DIY Doctor

Downstairs radiators won't heat.

Postby cptmike » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:47 am


I have a problem with my heating and I noticed this forum so I thought I'd try and see if anybody here can help me with it.

In doing up my upstairs bathroom I have removed the radiator, intending to put in a towel radiator in about 2 weeks. In doing this I partially drained the system from a tap in a downstairs radiator after stopping the refill valve in the F & E tank in the loft. I didn't empty the system fully. I then used some caps to close the two pipes in the bathroom. I then went let F & E refill and started bleeding the upstairs radiators.

Now when I switch the heating on the upstairs radiators heat up but the downstairs ones stay cold. I keep bleeding the upstairs radiators and occasionally get bursts of air out. The downstairs radiators don't appear to have any air in. I've had a look at the pump but there isn't a bleed screw on it. Thinking it might be some sludge I maybe dislodged frem the F & E tank blocking up the system I put some sludge remover in this morning. I've let it circulate round the system but it's still only the upstairs radiators heating up.

Any ideas how I can sort this issue out? I read another similar post like this one but thought I'd ask anyway.

Thanks for any help.
Rank: Apprentice
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:20 am


Simply Build It

Postby htg engineer » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:30 pm

Is the pump running ?

If the pump is running - it could be an airlock. Close all upstairs radiator valves and see if this will clear any air.
htg engineer
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 3256
Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 5:22 pm

Postby cptmike » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:02 pm

Thanks for the advice.

I managed to sort it, well kind of... I closed all the radiators and bled each one individually starting downstairs and working upstairs. In trying to bleed the pump I opened the wrong valve. I tweaked the pump shutoff valve (one above and below the pump). and the valve promptly started leaking :shock:

It was a slow dribble at first but last night I tried to tweak it again to see if I could somehow stop it altogether. I only made it much worse, it started hosing manky brown water all over the place. I had to dive into my shed and get the drain hose hooked up to the drain point and empty the system. All this at about midnight last night :evil: Spent most of this evening fitting the two new valves after a b&q trip. Hopefully these ones don't leak when I fill the system up.

I did manage to get the downstairs radiators working tho, for about an hour before this all happened :lol: .

Rank: Apprentice
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:20 am

Postby cptmike » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:20 am

So the story continues...

I replaced the two pump valves and pleased to say they are water tight.

I put a hose pipe up into the f&e tank in my loft and filled up the sytem until the water stopped draining down into the pipes (all with radiator valves fully open). I then bled the downstairs radiators first until I got water out the bleed valve and then did the same to the upstairs ones. I then ran the heating system without the boiler working (pump only) hoping that the residual air in the system would work it's way into the upstairs radiators. I managed to then bleed out a fair bit of air.

In turning the boiler on and getting hot water to move through the pipes I can only get the upstairs radiators to heat, just like the problem I originally had :cry: .

Am I doing something wrong with my refil sequence? Should I maybe bleed the upstairs radiators before the downstairs ones when refilling the system? Really not sure what I'm doing wrong but it's taking me absolutly ages to try and get the radiators to work. The pump is working ok and I've bled it. What about attaching a hose pipe to the bottom drain point and back filling the system, is this possible and does it work? This might be an easier way to chase all the air at once to the upstairs radiators.

I'm tired of a freezing house and being up all hours trying to chase phantom airpockets out my system so any help at all is much needed and well appreciated!

Rank: Apprentice
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:20 am

Postby nitro23456 » Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:15 pm

have you tried turning the upstairs radiators down and the downstairs ones up. Sounds like a balancing problem.
Rank: Foreman
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 346
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:19 pm

Postby MB » Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:32 pm

Have you got all the rads filled with water? If so try closing all of the rad valves bar one on the rad you are going to drain from, stick a hose on a downstairs drain cock open it up and see what happens. The central heating should pump round the circuit and out of the hose , this should clear any air out of the system. When you've got hot water coming out of the hose without it spitting shut the drain off cock then open your rad valves , hopefully they'll start to heat.
Rank: Apprentice
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:44 pm

Postby ALDA » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:50 pm


"I put a hose pipe up into the f&e tank in my loft and filled up the sytem until the water stopped draining down into the pipes"



Rank: Foreman
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:15 pm

Display posts from previous
Sort by
Order by

  • DIY How to Project Guides
  • DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!

  • Related Topics