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Plumberpro
Plumberpro, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 634
Experience:  Heating and plumbing answers. 20 years experience
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Hi, I've just moved house and am having trouble with the boiler.

Resolved Question:

Hi, I've just moved house and am having trouble with the boiler. I've got a Potterton Profile with a Honeywell thermostat, it's gas with a gravity/pressure water tank but it's giving me neither heating nor hot water, despite the thermostat displaying both as 'on'. The pilot light only keeps on once in a while when it seems to come in full force, but then it goes off within a few minutes. Happy to submit pics if it helps. Cheers, Simon
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Plumberpro replied 2 years ago.
Plumberpro :

Hello . there could be a few things it could be . can you hear the boiler fan running and the boiler attempt to light, ie sparking?

Customer:

It's all quiet apart from every half hour or so it lights up so that you can hear it and the pilot comes on. it then goes off again after a few minutes.

Customer:

can't hear it sparking in the meantime though

Plumberpro :

Do you get any heat at all . are the pipes at the boiler hot?

Customer:

just checking

Customer:

boiler casing is pretty warm but pipe is cold (the one underneath)

Customer:

the one leading up into the casing (smaller) is luke warm

Plumberpro :

It may be your pump not working an the boiler overheating band cutting out. Do you know where your pump is? It could be seized up. If you open the bleed screwband insert a Phillips screw drier , can you feel the pump spinning?

Plumberpro :

Also , it may have been the gas pipe you were feeling

Customer:

you're going to have to help me out a bit here! what should the pump look like?

Customer:

is it by the boiler/in the casing/by the water tank?

Plumberpro :

It may be next to the hot water cylinder/tank and will be on the pipe work with a round front ,possibly red colour

Customer:

also, just felt the two top pipes coming out of the boiler. one is hot (on the left) the other cold (on the right)

Customer:

i'll just have to hop in the loft to take a look

Plumberpro :

Ok

Customer:

should the pump be green and branded evolta?

Plumberpro :

Could be .put grundfos pump into google images to see what the pump should look like


Customer:

yup

Customer:

got it

Plumberpro :

Ok . did the green thing look the Sam?

Plumberpro :

Same

Customer:

yup

Customer:

pretty much. screw slot in the centre

Customer:

making a soft whirling nouse

Customer:

*noise

Plumberpro :

Ok . if you feel it , does it feel like its running?, is it really hot to touch. There is a bleed screw in the centre of the round face. Take up a flat head and Phillips screw driver . undo the bleed screw, set the heating to on , undo screw and put the Phillips screw driver in can you feel the pumpnimpellor spinning. It should be strong , you should be able to stop it . a few drips of water may come out. Afterwards replace the bleed screw. Also check the header tank, small one and make sure there is water in it

Customer:

hot to touch

Plumberpro :

Sorry I meant you shouldn't be able to stop it

Plumberpro :

It is seized . try to get it spinning again

Customer:

spinning fine. water coming out is hot

Plumberpro :

Ok .thinknyoubmay have an airlock in the system . this may be the first time the heatingvhas been run for a long while , check for air release valves on the heating pipework , near ,around hot water tank and the pump, check tank has water,,( small heating filler tank)

Customer:

top tank (filler?) has water in it

Plumberpro :

Ok. Did any air release from the pump?

Customer:

just looking for valves

Customer:

what should they look like?

Customer:

there are a few red, circular valves(?) on a few of the pipes?

Plumberpro :

They may be like the bleed valve on the radiators

Customer:

ah, ok. near to the pump, boiler or water cylinder?

Plumberpro :

Yes. Turn heating off , bleed them . turn heating/pumpnon again, stop and bleed again

Customer:

there are valves (without the plastic bit you get on radiators) above and below the pump. these ones?

Plumberpro :

No . they are the pump isolating valves

Customer:

ok. not sure which ones i need to turn then? as i said there are a few valves with red circular things to spin on top?!

