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Common Boiler Breakdowns and How To Fix Them

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Common Boiler Breakdowns and How To Fix Them

With the weather getting colder as the end of another year approaches, we’re all going to be making greater demands on our boilers to keep us warm. And, of course, life being what it is, we all know that if a boiler’s going to develop a problem, it’s going to be at the least convenient possible time!

This article will look at some of the more common boiler problems you’re likely to face and what you need to do should they happen to you.

Low Water Pressure

Perhaps the most common reason that a boiler stops working is because of low water pressure. Your boiler should have a dial on the front showing the current pressure reading – if it’s down to less than 1, your system will probably need repressurising. That might just involve adding some water, which is relatively easy to do – your manual should explain what you need to do. However, the reduction in pressure could be down to a leak somewhere. If you are able to repressurise, but the reading drops again, call in an engineer to have a look.

Frozen Condensate Pipes

If it gets really cold, there’s a chance that the pipe that carries condensate from your boiler to the drain could freeze. This is most likely to happen if your condensate pipe is on the outside or in an unheated area such as a garage. Tip some warm or hot – but not boiling – water over the affected area to thaw out the pipe in question and that should sort out the problem fairly quickly.

Pilot Light Goes Out

This problem will only apply to older boilers that have a small flame that is used to fire the bigger burner that creates your hot water (newer boilers light electronically). There are a number of reasons why the pilot light might go out, including being subject to a backdraught. In this case, relighting the pilot light could be enough to solve the problem – you should be able to find clear instructions on how to do this in your owner’s manual. However, if it keeps going out, there might be a deeper problem, such as a faulty thermocouple or a build-up of deposits that are stopping the gas from getting to the pilot light. In either case, you’ll need to call out a Gas Safe engineer to deal with it.

Boiler Age

Unfortunately, all boilers come to the end of their useful working lives eventually, which means that sometimes the only remedy to a boiler breakdown is to have a new one installed. Any boiler that’s about 15 years old is likely to be in need of replacement sooner rather than later, so rather than spending money on patches that may not last for very long, you might be better off talking to your heating engineer about getting a new and more efficient boiler altogether.

There are of course other things that can go wrong, but when something does happen, most modern boilers will display an error code that tells you what the problem is. We’ve previously detailed common error codes you get with the most popular boiler makes in these previous articles:

Whatever issue you’re having with the boiler in your home in Colchester, Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, the team at A&D Plumbing can help. If you’re in need of boiler repairs, our experienced team can respond quickly and effectively to get your home warm and your water hot once more. We can also carry out new boiler installation should your old one be past its best.

Even better, don’t wait for your boiler to break down in winter, take advantage of boiler servicing to assess the current condition of your boiler and make sure that it’s ready for the cold months ahead.

Call us now to find out more.


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