We take our central heating boilers for granted as long as we have warm radiators and hot water comes out of the tap. But when they go wrong, it’s a different matter.
Having your boiler serviced annually can help ensure it remains reliable and doesn’t cause you problems. But there are still some common faults that many householders encounter. The good news is that some are things you can fix yourself.
1 Under pressure
Modern combi boilers use a pressurised system and if the pressure drops too low, they simply stop working. Check the gauge on the front of the boiler, if it’s below 0.7 bar – or has dropped out of the green zone on the dial – then you need to top it up. This is usually a simple matter of turning a valve, but check the instructions if you’re not sure.
Another common issue in the winter months is a frozen condensate pipe. Often these run outside the house to an external drain. If the pipe freezes, condensate can’t escape and the boiler stops. Try to locate the frozen spot by feeling the pipe, put an old towel over it and pour warm – not hot -water over the towel. This should free the blockage.
3 Drop the pilot
On older boilers, you may experience issues with the pilot light going out if it’s windy. These boilers are less efficient than modern ones. If it’s time to consider a new boiler installation Gloucestershire has plenty of firms, like https://redbridgeandsons.co.uk/heating-systems-gloucestershire/boiler-installation-gloucester/, who can help.
4 Let it bleed
If your radiators aren’t getting hot, or are only hot at the bottom, it may just be trapped air. You can sort this out by opening the bleed valve, listen to the air hissing out and close the valve when water appears – make sure you have a cloth for the drips.
5 Pump it up
Because it’s a mechanical component, the circulation pump is often one of the first parts of a heating system to fail. Early warning of this is that it will usually start to become noisier before it stops completely.
6 Art of noise
If your boiler is making odd noises, it could be for many reasons – a failing fan, maybe, or a build up of limescale. Time to call an engineer.