Plumberpro :

Full Size Image


Customer:

ah. can't see any of those. i'll have another look

Customer:

the only one i can see has a stopcock on it, like a tap, and by the water cylinder

Customer:

also, pump's gone off since i turned the heating off - presumed it's meant to have

Plumberpro :

No that's not it, that will be a valve to turn water off. You may have to crack a few nuts to see if there is air in the pipework, then . did you feel the pump spinning with a screwdriver?

Plumberpro :

Yes pump should have

Customer:

pump was spinning when the heating was on, but it's gone off now

Plumberpro :

Ok .was it spinning strongly ?

Customer:

yup. didn't stop when i put the screwdriver in.

Plumberpro :

Also check for speed settings on the pump . if there care putbin on highest

Customer:

can i insert pics? taken one of the pump etc

Plumberpro :

Sure.

Customer:

ha - can't even figure out how to do that. is there an insert pic button?

Plumberpro :

Yes there's an attachment symbol.above the writing box.

Customer:

Full Size Image

Customer:

not sure if that helps

Plumberpro :

I'm not see how to put your own pics in though

Customer:

cool - just sent one

Plumberpro :

Yes, that's your pump. There a 3 speed settings put it on the highest

Customer:

cool. just turning heating on. it was on the 2nd beforehand

Customer:

biggest problem seems to be not being able to find the valves

Customer:

now on the highest setting

Plumberpro :

Simon, feel the pipes when you do , to see if the heated water is moving through the system

Customer:

sounds like it is. and the pipe is hot above and below the pump

Plumberpro :

Ok , just check to see if it travelling,

Customer:

actually, looks like there are 2 sets of three settings on the pump

Customer:

sounds like it is

Plumberpro :

There will probably be only one set, the others could be something else

Customer:

pretty hot to touch but feels like it too.

Customer:

doesn't sound very forceful though

Plumberpro :

Ok , so the boiler fires for a couple of mins, then cuts out?

Customer:

yup

Customer:

just gone off in fact

Customer:

the third light on the pump is flashing slowly too

Customer:

(ie the additional one i turned to put it to full)

Plumberpro :

Ok . well hats the pump checked .it could still be an airlock further on , but its now looking more like a boiler fault..there's not a lot on those profiles. Ive got the same boiler. When it cuts out can you hear it trying to relight, is fan run and sparking

Customer:

nothing once it's cut out

Customer:

dead silent

Plumberpro :

You think the pumps running slow?

Customer:

seems the same as before when i checked with the philips

Customer:

i'm pretty sure the previous owner had it fitted a month or so again

Customer:

looks new

Plumberpro :

Ok , if it was the fan or air pressure switch , it would try to relight, pretty sure it cutting out on the overheat.pump does look new, do you want to check the pump valves are fully open , they turn same as a tap , anti clockwise to open fully .

Customer:

they the ones either side of the pump? how will i know if they're fully open?

Plumberpro :

Yes. They will just come to a stop

Customer:

to the left?

Plumberpro :

Yes

Customer:

fully open

Customer:

i actually had heating and hot water a couple of days ago

Plumberpro :

Ok .still pretty sure you've got an air lock in the system somewhere.are there any natural air locks .could you take some more pictures of your system pipe work , including your motorised valve if you have on and cylinder /hot water tank , please

Customer:

sure. only been in the house for two nights so pretty unfamiliar. let me take some shots

Customer:

might take a few mins to come through. uploading pics is pretty antiquated on this.

Plumberpro :

Simon,do you have a multimeter to check parts on the boiler?

Customer:

no. sorry

Customer:

Full Size Image

Customer:

Full Size Image

Customer:

Full Size Image

Customer:

Full Size Image

Plumberpro :

Thinking now what it could be on the boiler . on these boilers the fans break down pretty often . they can be tested with a mutimeter,but not to worry. Can you one more thing , can you make the boiler run again but listen really cloisely to what sounds it is makin. The fan should run , the boiler ignition start sparking , then the gas valve opens fully , then it should run , thanks

Customer:

Full Size Image

Customer:

will do.

Customer:

makes a humming noise, sounds like there's something running like a fan in the background, after a few seconds it clicks and the pilot comes on

Customer:

after a while it glugs a bit like there's water going through

Plumberpro :

No sparking?

