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Tim Cooke
Tim Cooke,
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 41
Experience:  Owner at Self-employed
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My vaillant ecotec boiler will not produce full output,steam

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My vaillant ecotec boiler will not produce full output,steam into atmosphere is just a weak wisp,water being heated to less than 50 deg C.I managed to make it go to full output by pressing the reset button, but this only lasted 30 secs.Plumber said there are no fault codes shown.Any ideas?
JA: Are you getting any error codes or blinking lights on your boiler? How old is it?
Customer: Boiler is 7 yrs old,no error codes or blinking lights
JA: How long has this been going on with your boiler? What have you tried so far?
Customer: For less than a week.Plumber from Drayton heating tried various recycle modes and added detergent to system
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: I have recently recommisioned a small finned radiator in the CH system which plumber claims might have released sludge into system.The magnetic sludge filter was clean,with no sludge build up

Hello, I'm unclear about the use of detergent in the system - are you sure it was detergent? And for how long was the chemical in the system?

Also, is your magnetic filter installed on the flow from the boiler, or on the return?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Many thanks for reply.I don't know what the plumber added to the CH system yesterday, he said if was like Fairy Liquid(!) I suspect it was what is described as a "Cleaner" to disperses sludge and limescale, such as Fernox F3.
The magnetic filter is on the return to the boiler.
Despite what the plumber said, i am able to get a fault code which is S.53.The manual says"Appliance is within waiting period of the operation block function due to water shortage(VL-RL spread too big)I presume that RL and RL refer to the feed and return temps;the return pipes do feel surprisingly cool.For your info ,that are at least two rads upstairs that cannot be bled of either air or water.

S.53 indicates a blockage, not always, but the non-ventable rads support this theory.

IMHO using F3 (or similar) for only a day, on a system that already has a suspected blockage, won't achieve anything.

Is your system open-vented or sealed?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
system is open vented.If there is indeed a blockage, which sounds likely, what would unblock it?

That depends on the position and nature of the blockage. I'm curious about the age and history of your system, but putting that aside for now I would aim straight for the most common problem area, which is the connection of the cold feed (from the F&E cistern) into the primary circuit. This involves draining, pipe cutting, probably some mess, and some mechanical clearing.

Other problem areas are the ports of the circulating pump, and any motorised valve.

There will be a delay of about an hour before I can reply again. Hopefully this is food for thought for now. If you want chapter and verse my experiences of problems like this, it would be best done on the phone. I could do that either late tonight or early tomorrow. Otherwise I will keep replying in here when I can. If you're not confident in doing this yourself, then I would ditch your plumber and find a decent heating engineer.

Tim Cooke and other HVAC Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Congratulations Tim,you were spot on; we discovered a blockage in the water make up line before it joined the hot circuit and were able to clear this.Many thanks Ev Brewester
It’s nice to be spot on!

Please rate my reply if you’re happy 😊