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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:44 pm 
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Hi all,
we recently bought what I thought was my dream house but it's quickly turning into a nightmare. Please bear with me,

Wilcon 4 bed detached house, built around 1996 with 10mm microbore pipes.
The boiler is a 40kw Baxi Duo-tec Combi and the pump is new.
we have 11 radiators in total, 4 of which don't work at all, 2 barely.

I called a plumber/heating engineer out to check the system. He replaced the expansion vessel on the boiler (it was constantly losing pressure), serviced the boiler and then spent the next 3 hours balancing the system, checking and bleeding radiators and even flushed the system at mains pressure. The water was barely coming through but at least it was clear. Later we discovered some old service records for the boiler. British Gas paperwork showed the previous owners had problems for years and had the system treated with chemicals and power-flushed twice.

Our plumber tells me we need a entire re-pipe costing £5-7K depending on the options.

After putting all my money into the house we simply cannot afford this.
I need to try and find the blockage but my pipes are mostly hidden with the walls.

I have attached a picture showing my floorplan, the green lines are radiators that a red hot, the yellow are the two that get warm but never hot and all the red ones are stone cold, even flow/return pipes are cold. Note the one in the dining room is hot but it looks like it's had a separate flow connected to it to bypass the problem, it's using the original return though. The white box in the gararge is the location of the boiler.

The plumber suggested it may be in the manifold but I'm not really sure what or where this is, can anybody make any suggestions as to how I can locate the blockage?
Thank you in advance for any help


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:36 pm 
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just saying, if it was as easy as asking on a forum where the blockage is / maybe, then your plumber would have fixed it.

There is only 1 way to find it, (its not cheap) and that is to buy an infra red camera and look at every pipe to see where it is not as hot as it could be. But in reality you can't do that as the pipes are in the walls :sad10: , if it is as bad as you say (I do not dis believe you) then it could be it has been like it since day 2.

I also sympathise with you, but I also would like to say that suppose you are lucky and find 1 problem, how do you know there are not more?
I was in a situation like you (But it wasn't heating) I spent a small fortune on "making it right, because i must" and in the end I had to admit defeat, give up and change everything, so in the long run it would have been cheaper to change everything in the first place, as I would not have spent money trying to fix something that was beyond repair (But I didn't want to admit that)

I really wish you luck.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:48 am 
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I had a similar problem on a Wilcon house a few year back and I believe it was the manifold blocked. As to whether Wilcon specified this type of installation all over the country, I do not know.

The manifold will be under the floor boards upstairs somewhere and once found can be cut out and replaced.

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For this message the author gas4you has received gratitude : Ryles
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:26 pm 
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gas4you wrote:
I had a similar problem on a Wilcon house a few year back and I believe it was the manifold blocked. As to whether Wilcon specified this type of installation all over the country, I do not know.

The manifold will be under the floor boards upstairs somewhere and once found can be cut out and replaced.


thanks, I managed to find a manifold under the airing cupboard but all the pipes seem red hot. I'm just confused as to where the pipe goes that's feeding the red hot hall radiator, you'd think it would then feed the lounge radiator. Do you think all the 22mm runs the length of the house upstairs and then just tees off to 8/10mm? I take it you wouldn't normally have manifolds downstairs?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:12 pm 
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Ryles wrote:
gas4you wrote:
I had a similar problem on a Wilcon house a few year back and I believe it was the manifold blocked. As to whether Wilcon specified this type of installation all over the country, I do not know.

The manifold will be under the floor boards upstairs somewhere and once found can be cut out and replaced.


thanks, I managed to find a manifold under the airing cupboard but all the pipes seem red hot. I'm just confused as to where the pipe goes that's feeding the red hot hall radiator, you'd think it would then feed the lounge radiator. Do you think all the 22mm runs the length of the house upstairs and then just tees off to 8/10mm? I take it you wouldn't normally have manifolds downstairs?

Yes, have a good look, you could well have another manifold downstairs fed off the 22mm pipe runs.
My daughter has a micro bore system and has a manifold downstairs and one upstairs which I've yet to find. :-)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:03 am 
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Normally there are two manifolds, one for the flow and one for the return.

The modern way these days is to run 22mm the drop to each rad in 10mm, well on new build at least.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:22 am 
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My Daughter has one similar to this downstairs in her house and I think one upstairs somewhere.
Flow one end return the other and blanked off in the middle.
I think it's an old Yorkshire type manifold.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:24 pm 
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Ryles wrote:
we have 11 radiators in total, 4 of which don't work at all, 2 barely.

Check each rad, one at a time, to see how hot it gets. To do this you need to turn off all rads, except the one you are testing.

If a rad is no hotter than when all rads are on, the pipe to the rad is blocked. But if the rad is much hotter, the problem is caused by incorrect balancing.

A 40kW boiler seems excessively large - unless you have a cold water flow rate of about 16 litres/sec. Also, when in CH mode the boiler can only modulate down to 9 kW, which is not much less than the total output of your rads. So the boiler will spend most of it's life switching on and off, which is not an efficient way of working.


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