Whether you’re living in a brand new house or have been in yours for years, it’s always concerning if your boiler starts to give you problems. When this happens, your first reaction might be to call in the professionals. But, there are actually many common boiler problems that can be fixed quickly, with no need for expert help.
Before you contact a boiler repair company, it’s a good idea to run through some of the most frequent boiler problems that can affect boilers. Make sure that your boiler isn’t struggling with something that may have an easy fix, from power and gas supply problems to an issue with the thermostat.
Take a look at the following top 10 things to check before calling in a boiler company. You never know, you could soon have your heating system back in full working order, and you’ll have saved yourself plenty of time and money in the process!
This might seem like an obvious thing to consider, but sometimes a boiler shutdown can cause you to panic. And, in that panic, it’s easy to forget about one of the most common problems we see.
Power supply issues can quickly stop a boiler working. So, before you do anything else, check whether there’s a problem with your power. Take a look at your fuse box or main circuit breaker to see whether you can spot any problems, and you’ll soon see whether the power supply to your boiler might have been affected.
Check that lights and plug sockets in your home are all working, and that there are no obvious issues affecting your electricityity. If there are, resolve these first and see whether your boiler problems have also been solved.
A gas supply issue can spell trouble for your boiler, so it may not necessarily be the unit itself that’s at fault. Before you pick up the phone to a boiler engineer, check your gas supply. To do so, you’ll need to check whether or not your emergency control valve is open, which is located at the meter. If it’s closed, open the valve to get gas running through your boiler again.
If you have any other gas appliances on your property, it is well worth checking if these are operational. If you’ve examined these but still think gas isn’t flowing to your boiler, your first point of contact should be your gas supply company. Give the team a call, and explain the problem. They will then be able to advise you of any known faults or supply interruptions in the area.
Another common issue that gets forgotten about all too often is the timer. If you’ve set your timer and you think your boiler should be on, double check that the timer has been set correctly and any recent clock changes aren’t causing the problem.
Try adjusting the timer to see whether you can restart your unit. If you can’t change the timer settings, this could be at the root of the issue. There may be an error affecting the timer. Alternatively, issues with your power supply could be stopping your timer settings from controlling the boiler as they should.
Your thermostat is another important component in your heating system. Any issues affecting it can quickly spell trouble for the boiler itself. To establish whether or not your thermostat could be stopping the boiler from working, we always recommend you start by adjusting the settings. Then, wait to see whether the boiler will spring back into life.
Sometimes, older thermostats lose their accuracy, and don’t work as efficiently as they once did. When this happens, boilers can stop working due to a lack of information about the temperature of the rooms they are designed to heat. If you suspect that your thermostat isn’t providing the right level of control for your heating system, you might need to replace it.
When in doubt, turn your boiler off and on again. This is another very simple fix, but it’s hugely effective when some of the most common issues bring your boiler to a grinding halt.
Your boiler should have a fairly prominent reset button, so it’s just a case of pressing this to see whether or not your unit starts working again. Boilers will usually need to be reset if a safety device within the unit has caused the boiler to shut down.
Don’t be afraid to hit that reset button if your boiler has stopped working and you’re not sure what the cause could be. You’d be surprised how often this resolves the problem.
It’s easy to check the pressure of your boiler. This simple gauge gives a clear indication of a whole host of boiler-related issues.
The pressure gauge is located at the front of most modern boilers. It’s designed to be easy to read and fairly self-explanatory, so you shouldn’t have any trouble checking whether or not your boiler pressure is too high or too low.
If pressure isn’t within the recommended zone, it’s possible that the boiler’s safety devices have shut down the unit automatically. Many pressure-related problems can be fixed without professional help, but if you’re unsure, call in a qualified engineer for advice.
If it’s freezing cold outside and your central heating has just stopped working, the condensate pipe could be your culprit. Condensate pipes can easily become blocked or frozen in very cold winters, and this will stop a boiler working very quickly.
If the condensate pipe has frozen, you’ll notice a few telltale signs. You might hear a bubbling sound coming from the unit or the pipe, and you’ll also likely see an error message being displayed on the boiler itself. This will usually be a code, so check the code against your manufacturer’s instructions to find out what it means.
If the condensate pipe is proven to be the problem, then the blockage will need to be cleared before the boiler can be restarted. This can be done by pouring boiler water on the exposed external condense pipework which may be frozen and thaw the ice plug.
Sometimes, central heating systems stop running properly as a result of radiator valves, rather than the boiler unit. So, it’s a good idea to check the settings of all radiator valves in your property as part of your troubleshooting process. See if you can detect any issues with the valves, by adjusting the settings and checking whether or not your radiators then start to heat up.
If you’re unable to adjust the valves, or adjusting the valves doesn’t change the temperature of the radiators, then you might find that the vales need to be replaced. In cases like these, it’s best to enlist the help of an engineer who will be able to check the valves and make any necessary replacements.
Boiler repairs and replacements can be enormously expensive, so make sure you check your warranty documents as soon as you face a problem with your boiler. If you’re in luck, you may well find that the unit is still within warranty. This means that your manufacturer will be responsible for financing any required work.
You’ll usually need to contact the manufacturer to report the problem before you start any repair work to ensure that warranty documents will cover the cost of the work. Do this and your manufacturer will be able to offer you detailed advice on how best to go about fixing the problem, whether the unit needs a simple repair or a total replacement.
Final Thoughts on Fixing Your Own Boiler Problems
Before you call in the experts, make sure you’ve checked your boiler for signs of these common problems. In most cases, these issues are quick and easy to fix, so you won’t need the help of a qualified engineer at all. If these checks all seem fine and leave you none the wiser as to what the cause of your boiler problems could be, then it’s time to contact an engineer. A qualified gas-safe engineer will be able to assist you further, pinpointing the cause of the problem and advising you on what needs to be done to fix it.
This article was written by JustBoilers.com, a London-based company, which offers a comprehensive range of services from boiler installation and repairs, to landlord gas safety certificates and swimming pool boiler services and installations.
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