The average homeowner doesn’t necessarily need to know what’s going on beneath the surface of a central heating system, but they do need to regularly maintain their boiler to help ensure that it is efficient enough to heat their household in a suitable and cost-effective manner.
Annual services could help you keep on top of your boiler’s health and potentially prevent big problems from occurring in the future. Small faults are common in many boilers, which is why our engineers know what to look out for when it comes to servicing and repairs.
Here are the most common problems we see on a daily basis:
1. No heat or hot water
You may experience a lack of heat or hot water due to valve failure, airlocks, a faulty thermostat or low water levels. You could perform a few simple checks to identify the problem.
Check the pilot light in a gas boiler to see that it is burning blue or check the thermostat on an electric boiler to see that it is set correctly. It can often be something simple that’s holding your boiler back from delivering the heating and hot-water you need.
2. Leaking and dripping
Whether it’s a loose connection, high water pressure or a faulty part, there are several problems that could cause your boiler to leak.
This is an issue that should be rectified as quickly as possible by a Gas Safe-registered engineer, as in some cases, it could mean that your boiler is corroding inside. This is could be particularly serious in electric boilers, as these could short circuit if a leak occurs in the wrong place.
Contact us to book an appointment with one of our experts, we’ll aim to address the issue as soon as possible.
3. Whistling and banging noises
Boiler “kettling” is when limescale builds up in the system’s heat exchanger and causes strange noises like whistling, gurgling and banging to occur. This problem could also be attributed to low water pressure or pump failure, which means that the central heating system won’t be receiving enough water through its pipes to heat your home – a boiler losing pressure is a boiler losing its primary function, so this should be rectified quickly.
4. Pilot light goes out
A broken thermocouple, which is a device that responds to the temperature inside the boiler, could be the cause of a pilot light going out. Our Gas Safe-registered engineers could replace the faulty component for you if this is the case.
The pilot light can also be blown out due to damaged seals or a deposit build-up in the system, which again could be fixed by one of our experts by conducting a system Powerflush. An engineer could also look at the flue, as this in some cases allows a draft to blow out the flame.
5. Losing pressure
Common reasons for a loss of pressure include a damaged pressure relief valve or a leak somewhere within your central heating system.
This could cause your boiler to lose its efficiency and, indeed, its ability to heat your home altogether. A common hint of this issue is the pressure gauge fluctuating above and below the 1 bar mark, so that is the first thing you should check.
6. Frozen condensate pipe
If the weather has been particularly cold and your boiler is displaying a fault code, you could try resetting it. If it remains unresponsive, it’s possible that your condensate pipe has frozen.
It could be fixed by simply applying warm (not boiling) water to the pipe from the kettle, but if it isn’t fixed by this method, contact us for assistance.
7. Radiators not getting hot
Radiators can stop working for a number of reasons and are often the most common sign of a faulty boiler. It may be that there is excess air inside your radiators – which could be fixed by a process called "radiator bleeding."
If this doesn’t solve the problem, you may have a broken pump or a blockage (sludge) in your pipes that is preventing hot water from circulating around the system.
Draining and refilling the system after a flushing could restore the functionality of your radiators, but it is advised to seek the help of professionals if you think this might be necessary.
8. Boiler keeps switching itself off
This common problem could be down to low water pressure, a problem with the thermostat, frozen condensate pipes or an issue with the supply of gas, water, electricity or oil. It could also be due to air in the system or a faulty pump, so replacement parts may be necessary.
Take a look at the thermostat and electricity supply to other appliances before taking any action. We recommend contacting a qualified engineer for help.
9. Heating not coming on or turning off at the scheduled time
Something as simple as the clocks going forwards or backwards could be behind a thermostat that appears to be faulty. Whether it is old, broken or just out of sync, try resetting the thermostat by turning off the boiler and restarting your central heating system.
If you require further help, our qualified engineers are on-hand to help, wherever you are. We also supply and install a range of thermostats, so rest assured that we could provide you with a suitable solution if your current device has completely ceased to work.
It is crucial to remember that you should only perform checks on your boiler that are simple with minimum risk. Do not attempt to fix the issue yourself as this could be extremely dangerous.
All of our engineers are Gas Safe-registered and fully qualified to diagnose and fix your central heating problems, so whether you know what the problem is or not, you can book an appointment with a local expert to diagnose the issue and get your heating back up and running effectively again.