This article will explain how to add heating inhibitor to your central heating system via the feed and expansion (F&E) tank that is usually found in the loft.
It’s actually a simple process, but many people get it wrong. A common mistake people make is to go up to their F&E tank and just pour the inhibitor straight in. This method does not get the inhibitor properly into the system, so follow the steps in this article to ensure you’re doing it right and having a positive impact on your heating system.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure your heating system and hot water are switched off. You will then need to take a hosepipe and find a drain-off for the heating system. The drain-off valve may be on a downstairs radiator or on the outside of your house. Put the hose on the drain-off and open it up with a valve key or an adjustable spanner. Go back up to your F&E tank and you should find that the ball valve has dropped and is allowing mains water into the system.
The next step is to stop the flow of water from going into the system. There are a couple of ways to do this. Some systems have a convenient valve on the pipe attached to the F&E tank, which means you can simply close the valve to stop the flow of water. However, many systems do not have this on/off valve, so you may need to locate your mains water ‘in’ valve and shut it off. Alternatively, you can find a wooden or metal stick, put it across the tank and tie the ball valve to it using a piece of string or a bungee. This will lift the ball valve, stopping the flow of water.
Once the flow of water has been stopped, wait for the tank to completely empty. After it has emptied, wait another few minutes, go downstairs and shut the drain-off valve (the one you had previously attached the hose pipe to). This is also a good opportunity to clean your empty F&E tank, as a build-up of dirt and sludge is fairly common if it hasn’t been cleaned for a long period of time.
When the F&E tank is clean and empty of water, you can now pour in your bottle of inhibitor, which is normally sufficient to protect ten radiators (add more if necessary). Inhibitor helps to prevent oxidation from occurring within your radiators, keeping them free of corrosion and rusting, which can cause a build-up of sludge in your rads.
After adding the inhibitor, you can turn the water back on and allow the flow of water back into the tank, allowing the system to fill up. This will get the inhibitor flowing into your central heating system properly. You then need to go around every radiator in your house venting any air out with your radiator key. Once all the air has been vented from all of the radiators, you can switch your central heating back on. It’s recommended over the next couple of days to go around each radiator again just to check if any more air has been trapped and needs venting out.
Watch a video on How To Add Inhibitor To Your System Via The Loft Tank.
Watch a video on How To Add Inhibitor To Your System Via A Heated Towel Rail.
Article by Benjamin Clarke