Find out what central heating checks you need when you move into a new home!
If you have just purchased a new home then hopefully you have made some central heating checks or confirmed that it is working before you have moved in. If you are about to buy a new home and are in contact with the vendor then make arrangements to go and view the property and make sure the heating or hot water is working.
Do not rely on the surveyor from the bank to do central heating checks. They do not often do the relevant checks and no appliance is guaranteed to be working when you move in. if you do not carry out the checks then you may run into problems with your central heating system or have boiler problems.
Getting heating and hot water when you first move into a property is essential. You may need to clean and if it has been left empty for a long period then it may be damp and cold. So familiarising your self with the system before you move in is probably essential. Getting good dialogue with the seller from the start can make the difference and if they are nice people then they will want to hand over a nice house to you.
Stopcock should look roughly like this and is usually under the Kitchen sink!
One of the most important things to do is to find out where the stopcock is for the water because if you have a problem when you get there then at least you can turn the water supply off.
So after all the drama of the purchase you are in the house or flat and you make your first cup of tea and then before it gets dark you need to check that the heating and hot water work.
First of all you need to establish what type of system you have, combination or conventional. If you have a combination boiler (also known as a combi boiler) then as soon as you turn the hot water on the boiler should fire up.
If you have a conventional boiler then you need to look for the hot water cylinder in either the airing cupboard or any other storage rooms. Find the boiler and turn it on by hopefully operating the room stat and selecting a higher temperature than in the house, the rads should get hot. If you have hot water and heating you are doing really well and you may now want to check all the taps are working and there is hot water in the shower. Another good thing to do is make sure that there are no water leaks or signs of water damage in the ceilings or floors.
Check the fuse board hasn't had the boiler isolated before calling an engineer.
If the verdict is not good and you do not have heating or hot water then there are a few things to check. If it is a combination boiler then check the pressure and make sure it is above 1.5bar. If the boiler pressure is too low the system may simply need to re-pressurise. Sorting the boiler's pressure in these situation could be quite straight forward. if it is a conventional boiler then try and listen to see if the central heating pump is running. Check also the gas, water and electrical supply, sometimes in vacant houses they turn off the electrics at the switch board and water at the stopcock.
Furthermore boilers can go into lock out mode if they have not been used for a while due to inactive pumps, motorized valves or just initial failure. Do not give up and try and follow a sequence of events so you can see possibly what is missing. Failing this then please call Mr Central Heating a call and give us your make and model and we will try and throw some light on the subject.
We have great knowledge on all boilers like the Potterton Netaheat, Prima, Profile, Puma and Glow-worm Ultimate, Swiftflow and may more.
So it is like anything else, budget for the worst and make sure that you find out what you are going to inherit before you get there. We often have customers calling to find out how much a new boiler is before they move in and what sort of budget to set aside. You may imagine that you won't run into central heating problems but from our experience some new home owners end up having a nasty and expensive surprise. So having plumber or heating engineer check over the system before you close the deal can mean a discount on the house purchase if there are significant problems to run about. Also remember if you view the house in the summer you may not notice any issues since most people do not turn on their central heating in the warmer months.
Whilst broken radiators such as a build-up of air in the system that can be released using a radiator key as a simple DIY job, any work you need to do on the boiler should be left to a professional. Gas appliances and gas boilers can be dangerous if you do not know what you are doing with them so pick an engineer from the gas safe register to take a look on it. As a side note if you do smell gas when you move in, then you need to call the gas supply company as an emergency as this could be a very dangerous situation.
All we need is information on the boiler and we can ascertain the best replacement and also what is the best scenario to either change the system or keep it going until you have the budget to get rid of all the old.
Good luck and enjoy your new home.