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Troubleshooting the most common boiler issues and faults: When should you call the experts?

Boiler issues are a common problem in the cold months.

If you’re experiencing boiler problems, read below to learn about common symptoms of faulty boilers and if you find that you need further assistance or a new boiler installation, then give us a call for more advice on how we can resolve your issue.

Boiler fault codes

Fault codes are a series of numbers that indicate the source of a problem with your boiler. They’re displayed on the unit’s control board when something goes wrong. For example, if there isn’t enough pressure in your system or water leaks into the heating circuit, you’ll see an error code when you press start-up again.

The first thing to do when you see a boiler fault code is to consult your boiler’s user manual to decipher what the code means. If you cannot find your manual, a quick Google search of the code and the boiler manufacturer’s name and model should bring up the information you need.
Read on to find out about some of the most common issues and their solutions.

Low pressure

If your boiler indicates that it has low pressure, most of the time, it is not a significant issue. It is very common that when a boiler has been mostly idle for a few months, for example, during the summer, pressure in your boiler can naturally drop, and your boiler will need repressurising. Often, this can be done by you as it only involves turning a couple of valves. Many video tutorials are available to show you how to do this, but if you are unsure, you should call an engineer.

Bleeding your radiators can also cause low pressure. People bleed their radiators to remove air pockets which cause radiators to heat inefficiently, which subsequently causes the pressure to drop; in this case, the system will need re-pressurising.

Another reason for low pressure could be a leak somewhere in the system. Look for leaks by listening for hissing sounds and looking for wet spots around your boiler and radiators. If you have a leak, you will need an engineer to fix it.

Lack of hot water or heating

If you have no hot water or heating, and your boiler pressure is correct, it could be caused by a poorly programmed or faulty thermostat. Firstly, check the timer on your thermostat – it might be set to turn on at certain times; if this is the case, refer to your manual to reset it to more convenient times. Secondly, to check if your thermostat is working, turn it right up – you should hear your boiler kick in a few seconds later – if it doesn’t, it could be an issue with your thermostat.

Hot water isn’t hot enough

If your boiler is producing hot water, but it isn’t hot enough, check the water flow temperature on your boiler control panel. If the flow temperature is set too low, your boiler won’t be producing hot enough water – in the summer, the boiler requires a lower temperature setting to produce hot water than in the winter due to the differing temperatures outside, affecting the temperature of the water supply.

If you find that it is set to a high temperature already, around 60-70°C, you likely have other issues, such as limescale, valve or sensor problems, that will need to be addressed by an engineer.

Loud noises coming from your boiler

If your boiler is making strange noises, this could be caused by an obstruction in one of the pipes or the ventilation system. In more serious cases, such as a clanging noise that lasts for several days, this may suggest there’s something wrong with the heat exchanger (the part where hot water passes through). In all cases, you should call an engineer to investigate.

Boiler keeps switching off

Most boilers have safety features that prevent the boiler from running if there are any dangerous issues. If your boiler keeps switching itself off, it is likely this safety switch kicking in. If this happens, your boiler might have a major fault, and you should call an engineer.

Strange smells

If your boiler has a strange smell, it could be a gas leak and an emergency. Immediately get some fresh air, ventilate your property by opening windows, turn off the gas emergency control valve and follow these instructions from the Gas Safe Register.

How to avoid boiler issues

Sometimes, it’s just not worth trying to fix the problem yourself. If you’re unsure at all, contact a professional who knows what they’re doing rather than risk causing more damage.

We recommend getting your boiler serviced annually to avoid any long-term issues with your gas boiler and ensure it runs safely. We offer service plans with payment spread across the year. To find out more, visit our servicing page.

If your boiler is over 12 years old, you should consider a replacement.

We have a range of boilers to suit every home and budget. With up to 12 years of warranty, you can be sure that any boiler we install will last for many years to come. If you’re looking for a replacement boiler, we can provide a range of options to suit every budget and home with a range of payment options, including interest-free credit and low monthly payments.

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