It always comes to a time in a central heating’s life when it is unable to fulfil its obligation to you and your family, to keep you all warm. It may just be feeling its age or lack of regular maintenance by the previous house owner. Whatever the reason it is time to look at what the problem is and rectify it with as little fuss and expenditure as possible.
When looking at my poor old central heating system last week I could not help but notice that the radiators seemed to look warm and not hot to touch at all. Upon further inspection, I found the pipes to be red-hot. When I checked the temperature of the boiler, it was to the max. Being a little perplexed, I decided to do a bit more investigation.
The water temperature was as I said turned up to its full adjustment so why were my radiators only warm. I turned my limited knowledge and attention to the central heating pump; this circulates the heated water to the radiators. No loud noise indicating it was struggling with the demand, the pipes in and out were hot to touch.
So I am asking myself what can the problem be? I went along the pipes testing the temperature and I was burning my fingertips up until I reached each radiator. Each radiator was cool to the touch; as far as I know the radiator is just a metal object with a gap in the middle to have the hot water flow through and radiate the heat from the hot water into the room; no moving parts nothing to break so how can they be at fault?
Just by chance, I looked down the back of the living room radiator (Do you know that the Dutch term is Radiatoren?) and saw an item of clothing, I reached down and to my discomfort and sheer amazement, I burnt my hand. Only warm at the front to touch and too hot to touch at the back, is this not impossible?
This was against logic, however, upon further inspection of every radiator in the whole house the story was the same. Ok so the problem is the radiators. Now all my attention was on them. Upon very close inspection the front seemed to be very dull and the rear shiny. The front of all radiators had been painted with what looked like ordinary white gloss paint and what looks to be many coats and many times throughout the radiators lives.
Finding the many coats of paint six or seven millimetres deep was the answer to my problem. The radiators where unable to perform as they should as the heat was trapped inside, unable to radiate effectively through the thick paint. As soon as I changed all the radiators, I was able to turn down the temperature of the boiler and save money. Read more about radiators from this great article.