On installation of a new system and after installing a new radiator, the entire system should be flushed and chemically cleansed. A chemical inhibitor, such as that supplied by Fernox, will then be added to the water in the system by your plumber, in order to minimise possible corrosion in the radiators and pipework. The inhibitor should be topped up whenever the system has been drained down.
If this is done correctly then the radiators should never develop any faults. Failure to add an inhibitor can invalidate radiator warranties.
Air will often accumulate at the top of radiators when a system is first installed or after the system has been drained and refilled. Your plumber should let the air out of the radiators using the air vent on each radiator.
To keep your radiators operating efficiently, it is a good idea to check all radiators for accumulated air at least once a year, typically when you turn the heating on in the autumn. For advice on how to vent your radiators please see our Venting Procedure technical data sheet (pdf).
If air continues to collect in your radiators (which can sound like trickling water), this is an indication that something is wrong with your system. Arrange for your central heating system to be checked by a qualified plumber.
Dual fuel towel radiators (also known as towel radiators with supplementary electric heaters) are a great way to ensure you have warm, dry towels when the central heating is turned off in the summer. However, before turning the central heating back on, you must ensure to turn off the electric heater, otherwise the radiator will overheat and the electric heating element will fuse. There is no danger in this but replacing it will take time and money.
The surface of the radiators should be cleaned using warm water and a damp cloth. Abrasive and spray cleaners – such as those intended for cleaning sanitary ware, tiles and counter tops – should never be used as they can have a very damaging effect on the finish of radiators and valves. Marks on chrome and stainless steel towel radiator should be polished out with a microfibre cloth.
TRVs sometimes stop working if they are left in the closed position (i.e. position 1 or lower) when the central heating is turned off over the warmer months. To prevent 'sticking', leave all TRVs fully open (i.e. position 5) in the summer when the central heating is not being used.