Cold com­fort

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin: - TIM CHARL­TON, via email

I have a weird prob­lem. My boat has a Ford en­gine and an Alde cen­tral heat­ing boiler feed­ing a twin coil calori­fier, but nei­ther heats the wa­ter.

Both sup­plies ap­pear to be flow­ing cor­rectly and both sides of the calori­fier coils are hot, but I only get cold wa­ter out of the sys­tem. The only odd thing is that I had to fit a non-re­turn valve be­cause it was back-heat­ing to the cold tank at first. Could it be a weird air lock? TONY REPLIES... This makes no sense – are you sure you are wait­ing at least an hour from cold be­fore try­ing to draw off hot do­mes­tic wa­ter?

Ini­tially, the pipes go­ing in from the Alde or en­gine should be cold and then get hot as the en­gine/boiler heats up. At that stage, the re­turn pipe for which­ever is pro­duc­ing the heat should be cooler than the in­let be­cause the do­mes­tic wa­ter has drawn heat from the rel­e­vant coil. When the calori­fier is up to tem­per­a­ture, both pipes should be hot or very hot.

I won­der whether you have a hor­i­zon­tal calori­fier that is not ori­en­tated cor­rectly so the hot do­mes­tic out­let union is not at the top. Also, do you have a ther­mo­static mix­ing valve to the do­mes­tic out­let that is ei­ther mal­func­tion­ing or in­cor­rectly con­nected, some calori­fiers have one as stan­dard?

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