When your boiler starts acting up, it’s not fun at all. And it always seems to come out of the blues; one day it’s working perfectly, and the next day, no heating. If this has ever happened to you at night, you probably understand the frustration of boiler breakdown. And that’s before you start thinking about what it will cost to fix it.
To prevent all this, it pays to be familiar with your boiler. You need to recognize the warning signs and basics so can tell an engineer when something goes wrong. Here are the seven common boiler issues and how to address them.
7 Common Boiler Issues and How to Address Them
1. No Water or No Heating
Assuming that you’ve confirmed that the central timer is set to ‘on’ and yet nothing happens, there may be several reasons. These could range from low water levels, broken airlocks and failed motorized valves. You will need to contact your heating engineer to fix this.
2. Patchy Radiators
Have you noticed your radiator to be hot at the bottom but cold at the top? The cause could be trapped air which can be released by bleeding the radiator. Visit your nearest hardware store for a radiator bleed key. If this fails, you may need to clear the pipes with a power flush – a professional’s job.
3. Low Pressure
If the system leaks water, the boiler’s pressure may drop and hamper its operation. However, that’s not the only explanation. There could be another cause that requires the attention of a heating and plumbing professional.
4. Water Leak
If you come across a wet patch below your boiler, chances are the boiler is leaking. However, if you notice the patch elsewhere in the house such as the ceiling or floor, it could be coming from the pipework. You’ll need to locate it before fixing it.
5. Thermostat Problems
Thermostats do deteriorate with time and so, if yours misbehaves in any way, you should think of an upgrade. If the problem emanates from a malfunctioning thermostat, the battery could be the cause. Charge them to see if the issue will resolve. If it doesn’t, call your engineer.
6. Frozen Pipes
This happens mostly in winter where pipes freeze when water inside them condensates and then freezes. It results in a boiler blockage which ends up shutting it down. The immediate fix here is to defrost the pipe and reset the boiler. However, you should consult a heating engineer for a lasting solution. Otherwise, this issue will recur every winter.
7. Pilot Light Gone Out
If you can’t see a flame, the causes could be several. One of the causes could be a draft that may have blown it out. The other possible culprit may be a deposit build-up within the pilot light. Try to clean out this area carefully. The third cause could be a faulty thermocouple that needs replacement.
By following these guidelines, you will know the issues you can fix and those that require professional help.