Customer:

bit more whirling (maybe that was the fan?)

Customer:

what do you mean by sparking? like a lighter or the clicks you get on an over lighter?

Customer:

and now it's gone off

Plumberpro :

Yes like clicks like oven lighting. I'm surprised at the glugging though , that's usually an indication of air in the system .did the boiler light though for any length of time?

Customer:

no clicking.

Customer:

it stays alight for maybe a minute?

Customer:

maybe a tad longer but not much

Plumberpro :

Ok . I'm really sorry about this but one of your pictures was blurry , could you retake that exact spot again?

Customer:

sure. let me just check which one. or is there anything in specific i could get a shot of?

Plumberpro :

I thought I could see a air release on a section of copper pipe. Usually plumbers put bleed valve at the highest points or where the pipework comes up and branches so the air can bev released.it was you second photo

Customer:

uploading now

Customer:

it looks like a valve and it comes out of the top of the pump

Plumberpro :

Hasn't come yet,

Customer:

sorry - i'm doing all of this without wifi

Plumberpro :

Oh well its not too bad then

Customer:

Full Size Image

Customer:

here you go

Plumberpro :

Thats it. That's a what I was expecting to see . its the main air release valve . it has a cap that undoes. May need gripos or pliers , depending how stiff it is , but you might be able to DOB iutvwith your fingers. Don't take the cwhole cap off just open it and see if air comes out

Customer:

Full Size Image

Customer:

close up

Customer:

ok - i'll give a go

Customer:

a little air came out but water came quite quickly so i tightened it. not much air

Plumberpro :

Ok ,the pump should have a direction arrow on its side .can you see if its running up or down?

Customer:

yeah. just hot water coming out now

Customer:

there's a faint arrow on each side pointing dowanwards?

Plumberpro :

You may have to run the system and do it a few times

Plumberpro :

Ok . is that air release abovevthevpump?

Customer:

as in turn the heating on and off again?

Customer:

yup, it's above

Plumberpro :

Yes sorry

Customer:

do i need to wait for it to cut out or just turn it on and off?

Plumberpro :

But also check for more of those air release caps on the pipework as well in different places

Customer:

couldn't see any more to be honest

Plumberpro :

Ok . didv any more air come out

Customer:

maybe a tiny bit, but nothing noticeable

Plumberpro :

Well if its not air locked and the pumps ok, it can only be the boiler . how do feel about taking the front cover off.

Customer:

i'm pretty easy

Customer:

just waiting to see if the pilot stays on for longer

Plumberpro :

Ok

Plumberpro :

Pretty sure these don't have pilots but electronic ignition

Plumberpro :

When there's a call for heat the use a spark electrode

Customer:

cool

Customer:

just checked downstairs. water's heating up and light's still on

Customer:

maybe success

Customer:

radiators are warming at the base too

Plumberpro :

Let's not count our chickens

Customer:

ha.

Customer:

boiler's still running

Plumberpro :

Ok .you still might have bits of air in the system . with heating off check thatcreleas

Customer:

check the what, sorry?

Plumberpro :

Check that air release cap a few times.

Customer:

cool.

Plumberpro :

Think you are up and running now ?

Customer:

just gave it another check - no air that i could see/hear

Customer:

there's also a click before the light comes on in the boiler

Plumberpro :

Ok . when you do it make sure the system is off because you don't want to suck air in . so do you think its up and running now?

Customer:

i turned it off beforehand

Customer:

seems good to be honest

Plumberpro :

Ok. Looks good

Customer:

sweet. anything else i should be doing?

Plumberpro :

Time to go to sleep , I'm bloody knackered. All the best , Toby

Customer:

ha - thanks a lot mate. final questions

Customer:

do i need to turn the pump back to its original setting?

Plumberpro :

Yes, it will run quieter. But if the same thing happens put it back to the higher setting and check for air

Customer:

brill

Customer:

thanks a lot mate - much appreciated

Plumberpro :

Your welcome

Customer:

time for a shower. laters

Plumberpro, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 634
Experience: Heating and plumbing answers. 20 years experience
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