As we approach the cold winter months, having a properly working boiler and heating system is vital for all homes. Ensuring that you are on top of any issues and repairs is a great start to make sure that you have a warm home in winter. There are lots of common issues when it comes to boilers, which in turn means there are lots of common boiler repair techniques. We are going to take a look through some of these problems and repairs and advise whether or not these may be fixes you can carry out yourself, or if you need a gas safe engineer to help resolve your problems. However, it is important to remember not to attempt any repairs unless you are 100% confident that you are doing so safely. Boilers can be very dangerous if not repaired correctly, and it’s not worth the danger to save yourself some money – always refer to the manual and contact a gas safe engineer before you attempt anything, to make sure that you are safe.
If you have a leak in your boiler, this is certainly going to be an issue that needs fixing as soon as possible. You can take the time to attempt to locate the leak yourself, but you should not attempt to fix it yourself, call an engineer. If you are attempting to find the leak, stop the water supply and turn off the central heating, to minimise any risk of injuring yourself.
A leak will often be caused by a broken internal part, such as a pressure valve or a pump seal. But there are other causes, for example, the boiler pressure being too high can cause a leak in the pressure valve.
If you cannot locate the leak, then you can rest assured that the engineer that you call out will have no problem finding and fixing the leak and will keep your house properly heated by amending the problem safely.
Frozen condensate pipe
This issue is not an issue within your actual boiler, however, if this problem occurs, it will likely cause your boiler to cease up, so it is important to keep this in mind. The condensate pipe is used to take acidic water away from the boiler and down a drain safely, as the boiler operates. Generally, this pipe will be on the outside of your home, and it contains liquid, meaning it is prone to freezing.
One easy way to try and resolve this issue will be to pour some warm (but not boiling) water on the pipe in an attempt to unfreeze the pipes. A tip to avoid this happening in the first place is to make sure that you insulate the pipe, minimising the risk of freezing.
Hot water working but central heating isn’t
Your boiler should be successfully providing you with both hot water and central heating, to keep you warm in the winter months. If your boiler is providing you with hot water but you appear to be having issues with your central heating – there could be multiple reasons why.
Initially, it would be wise to check your thermostat settings. If you have a thermostat then you will likely have settings that tell your central heating how hot to be and what time to turn on. If you are having issues then check that your thermostat settings haven’t been changed by mistake and amend them if so.
Another fairly simple reason for this problem is that your boiler pressure is too low. This describes the pressure of the hot water running round the boiler, and if it is too low it can cause issues for your central heating. It is possible to fix your boiler pressure without an engineer, however, if you are slightly unsure then you should not hesitate to ask for help from a professional. It is not worth taking the risk of doing any more damage to your boiler, or yourself.
There are of course more complex issues that can be at hand if you have hot water but no central heating. The common components that can need replacing when this issue has happened are:
- Diaphragms and airlocks
- Motorised valves
- Diverter valves
Unless you are an engineer yourself, then these issues will likely need to be diagnosed by a professional, to help you solve the problem. Just the same as with our other points, if in doubt, always call a gas safe engineer to make sure that you are being as safe as possible. If a boiler is faulty and broken they can release dangerous gasses that can harm you and your family. Don’t take any chances.
So now you should be able to understand some of the common problems that you may face when it comes to your boiler and whether or not there is a quick fix that you can carry out.