Central Heating Systems – How To Drain A Central Heating System

Central Heating means heating from a central source. In Central Heating Systems water is the medium. The water gets hot so that all the areas that need it get it.

If you are planning on getting a boiler/system fitted or replaced there are certain things that you should keep in mind. One of the first things you should do is find out what type of system you already have installed to make sure you have the requirements needed for your new system. Also you should think about what you want from your central heating system, keeping in mind things such as; do you want instant or stored hot water? Different parts of your house heated independently, if so how many? And do you want your boiler hidden away?

There is no standard Central Heating System, every system is tailored to suit individual needs. Even if you only have a basic system you should still have the power to programme it correctly so that it can look after itself. You should be able to set it on a timer so that it can automatically turn itself on and off. With an advanced system you can take this one step further and have the control to set your Central Heating System so that it keeps your house at just the right temperature and gives you all the hot water that you will need. You should be able to control all of this, with your boiler burning the bare minimum amount of fuel.

Out of all the Central Heating Systems, the fully pumped systems remain the most common and popular. In a fully pumped Central Heating System the water is heated by a boiler Cv storing and sent around the pipework by a pump; this water is then routed to the radiator circuit and to the hot water cylinder by a motorised valve. As well as this the user has a lot of control over how heat is distributed and what time and temperature it is supplied.

An important thing to be aware of with a fully pumped Central Heating System is how to drain it. Draining your system is something that you will most likely have to or want to do in the lifetime of your Central Heating System.

The main reason for most people for draining their Central Heating System is to clean the radiators. Before you do anything to the actual radiator you should turn off the boiler and any gas or electric that supplies the boiler. It is also important that you do not let any more water into the system while you drain it.

Your Central Heating tank where the water is fed into has a ball valve that is the same as the one seen in your toilet tank. This ball valve is a ball attached to an arm that, when lifted closes the valve, which means when the tank is full no more water can get in because the valve is closed. However when some water is drawn off the tank, the ball drops, the valve opens and more water gets into the tank, this is what needs to be stopped when draining your radiator. One of the best ways to stop this is by placing a piece of wood across the tank and tying the value arm to it, which will close this valve.

When all these precautions have been carried out, you should attach a hosepipe to the part of your radiator known as the outlet and run the end of the hosepipe outside. The water from your radiator will flow through the hosepipe and out of your radiator system. You must make sure before you start cleaning or replacing your radiator that all of the water has defiantly been drained out.

To make your system drain faster you should open any bleed valves on your radiators, starting with the radiators on the top floor and working your way down. When the water is drained off you are free to work on your radiator.


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