Why Is My Radiator Cold?

September 12, 2019 | Radiators

Rowlen engineer

One common question that many homeowners ask about their central heating is “why is my radiator cold?” If only one radiator is cold and the rest of the radiators in your home are operating normally, it’s only natural to wonder what could be causing the problem. However, due to the nature of how central heating systems work, there could be several factors that potentially could cause such a problem.

Firstly, you’ll need to determine whether it’s just a single radiator in your central heating system that is experiencing a problem or whether all of the radiators in your heating system are failing to heat up. The answer to this question is vital when it comes to resolving the problem as it will determine whether the issue is the boiler, the radiator itself or some other component in the heating system like the pipework or the pump.

What If Only A Single Radiator Is Cold?

If only a single radiator in your home is cold and the other radiators in the central heating system are warming as normal, the problem could be with the radiator itself. Check the whole radiator to see if there are any cold spots and whether any heat is entering the radiator at all, either at the bottom, top or surrounding pipes.

If the whole radiator feels cold with no heat entering it at all, check the valves to each side of your radiator to make sure they’re switched on. This is the most likely reason for the radiator failing to heat up. If they are already turned on, there could be a blockage within the radiator. If your radiator is old, the cause could be debris or limescale in the system. If this is the case, give us a call and we can investigate the issue further. The radiator itself may have begun to decay and may need replacing.

On the other hand, if the radiator only has cold spots, the location of the cold areas determines what you should check next. If your radiator is only cold at its top, the problem is probably air inside the radiator. Bleeding the radiator should fix the problem. If the radiator is cold at its bottom but warm at its top, it could be due to sludge build up in the radiator. We can run a central heating power flush for you to remove that sludge and restore heat to the whole radiator.

If you have just one cold radiator downstairs or upstairs, it’s worth checking whether it’s close to the boiler or a long way from it. Radiators that are located further from your boiler may remain cold while those that are earlier in the chain will warm up normally. This can happen for several reasons. It may be that the radiators aren’t properly balanced and require the lockshield valve to be adjusted. We can do this for you easily. Alternatively, it could be due to a heating water pump fault. Again, we can identify if this is the cause of your cold radiator and rectify the issue for you.

None Of My Radiators Are Warming Up

If you’ve discovered that none of your home’s radiators are working and are all entirely cold, you should first check to ensure that you’ve switched your central heating system on. Check your user manual to see if a there’s reset circuit or trip-out on your system as this switch may require a reset. Check the timer too, to ensure it hasn’t been inadvertently changed.

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Is The Boiler Working?

If none of your radiators are functioning, this could mean that your boiler isn’t working. Check to make sure that yours is firing up. If it isn’t, give our friendly team a call straight away. We can determine the cause of the problem and repair or replace any faulty parts or components that we find. In some cases, you may require a full boiler replacement but our team can advise you of the best replacement options for you and can install a brand new energy-efficient boiler in your home to restore its warmth.

What Do I Do If There Doesn’t Seem To Be A Problem For My Boiler?

If your boiler appears to be working normally, but there’s no heat being transferred to your radiators, you should next check your water pump. Is the pump operational? Put one hand on the water pump to check if it feels warm (not hot). You should also feel vibration due to the motor turning if the pump is functioning correctly. If the pump isn’t warm or vibrating, there could be a pump problem. Sometimes, water pumps can get stuck and a heating engineer can resolve the problem for you, or can replace the pump if it has been found to have failed completely.

Another possible problem could be that there is a blockage somewhere in the system that is preventing it from heating your radiators. The only way to determine this is to call out one of our expert heating engineers who can check the whole system and pinpoint the cause of your issues.

On the upside, most central heating system issues that result in a single radiator or several radiators not heating correctly are relatively simple to fix. If you’ve tried the simple checks that we’ve mentioned above and you haven’t found an obvious cause for your cold radiators, give our Gas Safe heating engineers a call today. We can come out to check over your system and to determine the cause of your radiator problems. As experts in the industry, we can quickly pinpoint the issues, offer you helpful advice and identify what needs to be done to rectify the problem. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help to restore warmth and comfort to every radiator in your home.

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