Boiler problems are never good news. They can impact on the temperature of your home and your hot water supply. While you may be able to cope with a malfunctioning boiler for a short time in warm weather, you should always aim to fix your boiler as soon as possible.
If you’re experiencing boiler problems it’s always a good idea to call a registered engineer. They will be able to fix any problems competently and safely and can also give you expert advice.
However, if you’re having certain boiler problems there are things you can do to help solve them.
Having a look yourself could mean that you’ll fix the problem and won’t have to call out an engineer. Or you could diagnose the problem and reduce the length of time an engineer spends helping you and how much you may have to pay them. At worst you’ll be aware that there’s a problem and will know to call a professional as soon as possible.
To help you work out if you have boiler problems and get them sorted, we’ve come up with 7 common boiler problems and how to fix them.
1. Your boiler keeps turning off
If your boiler keeps turning off there could be several reasons why. You might have low water pressure, thermostat problems or a frozen condensate pipe. Or you might have a faulty pump or air in the system.
To solve this problem you could try bleeding your radiators to remove any air in your heating system. Or if it’s very cold weather, try pouring hot water over the outside part of your condensate pipe to thaw any frozen areas. If you think your water pressure’s unusually low, phone your supplier to check if there is any local maintenance work going on.
2. The thermostat isn’t working properly
If your thermostat isn’t working properly, it may be that it’s old or faulty. Or your power supply might not be on or your clock or timer settings could be wrong.
Before you assume that your thermostat’s broken, try checking that your power supply is on and working. You should also have a look at your thermostat clock and timer settings to check they haven’t been disrupted by a clock change or power cut.
3. Your boiler keeps losing pressure
If you have a pressurised system, you might notice that it keeps losing pressure. This could be because you have a water leak or there’s a problem with the expansion vessel.
Have a look at your boiler manual and see if there are instructions on re-pressurising it. If there are and you feel confident enough, try repressurising it yourself.
4. The pilot light keeps going out
If your boiler’s pilot light keeps going out, it’s probably because it has a faulty thermocouple or damaged seals.
If you have a problem with your pilot light there is little you can safely do yourself. The best thing to do is to call in a professional to have a look.
5. Your boiler’s leaking or dripping
There are lots of reasons why your boiler could be leaking or dripping. It may be that your boiler has broken parts or loose internal connections.
This is also a problem that is hard to solve yourself. In this case, you should also ask a boiler engineer to take a look.
6. Your boiler or central heating is noisy
A noisy boiler is usually caused by ‘kettling’. This is when limescale builds up in the heat exchanger. Whistling, banging and gurgling pipes are often caused by a build-up of limescale or air in the system.
To solve these issues, try bleeding your radiators. This can remove limescale and air from your system. You may also need to ask an engineer to power flush your pipes.
7. Your radiators aren’t working properly
If your radiators are hot at the bottom and cold at the top, this is a sign that the hot water in them is not being circulated properly. This may be due to rust in the pipes, an issue with the pump or a build-up of air in the system.
The first thing you should do is bleed your radiators. This will help to remove any air in the system. If this doesn’t work, you may need an engineer to power flush the system for you.
So if you have boiler problems there are several things you can do to help solve them. Having a look at your boiler when you notice any issues could help diagnose and potentially fix it. Remember, if you come across anything you’re not sure about, or anything you try doesn’t work, call in a registered boiler engineer. They will have the experience and skills to help you.
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