It’s winter, and not the time you want your boiler to make exceptionally loud banging noises (to a scary degree) and then cut out. No heating. No hot water.
We’ve got a Worcester combi-boiler which is also about 15 years old. It’s a Highflow model. Now, I love combi-boilers in general. They are small and you don’t have a hot water tank taking up space.
However, this is also a major disadvantage if they die. No hot water tank = no immersion heater = COLD.
We have British Gas Homecare and the guy who came out was great. My own suspicion was that the system was airlocked but I did not know the full procedure of how to fix it. I was able to release the air from the pump, but that left plenty in the rest of the system, and how do you move the water round the system if the pump is failing?
You can see why the pump failing is bad: Water heats up, can’t escape, water turns to steam, cue banging noises and safety cut-outs.
Anyway, the bit I was missing out on (which the engineer showed me) was that the air problem was REALLY bad. The system pressure was down to a third of the level it should be. This also means that bleeding radiators to get the air out doesn’t work.
The fix? Introduce fresh water into the system (easily done – it’s pressured and there is a mains feed, just turn the tap). This brought up the pressure. Bleed pump again (fresh air pops out). Repeat until purge completed and pressure is back to normal.
Result? One working boiler, and I am actually warm again.
It’s annoying when you realise that the only thing you were missing was turning a little tap, but when it comes to devices which can effectively be bombs, you have to go professional!
The plumbing system here is about 15 years old, as stated, and it doesn’t look as if it has been serviced much during that time. The water was a filthy, sludgy black. I’m not sure how Â£700 or so pounds for a Powerflush from British Gas is worthwhile — for every page saying to get one, there is one saying it is a rip-off.
Still, Homecare has proven itself to us twice now… two visits, two repairs on the day.