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Thread: Intergas RF36 losing pressure!!

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Intergas RF36 losing pressure!!

    Hello All,

    First post and looking for some advice before speaking to plumbers or pursuing warranty on boiler.
    Had the Integas RF36 installed 2yrs ago by their recommended installers and have never had any real confidence that the boiler was maintaining pressure as I've been topping it up regularly via the filling loop. But recently it has been almost daily since new radiators were installed back in November - but I've checked inside house and cellar and all connections are sound. This morning I ran the boiler for 30mins and tied a bag onto the pressure release pipe at the back of the house and as the picture shows quite a lot of water has escaped from the system. This must be the cause of the problem but I don't understand how this can happen on a new system and what the issue is. Any advice on how to approach this with Intergas and/or plumber would be welcome and any thoughts on how this could happen would be appreciated.
    Cheers
    Franco
    **in case pic doesn't show there's about 400ml of water!!

  2. #2
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    Doesn’t present as an Intergas specific problem — most likely a general boiler issue.

    First thing I’d check is how much the system pressure rises when all the radiators are fully hot.
    Difficult to give an exact pressure difference because system size and setup varies, but in general there should be no more than a one bar rise in pressure between cold and hot.

    As an example, my boiler (Intergas Xtreme 30) When every radiator is fully hot, the pressure only increases by about half a bar above its one point two bar cold pressure. But, it is not a big system. Just five large radiators and two towel rails.

    If there is too much of a pressure rise when hot, you might want to have the boiler’s expansion vessel checked. It could need pumping up or the vessel may have failed.

    The purpose of the expansion vessel is to absorb pressure increase caused by expansion of the water when the system is hot. If the vessel is not performing this function properly the boiler’s pressure relief valve may have to dump water to reduce pressure for safety reasons.

    Also, since you mention having extra radiators installed, it may also be that the built in expansion vessel in the boiler is no longer big enough to deal with the larger system.
    If that is the case a competent installer should have compensated for this at the time the extra radiators were added by fitting an additional external expansion vessel though.

    If the expansion vessel was not working properly and then you later added more radiators, that would give similar symptoms to those you describe.

    Expansion vessel(s) must be checked and if need be, pumped up at every annual service if the service is being properly done.

    Your boiler is pretty new and proper functioning of the expansion vessel should have been verified during boiler installation and again during its last annual service, but it is definitely still worth checking.

    There are other causes of your issue, but the expansion vessel would certainly be the first thing that I would eliminate as a cause before looking at anything else.

    Related: It’s good that you are looking into this. Every time the boiler needs to be topped up with mains water, the corrosion inhibitor in the system is further diluted. In addition, more oxygen is introduced into the system. Not good.

    Water quality is everything in a hydronic heating system. If corrosion is allowed to develop, lots of bad (and expensive) things happen. It’s all downhill from that point. One of the many things that can happen as a result of corrosion is a leaky pressure relief valve.

    Until this issue is resolved, you may want to add some inhibitor from time to time. It’s fairly cheap.
    In fact, if you have had to top up the system every day for some time now, you should probably add an entire bottle of inhibitor immediately.

    Good luck — it might well be a straightforward issue.

    Regarding your choice of an Intergas boiler, my experience of them is that they are of well above average quality. Excellent boilers, but like every boiler they need to be properly installed and serviced.
    Last edited by SteveFraser; 30th June 2021 at 03:39 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by franc0nelis View Post
    Hello All,

    First post and looking for some advice before speaking to plumbers or pursuing warranty on boiler.
    Had the Integas RF36 installed 2yrs ago by their recommended installers and have never had any real confidence that the boiler was maintaining pressure as I've been topping it up regularly via the filling loop. But recently it has been almost daily since new radiators were installed back in November - but I've checked inside house and cellar and all connections are sound. This morning I ran the boiler for 30mins and tied a bag onto the pressure release pipe at the back of the house and as the picture shows quite a lot of water has escaped from the system. This must be the cause of the problem but I don't understand how this can happen on a new system and what the issue is. Any advice on how to approach this with Intergas and/or plumber would be welcome and any thoughts on how this could happen would be appreciated.
    Cheers
    Franco
    **in case pic doesn't show there's about 400ml of water!!
    It could be a leak in the system that is not showing in the house, i.e. underfloor. A colleague recently had a new boiler fitted. The old one worked but not efficiently. The installer fired up the system but hot water kept coming on even though no tap was turned on. A leak in the hot water pipework somewhere but no external evidence of it at all. Obviously a tiny leak if not visible, but enough for the sensitivity of the boiler to trigger it. Not enough for the old boiler. Rather than try to find the leak he was able to install new hot water pipe work that remained neat and out of sight.

  4. #4
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    N.S. Sherlock says..............

    Its either (A) a faulty 'pressure release valve' or (B) a fault in the boiler causing over pressure which in turn causes the valve to dump the excess pressure.

    Soooooooo... top the boiler up to 1 bar and turn the heating on, now watch the pressure gauge.

    If the pressure gauge rises to about 2 'ish bar and the release valve is letting water out then (A) is true

    If the pressure gauge increases to 3 or more bar then there is a boiler fault (B) is true ... so switch the boiler off (cos there is a fault)

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    Thanks, G4RHL,
    That was my first thought after the new rads were installed and I chased the pipework underfloors in the cellar but found no leaks. Internally there was no water damage either. That led me to tie a bag onto the pressure release valve at the back of the house which had about a litre of water within about 30 mins of running the boiler - plumber agreed that was the cause of the pressure drop.
    Best,
    Franco

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    Good plan Dave will try this later today when the heating is on.
    If the pressure does climb to 3ish bar would that mean the pressure gauge in the boiler is at fault?
    I'll report my findings over the next couple of days.
    Thanks
    Franco

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    Quote Originally Posted by franc0nelis View Post
    Good plan Dave will try this later today when the heating is on.
    If the pressure does climb to 3ish bar would that mean the pressure gauge in the boiler is at fault?
    I'll report my findings over the next couple of days.
    Thanks
    Franco
    As the poster above said most likely an expansion vessel problem check pressure hot if>3bar then pressure relief valve is doing its job and lifting so issue is why is pressure going to >3bar and expansion vessel is most likely culprit

  8. #8
    Automated Home Lurker Dave_P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by franc0nelis View Post
    If the pressure does climb to 3ish bar would that mean the pressure gauge in the boiler is at fault?
    No

    I have every confidence that the gauge is fine and will help point you towards a good diagnoses.

    An interesting point arises though, as the issues are related to the 'water' does any work need to be carried out by a registered 'gas safe or whatever it is now' person (just asking for a friend)

  9. #9
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    It’s one of those “it depends” situations.
    Please see link below.

    However, even if an owner did decide it was prudent to call in a gas engineer to for example start by first checking / pumping up an expansion vessel, it might give the engineer some confidence that the owner has at least some clue.

    That would make it more likely that the job then gets done in the minimum time at the minimum cost….. 🤗

    https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/me...-factsheet.pdf
    Last edited by SteveFraser; 1st July 2021 at 03:58 AM.

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