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5 Common Boiler Problems You Need To Watch Out For

What are the common Boiler issues?

Well, there are many common problems with boilers, in this blog post, we are looking at 5 of the most common boiler issues you may encounter at home, and you should watch out for. The boiler and central heating system keep our home warm and cosy during the cold and freezing winter season. If a boiler stops working, it can cause a household much inconvenience, disturbs our life, and generates unnecessary stress. Unfortunately, they are more likely to fail after a long period where we haven’t been using them much over the summer.

To avoid many problems in the first place, as well as keeping your family safe, having your boiler serviced and maintained regularly is essential as many issues can be detected early before it gets worse. So, don’t forget to arrange an annual boiler servicing with your local gas engineer.

Below are the 5 common boiler problems we are going to look at, just bear in mind that if your boiler is over 15 years old it may be a good alternative to replace it. Today, the modern boilers are far more efficient than the older ones, and sometimes having your boiler replaced could be a cost-effective solution to your boiler issues in the long run.

If you are not sure what to do when your boiler is not working, the best thing to do is to call a local gas safe registered heating engineer to come and have a look.


Noisy Boiler

If your boiler is making a lot more noise than usual, there are a couple of main culprits. If it sounds like a kettle boiling (known as kittling in the trade), it is likely that there is a build-up of limescale or sludge which can restrict the flow of water within the heat exchanger.

This can result in a smaller amount of water overheating and producing steam, which gives rise to the kettle like noises. Kettle happens more easily in hard water areas, but all boilers can be prone to it without the correct maintenance.

If you notice these noises it is advisable to call out a gas safe engineer who determines whether flushing out your system of these harmful deposits will resolve the issue.

Whistling, gurgling and sometimes banging noises from your boiler, on the other hand, may result from trapped air within the boiler itself or from the piping in your home. The first thing to try here, particularly if radiators are only hot at the bottom, is to bleed your radiators.

However, if this doesn’t resolve the problem, or only resolves it for a short while, time to contact the gas safe engineer. Banging noises can also result from a faulty pump.

The gurgling sound may also be because of a frozen pipe somewhere in the building. This frozen pipe will, in turn, cause the usual flow of water around the house to be obstructed. Usually keeping the heating on, even at a very low level will prevent this, and it is always important to avoid frozen pipes if you are expecting a cold snap, as frozen water takes up more space than water in its liquid form, and can easily burst pipes.

No Heat and No Hot Water

In the event of there being no heating or hot water, it’s likely that there is a fault with either the diaphragm, airlocks, motorised valves, or the thermostat. The thermostat is the easiest one to check initially.
Make sure the thermostat is not set too low. If you have a timer connected with the boiler then ensure that this has not been altered or something else hasn’t caused a timer fault. If your boiler is a modern combination model sometimes a full reset can be all that is required.

If not, a faulty part may need to be repaired. Older boilers are a bit different in that they are powered by gas and contain a pilot light. This light should be burning a bright blue and if this is not the case it would need to be re-lit. If it does need to be re-lit you will need to be very careful, if you do not know how to do it best to consult a professional gas engineer.



an engineer checking the boiler


A leaking boiler

A leaking boiler should always be looked at by a qualified gas safe engineer. Common issues that cause a leaky boiler include a broken pump, seal, or pressure valve. If the leak is coming from the pressure valve it may be a case that your boiler pressure is too high. If it’s coming from the pump seal, it may have become worn out and need replacing.

Corrosion or poorly fitting pipes could cause leaking from near the tank or pipes themselves. These issues generally become worse over time, and in any event, leaks and boilers do not mix well due to water meeting electrical components around the boiler, or elsewhere in your home. You should get professional help without delay. Generally, these issues can be resolved without replacing the boiler.

The boiler is cutting out

This problem can be caused by trapped air, something that can be fixed by bleeding your radiators. Have you noticed that your radiators are cold? If it is not this, look at the thermostat as it may have become faulty and therefore sending incorrect messages to the boiler. If you do not have insulated pipes, frozen pipes could be the cause, however, this is a lot less likely if they are insulated.

The condensate overflow pipe from your boiler system can also cause the boiler to cut out if it becomes frozen and prevents overflow water from escaping. This is a safety feature that stops a boiler operating if the condensate cannot escape somewhere. Lagging the overflow pipe may resolve this issue, but a gas safe engineer would need to confirm that this is the problem, and not a more dangerous issue.

Safety features can also kick in a shut a boiler down due to a faulty pump, if this is the case you will need to call a professional heating engineer to come and check this, it may need to replace the faulty part if required.

No hot water but heating is working fine

Another very common boiler issue is if the boiler does not heat water. You may still be getting the central heating OK, but water is not coming out with heat. Before calling out help there are some checks worth doing.

Check the thermostat and check for frozen pipes. If it is an old-style boiler then again, the pilot light should be burning a bright blue. If this is not the case it will need to be re-lit. For modern boilers, a reset is worth a try, but if this brings no joy then it is looking like a faulty mechanism within the boiler, most likely the motorised diverter valve, which will need to be repaired or a new one fitted by a professional heating engineer.


Any Questions? Get in touch!

Here at Harman Heating, we have helped many residents within Northampton and nearby areas with their boiler and central heating issues. If you have any questions just get in touch with us on 07771 956641 and our friendly team is happy to answer your enquiry.