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Quick Fixes to Small Boiler Problems

Fixing problems with your central heating yourself can go one of two ways. You can either complete your task and feel like a champion, or fail miserably and end up with rusty radiator water spraying over your walls.

Tackling boiler and central heating tasks yourself is always risky when it comes to DIY. Attempting it as an amateur could lead to more problems than those you started with.  You also have the added danger of dealing with a gas appliance which is risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Either way, if things go wrong, you can end up having to shell out on more costly repairs.

Whilst it’s important to know when to turn to the experts, in some cases it is feasible to try fix the problem yourself.  Here are a few of the most common boiler and heating problems you may encounter, with a guide to what you can attempt yourself and when to call in the experts.

Boiler Turns Itself Off

Cause

There are a number of different reasons that your boiler will turn off. These include low water pressure, a problem with your thermostat, or air in the system.

What to Do

Because your boiler turning off may be due to a condensate pipe, your task differs depending on the temperature outside. If your condensate pipe is frozen, you should try your best to thaw it out with warm towels. You could also try bleeding your radiators to get rid of any air in your system.

Radiators Don’t Heat Up

Cause

First thing to do is to check if there is any warmth in your radiator, it may be that your system is warm at the bottom but cold at the top. If this is the case, then you will have air in your system. Other causes include rust or dirt in your pipes, or you have an issue with your pump

What to Do

The first thing to do is to bleed your radiators. This will let any air that is trapped in your system escape. If you find that your radiators are still not warming up properly, then you may need to have your system power flushed.

Noisy Boiler or Central Heating

Cause

Boilers can sometimes suffer from ‘kettling’ which is a build-up of limescale much the same way as a kettle. The banging, coughing, or gargling is usually a result of limescale in the heat exchanger. You may also have air in your system which can also cause your boiler to bang and whistle.

What to Do

The best way to clear limescale out of your boiler is to have a qualified plumber powerflush your heating system. This will clear out the limescale that has formed on your heat exchanger, as well as any other sludge or silt that is currently settled in your system. You should also bleed your radiators, in case of air in your system.

Boiler is Leaking

Cause

There are a number of reasons that your boiler is leaking, and they generally all follow a trend. These problems are usually due to broken parts or loose connections.

What to Do

Unfortunately, the only to get this problem fixed is by calling in a qualified plumber. The best thing to do when you find a leak is to call an engineer out as soon as possible. This is to prevent any more problems arising, like water damage to your home or a large increase in water bills.

Low Pressure in your Boiler

Cause

In a pressurised system, you need to keep an eye on the pressure within your boiler. If you notice that it keeps dropping, then it indicates a problem. These include a leak in your pipes, or a problem with your expansion vessel.

What to Do

There are ways for you to re-pressurise your system. They will be detailed in your boiler manual. If you are not comfortable with this or you have lost your manual, you can call a qualified plumber in to help you. If you choose to pressurise the boiler yourself, you must not exceed the max pressure stated in your boiler manual. This could damage the system further, worst still it could cause damage to you.

Pilot Light Keeps Going Out

Cause

Pilot lights are one of the most important parts of your boiler. If your pilot light keeps going out, it may be down to a faulty thermocouple. The most common reason for pilot lights not staying lit however, are damaged seals.

What to Do

This is a job best left to professionals who are qualified to work safely with gas appliances.

Thermostat Doesn’t Work Properly

Cause

Thermostats have a habit of deteriorating as they get older. This can cause issues with your heating system, and can either turn your home into a sauna or leave you out in the cold.

What to Do

You should leave thermometer jobs to a qualified plumber or engineer. It is a job that cannot be completed by an amateur.

Understanding your central heating system may seem daunting, but can be very helpful if something goes wrong. By knowing the scale of a problem, you can save yourself money fixing small jobs yourself without having to call out a plumber. For more information about small scale problems and how to fix them, or if you’ve diagnosed your problem and realised its one for the professionals, then give us a call. Contact Eddie Plumbing Services on 0800 955 6065 or send us an enquiry.

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