Central Heating Problem Solving Belfast 

Central Heating Repairs Belfast

Here at Emergency Plumber Belfast, one of the most common things we get asked to fix is the various problems with central heating systems. Here are the common problems that we fix for customers on a regular basis:

  • We repair leaking pipes on all central heating and domestic systems
  • We replace all types of storage tanks
  • We replace hot water cylinders
  • We replace radiators and radiator valves
  • We clean out central heating systems
  • We install energy saving devices on heating systems including motorised valves room
  • Cylinder and other types of thermostats
  • We replace water pumps

Most homes in the Greater Belfast Area will either have an oil central heating system or a gas central heating system. Irrespective of which central heating system you have, the issues that can go wrong are pretty similar. We have listed those below to help you identify what the issue might be.


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Leaking Pipes on all Central Heating and Domestic Systems

Your central heating system is connected with a range of pipes. These go from the boiler to the hot water tank and through the various radiators in your home. In many older houses many of those would have been lead, and these should always be replaced. The main reason for this is simply wear and tear and they are also not ideal for your own health and safety.

More commonly though, these pipes will be either copper or plastic uPVC pipes, and it is common to see both types. Copper is still used but more and more plumbers are moving to PVC or plastic piping.

The two most common problems that cause leaking pipes in your central heating system are:

  1. Human error - this can be anything from drilling through a pipe, badly made joints, nailing down floorboards and hitting pipes etc
  2. Frozen pipes which causes cracking especially around any joints

Some leaks are pretty obvious and if bad enough can quickly flood your home. Others are not so obvious but some type of damp patch usually gives this away. 

Here at Emergency Plumber Belfast we are experts at tracking and fixing leaks in any central heating system.

Replacing Cold Water Storage Tanks

In most Northern Ireland homes, the cold water storage tank sits in the roof space, or the attic as many of us like to call it. We pay very little attention to this until something goes wrong.

However it is always worthwhile checking the condition of the cold-water storage tank. This tank supplies a lot of your water in your home, and it can cause a lot of damage to your home should it spring a leak.

We have seen too many times leaks happening when you are not at home or on holiday. On arriving back you can return to find hundreds of litres of water that have ruined your carpets and furniture.

Our best advice is that if you still have an old galvanised steel tank, it is time you thought about fitting a new one.

Replacing and fitting a new cold water storage tank is not the easiest of DIY jobs. You need to have a bit of know how and more importantly have to own the right tools. That is because you will need to be able to bend and join copper pipes. You will also need to understand how a gravity fed cold water system works.

It is also heavy work and usually has to be done in difficult conditions as the tank is perched on joists in the attic.

Replacing Hot Water Cylinders/Tanks

We also replace hot water tanks in your home. These tanks are usually located in a hotpress or in a cupboard somewhere in your home. They can be either upstairs or downstairs.. Usually these tanks will also have an immersion heater attached to them, where you can quickly heat the water.

Usually these will sit and work away without any major problems. Ideally they should have an insulated jacket fitted as this helps conserve the heat and helps keep down your bills. They are usually only ever removed or replaced when you are changing out your heating system.

They can go faulty though and leak around the various joints and seams. We can quickly replace these for you.

Repairing, Replacing Radiators and Radiator Valves

We are asked to replace radiators and radiator valves on a daily basis. People simply want to change the type of radiator they have or they may have one that is leaking. 

People sometimes just want a radiator removed for decorating purposes and then re-connected. This is a simple job for us to do, and one where we can assure there will be no leaks or risk of flooding.

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Cleaning and Flushing Out Central Heating Systems

Central heating systems are of course invaluable in the Autumn and Winter. As many of you will know they can also be problematic. Over the years water in contact with metal pipes and radiators does cause a build up in the system.

A good flush  of this system can really improve the heat in your home and make your heating system more efficient.

Replacing Water Pumps

In many central heating systems a water pump is used to help improve the water flow throughout the system. Water pumps have a good lifetime but they will eventually stop working and need to be replaced. Again this is a simple job for any qualified plumber.

Replacing Thermostats

Thermostats can be used on individual radiators to control the individual temperature of a room. These are quick and easy to fir and they will help to reduce your heating bills. Many old thermostats are inefficient and the new ones are so much better.

Installing Energy Saving Devices on Heating Systems

There are many ways to save energy with your heating system these days. The use of timers and thermostatic control are the most common and cost effective methods to do this. Give us a quick call and we can explain the options with our very best and free advice.

Types of Central Heating Systems

There are three main types or classifications of central heating systems:

  1. Wet systems - These are the most popular in Northern Ireland most homes have this kind of central heating. It can be powered by a conventional or a combi boiler
  2. Warm air Systems - Can be found in some businesses but not really used in the home
  3. Storage heaters - These are electric powered central heating systems. The storage heaters collect and store heat at night, when it’s cheaper to do so, and then release it during the day.

Almost every home in Northern Ireland will have a wet system. We shall focus on this one as this is the central heating system we almost always find in the Greater Belfast Area.

This is where some type of boiler (oil or gas) will burn fuel and heat water. That heated water is then fed through a series of pipes in your house to the radiators. It is a pretty simple system to understand, but not always that easy to work on for most home owners.

The boiler can be powered by gas, oil or solid fuel.

Most home owners will know what type of central heating system they have, simply by the fuel that they buy.

Gas Boilers

If you buy gas using top-up or direct debit, then you will have either a conventional boiler or a combination boiler (combi boiler) which connects to the water supply in the home and onward to the radiators.

Oil Boilers

If you buy oil for your oil tank, then you will have an oil burner with a flu, and most likely have a conventional boiler. This is then connected into the water supply in the home and onward to the radiators.

Solid Fuel Boilers

There are a few solid fuel options which are wood, coal and smokeless fuels. There are two types of solid fuel heating systems:

  1. Open Fires - These have a fire basket bolted onto a high output boiler. You put the fuel in the basket and the smoke and gases produced are vented into the chimney. You can burn wood, coal and some smokeless fuels
  2. Closed Fires - These are more efficient and give you more control than open fires. The fire burns behind a door and air is introduced into the firebox via the thermostat flap.

The boiler is connected into the water supply in the home and onward to the radiators.


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