5 of the most common boiler problems

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What can go wrong with your boiler? Let’s look at five of the most common problems.

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Water leaks

Firstly, confirm it is a leak and not condensation by drying the wet area thoroughly and checking again one minute later.

If a pipe join is loose, nuts can be tightened with a gentle turn. If the leak is coming from a valve or soldered joint, you need a plumber. Leaks from tanks can be caused by corrosion and you may need a new boiler.

Inside the boiler housing, a leak from the pressure valve may be because the pressure is too high – check the dial. If it is a pump seal, it is a plumber’s job.

Know the location of stop valves for both gas and water before issues arise. For water, the stop valve may be beneath a sink or in the street or garden; for gas, a lever is usually located near the meter.

No heating or hot water

Possible causes include a broken diaphragms, airlocks and motorised valves, or issues with thermostats, low water levels or boiler pressures.

The thermostat, timer and pressure are things you can check – your manual should tell you where to find the controls; alternatively, you can find the model number on the boiler and search online.

To install new parts, you will need a plumber. Phone a reputable company, such as http://www.rjplumbingandheating.co.uk/. Such companies will also do Woking boiler installations.

Banging, whistling and gurgling noises

If you hear any of these noises, you may have air in your system. Try bleeding air from the radiators with a radiator key and check the water levels in the feeder tanks. Boiling noises can be the heat exchanger. Whistling is often caused by turbulent flow, which you can adjust by slightly turning the valves along the pipes. Banging noises might herald a pump failure.

Pilot light

If you are having trouble keeping this lit, check your gas is still on. If this is OK, are you trying to ignite it correctly? Check your manual. Otherwise, it either needs a service clean or a new thermocouple. By law, jobs involving gas require a registered gas plumber.

Low boiler pressure

If the pressure valve shows less than one, look for leaks. This is one possible cause; a failing pressure relief valve is another.