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Blowing up the Central Heating


Established Member
Yes - this is gonna be another "plumbing / central heating" thread, but as we usually ramp up the dial on the thermostat at this time of year, I suppose this is when we notice the problems.

Well heres mine.

We have a Potterton Combi Central heating thingy where its all behind the fire place. (Thats as technical as its gonna get).

Well,the problem started a number of weeks ago. We tried to turn the heating on. We could hear the ignitor click behind the fire and after about 20 clicks, a red light appeared on the side of the fire and thats it. I looked in the book - not very informative. All it said was that the red light was an indication that the system had "locked up", so you need to press the little reset button. Did that and it again attempted to light but after another 20 clicks, the red light came on again.

This was really starting to worry me when it first happened as I imagined a massive repair bill. However I decided to do a bit of cleaning and removed the actual fire (resprayed the fake coals and generally cleaned it up) and then got the long nossle of my cleaner and cleaned up behind the fire. Im not stupid enough to mess about with anything behind the fire so didnt undo any fixings like, say an engineer would, to service it. I just cleaned the parts I could see.

Anyway, I know Im going on a bit, but there is a reason....

After the little clean up and I had put the fire and coals back in place, I stood back (about 20 feet) and flicked on the heating.......and....it worked!!!!

The ignitor thingy clicked a couple of times and then lit up. Woo hoo..... no expensive repair bills!!

However, the next day, the wife switches the heating on and it clicks for about 20 times and then the dreaded red light appears.

Bugger, I thought. But remembering that after a clean up, it seemed to work, I bent down and looked under the fire, where you can see the ignitor and other gubbins at the back. I pressed the reset button and just gave it a quick short blow to get rid of any dust, and it worked!!! ????

So since then, we will regulary blow under the fire at the ignitor when the red light appears to get the heating to come on.

We dont need to do this every time, just every now and again.

This is whats causing me the confusion? I gave the whole area another clean with the vacuum as I thought maybe I had dislodged some fluff or something, so the whole area is as clean as a whistle. Yet we still have to blow on it at least once a day to get it to work.

Any ideas? I will have to get an engineer in, me thinks now, as we cant keep doing this, but I thought, if I could ask any of you guys, maybe womeones had a similar experience or knows what the problem could be. I would then be able to give this info to the engineer and save him some time and me some money.



Distinguished Member
Last night our heating stopped working:mad: Had the plumber out, apparently the fan had stopped working, the barings had ceased. He got it going eventually and put loads of grease all over but says it could go again anytime. £147+vat plus fitting if the fan goes.:thumbsdow

What is annoying is that we had the same problem this time 2 years ago and had a brand new fan fitted so it's only been working for 2 winters.


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