Common Boiler Problems

Posted on October 24, 2016 in  | Tags:

As we enter the cold months of winter, the last thing you want is for your boiler to start acting up. Boiler failure can throw a household into complete chaos and, for many; it always seems to happen unexpectedly and at the most inconvenient time.

Your boiler may not have been so active earlier in the year and is suddenly thrown into action at full throttle as the cold weather kicks in, thus causing problems. The key is to try to identify these issues as soon as they arise before a serious boiler failure occurs.

To help minimise the potential stress of boiler issues in your home this winter, we’ve developed a quick guide to the key signs you should look out for. If you notice any of these signs, then perhaps it's time to have your boiler either repaired or replaced. 

No heating or hot water

There can be a number of potential reasons why this problem can occur. From broken diaphragms and airlocks to valve failure and thermostat issues. These problems can be hard to identify.

If you’ve switched the boiler on but the radiators and water tank aren’t heating, you need to call out a registered engineer to identify the exact cause of the issue and to source a replacement (as is often necessary) straight away.

Boiler leaking or dripping

If your boiler, pipes or tank is leaking water, never try to fix it yourself as it can present a potentially dangerous situation. The cause of the issue depends on where exactly the leak is coming from. Therefore, only a specialist engineer with full knowledge of the internal and external components of a boiler system will be able to quickly identify the root cause.

The cause of a leak can often be broken internal components but incorrect fitting or corrosion can also be contributing factors. Either way, a leak always constitutes a call out and servicing from a registered gas boiler engineer.

Strange noises

If you start to hear whistling, gurgling or banging noises from your boiler, it’s likely that there is air in the system. This is often caused by low water pressure or the pumps nearing the end of their lifespan.  You can tell what the problem is by the sound you’re hearing:

  • A gurgling sound in your radiators usually indicates trapped air.
  • A tapping sound in your pipes or radiators can indicate an issue with the thermostatic valve or a lime scale build up.
  • A knocking or banging sound in the pipes can occur if they are not fitted or positioned correctly.
  • A humming sound in the boiler usually represents an issue with the heating elements.

Pressure loss

If the boiler pressure drops too low, your heating system will not be able to function correctly. To identify a pressure loss issue, check the pressure gauge on the boiler.

If the reading is below 1, there is an issue. It is important to check for signs of any leaks and call a registered engineer if you spot one. If there are no signs of leaks, try re-pressurising the system if you know how to do so.

If you are in any way unsure of performing checks or fixes, always consult a professional.

Thermostat problems

Is your thermostat not functioning correctly or turning on and off? If so, it’s likely time for a replacement. Thermostats can malfunction and lose accuracy over time, so if you’re sure it’s set in the correct position but just isn’t working accurately, it’s time to get a new one.

We hope this guide helps to put your mind at ease and help you quickly identify potential issues with your boiler as they arise this winter. The quicker an issue is identified, the quicker it can be resolved.


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