’t work then either the blockage needs stronger tactics to move or is somewhere down the pipe work on the return side, not the hot side.
You should also flush out the system if you move a blockage and get the radiator working.

Good luck.
Franco Cookson on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to spearing05: you legend! It was an unbalanced system. Turned off all the other ones and now it's like the tropics in my room. Thanks a lot xxx
spearing05 - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson: YW - can you teach me to climb in return? :-)
pwo - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to Franco Cookson: Had identical problem with my radiator. Remove the collar holding the twist action grip and gently pull the handle/grip off. You will see a small pin which is the actuator between the twist grip and actual valve. This pin pushes the valve open and closed dependant on the temp. It does become stuck with time. With some wd40 gently push and pull the pin until it is free. If you pull the pin out too far you will get water coming out (just puch it back in). Refit grip.

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