Why is the bottom of my radiator cold?

Do you have a cold bottom or at least a radiator cold bottom?

Is the bottom of your radiator cold? We all take our central heating systems for granted and do not really bother to look after them until they go wrong. This is pretty much the case for most households and homeowners which is really strange as you use it everyday and rely on it not to go wrong for years at a time.

helps prevent a radiator cold bottom

Hopefully times are changing with the real impetus by boiler and radiator manufacturers to enforce good practice when it comes to the looking after a heating system. The warranty of boilers and radiators is dependent upon what chemicals are used in the system to protect it, also with the huge growth of magnetic filters, like the Adey Magnaclean Micro Pro1, it does really make a difference to the longevity of your system.

Over the last few years the heating and hot water systems have changed considerably from large inefficient cast iron block boilers into highly efficient condensing boilers that need a much cleaner system.

The build up of sludge in a system is created by oxidation of the steel and impurities in the system water. Remnants of the installation processes can also cause this, and ultimately this can cause boilers to fail and systems to be really inefficient. It has been found that a build up of sludge and debris in the system, not only harms the boiler or pumps but also inhibits the output of the radiator or emitters.

It is a good thing to test on your own radiators and really easy to do as once the radiator is hot, just run your hand over the whole radiator seeing if there is a noticeable difference in temperature from top to bottom or in the middle.

The good news is that you most likely to not need a new boiler.  Radiator problems are quite rare, and when they do occur are quite easy to fix and a heating engineer is not always required. A radiator cold bottom is more likely to be a build up of sludge in the system which will accumulate in the bottom of radiators as it is heavier than water.

If you have established cold spots which can actually resemble a gradual hill in the radiator you are going to need to take the rad off the wall and flush it through. You can also pay for a power flush from an installer which will greatly improve the efficiency of the system and reduce your heating bills. You can do this job yourself, but more often than not people tend to get a plumber to deal with this issue as power flushing can require specialist tools.

If the radiator is not hot at the top then the problem is more than likely trapped air in the system that can be bleed out by the vent at the top of the radiator. You can easily do this job yourself, but you will need a radiator key that you can pick up at diy stores. This is a very cheap fix to your heating problems and one of the most common causes for cold patches.

So a simple easy check that you can perform cannot only save you money but may help you boiler not to breakdown. If you also do not have a magnetic boiler filter like the Adey Magnaclean filter then it may also be a good time to invest in a simple low cost product that can save a lot of hassle for the future.

This may sound simple- but if your radiators are not hot on either the top or bottom, then do ensure your central heating is working correctly or that your thermostatic radiator valve is turned up. This is the very first thing to check when dealing with radiator problems, since someone else may have come along and switched it off without your knowledge.

Don't be caught out with a radiator cold bottom, keep your bottom warm!

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