One day your gas boiler is working; the next it’s not and you need to fork out for a brand new boiler, which will cost a pretty penny, to say the least.
It might all feel unexpected, but the chances are the boiler was already trying to warn you beforehand that something just wasn’t right. Unless you’re familiar with how boilers work, of course, it’s easy to miss the signs, especially when you don’t know them.
If you have a gas boiler and experience any of the six issues below, you should call an engineer because you may just need a boiler repair:
1. The pilot light keeps going out
The pilot light is the ignition source in the boiler. If this is not on, then the boiler can’t turn on its burners. The light should always be blue. If it turns yellow, you should contact a gas engineer immediately, since it could be a sign of carbon monoxide.
2. The radiators have become noisy
Central heating systems tend to make a bit of a noise anyway, but you should pay close attention to any changes in the types of sounds it’s making. If you hear a tapping sound in the pipes, there may be general debris starting to build up in the radiators; however, if sounds of vibration, humming or banging come from the radiators, there’s a problem with either your boiler or your central heating and you should contact an engineer to check them out.
3. The boiler leaks
If your boiler is leaking water, it’s possible that a valve, seal or other internal component of the boiler, is broken. Your boiler should never leak water. If it is, you need to call a gas engineer as soon as possible because if you leave it unchecked, the leak could cause structural damage or, at the least, an electrical short circuit. In the meantime, switch the boiler off until the engineer can check it for you.
4. The boiler smells funny
If the boiler emits a sulphurous, egg-like smell when it’s on, it’s likely you have a gas leak. This could be dangerous, so you should turn your boiler off and contact a gas engineer straight away. In fact, you may even need to replace your boiler. Listen carefully to the engineer and what they recommend.
5. Smoke or soot is coming from your boiler
It’s normal for there to be small soot stains around the boiler, but if there’s a lot of soot coming from the boiler, this is a sign that there are bigger issues. The large amounts of soot may be blocking heat transfer, which will push the boiler to work harder. In turn, this can ramp up your energy bills. If your boiler is emitting lots of soot or emitting smoke, contact an engineer.
6. The boiler is generally inefficient
Does the heating not warm your home as much as before, or as quickly as it used to? You might notice this especially in winter. There may be an air-pressure problem and you may just need to bleed your radiators to solve it. Do you find yourself constantly adjusting the boiler pressure? Perhaps the hot water takes too long to heat up? There could be a blockage in your system that’s causing your boiler not to fire on all cylinders. Failing that, the boiler might be simply starting to give up the ghost.
Keep your eye open for these issues and if you spot any of them happening to your boiler, contact an engineer and book a gas boiler service sooner rather than later. You can maintain your boiler by having it cleaned and serviced regularly. Acting on these tell-tale signs can help stop you from having to replace it for longer.
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