If you want to keep your heating system operating optimally it is important that it is serviced regularly. Taking good care of your heating and plumbing will reduce the risk of breakdowns and identify any faults before they become a potentially serious problem. Some checks must be done by a professional plumbing company. If you have gas heating, for example, then a qualified heating engineer should inspect it annually to ensure that it is working properly and that you are not at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Those checks can quite literally save lives.
There are some checks that you can do yourself, however, and it’s a good idea to add those checks to your regular home maintenance schedule, to keep your property in the best possible condition.
Check Your Boiler Pressure
Checking your boiler pressure is a quick and easy check that you can do without needing specialist equipment. With most modern combination boilers, you will find a gauge at the front of the system. The gauge may be numbered, or coloured, to indicate the pressure level. If the pressure is below the acceptable level, top up the system with water. You may find that this simple step will solve a lot of common boiler problems.
If you need to top up your boiler more than twice a year, then that could be a sign that there is a leak or a fault somewhere, so it is a good idea to call in the experts to check.
Check Your Radiators
Turn on your heating and let it run for a little while, and check the radiators. Are all the radiators, including the ones downstairs, warm? Are all the radiators ‘warm all over’ (rather than just warm at the bottom, but not at the top)? If you notice that some radiators are cold at the top, then they may have air built up in them, and will need bled. This is quite easy to do if you have a small radiator key to use to turn the valve at the top (these are quite affordable and are sold at most DIY stores). If some radiators are cold but others are not, then you may need to adjust the pressure on the boiler, or you may need to have more work done on your central heating system, for example to fix a leak.
Check Your Stopcock
In the ideal world you won’t need to turn the water supply off at the stopcock, but it is useful to know where it is, in case you ever experience a leak with your plumbing. Check your stopcock and make sure that it moves easily. It would be unfortunate to discover that your stopcock was ‘frozen’ or ‘rusted’ into place when a leak was happening.
Check Your Drains
Make sure that all of your drains are working properly, and that there are no blockages. Watch how quickly all of your sinks and basins empty, and check that the drains don’t smell (a bad smell is often a sign of a blockage).