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CENTRAL HEATING INFORMATION

RADIATOR MATERIALS

Radiators, Towel Warmers and Towel Rails are made from:
Aluminium
Cast Iron
Stainless Steel
Steel
Brass

Aluminium

Aluminium is a very efficient material which will dissipate heat almost instantly, enabling radiators to be accurately controlled and used only when rooms are occupied. Aluminium is also very light, which makes for quick and simple installation. As these radiators heat up and cool down quickly they are also very economical. Care must be taken where an inhibitor is added to the system to ensure that it is suitable for use where there is aluminium in the system. We have a separate page for aluminium radiators CLICK HERE.

Cast Iron

Cast iron radiators have a certain charm, perfectly suited to older properties which is unmatched by anything else. Cast iron radiators take the longest time to heat up; this often means users have to set their timers carefully to ensure the radiators come on well in advance of when the room is to be used. However, once cast iron is at the required room temperature and switched off, the radiators will retain their warmth for the longest period compared with other materials. We have a separate page for cast iron radiators CLICK HERE.

Steel

This material has thermal properties that fall between aluminium and cast iron. Steel is the preferred choice for many design-led products, as the metal easily allows manufacturers to bend, cut, weld and shape all manner of designs. The majority of central heating radiators are made from steel.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has the advantage of being totally impervious to water therefore, enabling its use in any domestic heating system, both direct/open or indirect/closed (see 'System Types' for details). Stainless steel is also an extremely durable surface, so it will withstand a high degree of wear and tear.

Brass

Some towel rails are made from brass and then chrome plated. Manufacturers' information will identify which ones.

 

SYSTEM TYPES

Indirect/Closed System

This is the most common type of central heating system. The system is filled with water. This water remains in the system and is circulated through the boiler and radiators. Where a standard boiler is used, hot water is heated and stored in a cylinder. The cylinder is of an indirect type which means it has a coil through which the heating water is circulated to heat the domestic hot water. This keeps the central heating water and domestic hot water separate.Where a Combi boiler is used, the domestic hot water is heated within the combi by utilising a small heat exchanger which again keeps the heating water and domestic hot water separate.

Radiators made from any of the above materials may be used.

Direct/Open System

With this type of system mains water is used and continually changed within the system. The water within the system is the same as is supplied to the hot water taps.Therefore, with a constantly changing water supply, the heating system must utilise materials that are impervious to this constantinflux of fresh oxygen and bacteria. Only products marked with a 'D' are suitable for this type of system. The radiators most likely to be suitable for these systems are stainless steel and brass, but this must be clarified with the individual manufacturers before installing on such a system. We recommend that all our radiators and towel warmers are fitted on systems complying with BS5449 section 1, forced circulation hot water systems. If the system is 'Gravity' a heating engineer should be consulted.

All of the radiators and towel rails we supply are suitable for installing on indirect/closed systems that comply with BS5449 section 1, forced circulation hot water systems or most recent update.

Installation

All installations must be carried out by someone who is qualified to do so and who is aware of any appropriate legislation.

On completion of all installations the system should be thoroughly flushed, filled and balanced correctly. If an inhibitor is used, this should be in accordance with the individual manufacturer's instructions and recommendations, which should take into account the various metals within in the heating system.

Building Regulations apply to central heating installations and electrical installations and must be complied with.

 

ELECTRICAL REQUIREMENTS

Specific electrical safety regulations apply to the installation of radiators and other appliances in bathrooms and shower rooms. This applies to both electric and non electric radiators. A qualified electrician should always be employed to carry out any electrical work.

 

INSTALLATION

Specific regulations relate to the installation of gas and electrical equipment. It is important that the person carrying out the installation is competent to do so, aware of any appropriate legislation and registered with the appropriate body were required by law.

Radiators get very hot. Protective guards must be used to prevent injury to children, elderly and infirm people.

Specific gas and electrical safety requirements, and Building Regulations, apply to bathrooms and shower rooms.

Some of the items supplied are very heavy and this must be taken into account when moving at the time of delivery and into the final position. The location must be chosen with the weight of the item in mind.

All new central heating installations should be pre-commissioned in accordance with BS7593:2006 or later updates and we recommend that any existing central heating system be thoroughly flushed before adding a new radiator.

 

PROBLEMS

The most common problems are:

Noise
'Air'
Corrosion

Noise

Expansion and contraction noises are very common and are very difficult to resolve on an existing system. Care is needed at the time of installation to reduce this problem by ensuring pipes have room to move and are protected where they are fixed against anything.

Pump noise may occur where the pump has been incorrectly fitted with insufficient static head. Also, where there is 'air' or debris in the system.

Boiler noise may occur where there is insufficient water flow through the boiler. This could be because the bypass is incorrectly set, the pump is inadequate, the boiler is oversized or the pipe sizing is inadequate. It can also be caused by 'air' or debris in the system.

'Air'

Air in the system can cause a number of other problems such as noise and corrosion. If you regularly have to bleed radiators, this should be investigated. Air can enter a system because of poor pump position causing air to be drawn in via the system open vent, via joints, or by causing water to be pumped out of the open vent. Water leaks can also allow fresh water to enter the system bringing with it oxygen. Corrosion within the system can also give rise to the need to regularly bleed radiators.

Corrosion

Corrosion can be caused by a number of things such as fresh water ingress and a system not being flushed correctly at the time of installation. The characteristics of the water could be the cause of the problem. The problem needs investigation to eliminate system faults and then an inhibitor may be needed. If an inhibitor is used, this should be in accordance with the individual manufacturer's instructions and recommendations, which should take into account the various metals within in the heating system.

The need to regularly bleed radiators needs to be investigated. 'Air' in the system, noise and corrosion may all be related and there could be serious consequences. We are unable to recommend fixing an automatic bleed valve to radiators to overcome the need to bleed radiators regularly.

 

This is given as information only and does not constitute advice or instruction. Central heating installations and work on them must be carried out by a suitably qualified and competent person. Any problems associated with a heating installation can only be determined by a heating engineer inspecting the installation to determine the cause of the problem where this is not obvious.

We have a large selection of designer radiators, towel warmers, heated towel rails available online but are unable to show everything available. If there is something you particularly require or cannot find it on our website please contact us for assistance.