A quick guide to getting your heating system ready for winter
A few weeks until the clocks change, the Christmas trinkets are in the shops, and the leaves are being blown off the trees. Yes, it’s that time again – winter.
The next few months are often some of the busiest and most stressful for plumbers and heating engineers, as homeowners turn on their heating systems and discover problems.
There is little you can do about the late night call-out on a Friday… “My boiler isn’t working, I have three young kids and there’s snow on the ground”… but, you can give some simple advice to your customers that have warm water underfloor heating.
We’ve written the text below for you to copy and paste, edit as you please, and send to your customers. You never know, it may make life easier, and one thing is for sure – they’ll definitely appreciate you reminding them.
Visual check - Find the manifold, then have a good look at it and the surrounding pipework. If you see signs of any leaks or anything you are not sure about, take a photo on your phone and send it to your plumber. Don’t forget to use a torch and get into the hard-to-see-areas.
The tissue check - If you think you have a small leak, clean off the area with some tissue, then wrap a clean bit of tissue around the point so it doesn’t fall off. Check back every day or so. If the tissue paper is wet again, there’s a leak.
Pressure check - Simple to do. Find the heating system pressure gauge. This could be adjacent to the expansion tank (usually a big red cylinder the size of a beach ball), built into the boiler, or close to the boiler. Usually, it should be in the range of 1 to 1.5 bar. If it’s higher or lower, contact your plumber.
Check batteries - You may have thermostats with batteries - check and replace them if necessary.
Turn it all on - As it says, turn the system on. Turn the thermostats up to create a demand for heat, open up the radiator thermostatic valves, and turn any time switches to 24hr operation. Check all your radiators for any leaks.
Any noises? - When you turn the system on, can you hear any strange noises? What sort of noise or noises are they? Do these go as the system heats up? Can you locate where the sound is coming from? All this is useful information for your plumber.
Book a service for your whole system - This is the best way to prepare for winter. However, your plumber will get busy. Book a service early (like now), then look forward to a trouble-free winter. And by doing this early, if anything needs mending or replacing, you have the time to fix it.
Special offer for our customers
Here at Continal®, we like to do all we can to help our customers, the hard-working plumber and builder, to help their customers - the homeowner.If you want to send a bulk email or letters to your customers ahead of winter, but don’t have the time or the resources, we’re here to help. If you would let us include a small bit of info about our systems then we will sort and pay for the mailing – simple. Just get in touch direct with the author by calling the Continal® Head Office on +353 (0) 1 531 4493.
Author: Chris Ingram was the Chairman of the UK underfloor heating trade association for 8 years, and the founder (20 years ago) of what has become Continal® Group, best known in the UK as the trade specialist supplier Continental Underfloor®. Continal® design and supply across Europe, with Europe’s widest range of energy efficient underfloor heating systems. Chris continues to be Chairman of Continal®, and provides consultancy internationally to UFH suppliers, manufacturers, and suppliers. Chris has been responsible for some of the most ground-breaking developments in underfloor heating systems.