Common Boiler Issues You Need to Look Out For

Kiran Singh

Boiler issues, when left unattended, can be an expensive inconvenience. Most of these issues occur during winter, particularly when the boiler has been inactive for long. Fortunately, most of them are common even in new boilers and can be easily remedied by a professional engineer in your home improvement endeavours. Here are some of the most common boilers problems.

Common Boiler Issues

Dripping and Leaking

Leaking and dripping are not problems that should be ignored. For your central heating system, this is a serious issue which could mean the valve or the seal is broken. Leaking or dripping when overlooked can result in rusting of internal components. Before calling in an engineer, inspect the pressure valve. The leak could be triggered by high pressure. As a safety precaution, the pressure relief valve is created to leak to prevent the damage of your equipment. In that case, ensure that the boiler’s gauge needle is pointing in the green section. If it is showing a red light, it means that there is over-pressure that needs to be controlled. Note; most drips and leaks in boilers result from corroded pipes. An engineer should replace them for optimal performance and longer life of your system.

Kettling

Do you notice a deep rumbling sound emanating from your central heating system? That sound is what is referred to as kettling. This is a common problem with heating systems, including new boilers, but it does not mean that your system is about to explode. However, left unattended, this problem can escalate and lead to expensive repairs and a possible boiler replacement. Kettling is triggered by hard water, which is responsible for depositing magnesium and calcium in the system’s exchanger. The limescale created eventually prevents the free flow of water, leaving it trapped in the pipe. Your system will then be unable to distribute heat with a blocked exchanger, and the pressure could lead to a major explosion of the pipe. Should you notice kettling in LS1 Boilers, it is advisable to turn the system off and call in an engineer.

Low Boiler Pressure

In your home improvement efforts, you may want to choose a smart boiler, which is more economical and extremely reliable. As much as you may follow the boiler buying guide for optimal performance, low pressure is a common problem. Fortunately, this is an easy issue to diagnose. If the pressure gauge of your boiler has a green zone mark and you notice that the needle has fallen below it, it means that the pressure is low. Low pressure triggers inefficiency, making it hard for the system to heat your household. Eventually, this will cost you more on energy bills. One of the triggers of low pressure is water leaks. Bleeding a radiator could also lead to low pressure. The most effective way of fixing this issue is re-pressurising the boiler. If you choose not to call an engineer, check the boiler buying guide to confirm that your system allows this. Should the pressure drop again after re-pressurising, it could mean that there is a bigger problem that needs to be addressed by a professional engineer.

Whistling and Gurgling Noises

Whistling and gurgling noises are mostly caused by trapped air in the heating system. While kettling could lead to whistling, this noise could mean there is air trapped in your boiler. Although it may be easy to get rid of this air, an engineer will want to examine further where it is coming from. That way, it will be easy to rule out possible mechanical damage. If your pipes need regular oiling, whistling sound can be expected. Gurgling, on the other hand, occurs when air is passing through water. The air could find its way into the radiators. As a first step, the radiators should be bled. An engineer may have to drain the entire system. It could also be a possibility that you have a frozen condensation pipe, common during winter. Freezing leads to blockage, which then prevents proper circulation in the condenser.

Water Running Cold

When you run your taps or shower, are they running cold or lukewarm? This could be a sign of a fault with your boiler, one of the most common being a faulty diverter valve. This is a mechanical component within the boiler that is prone to sticking as the boiler ages, which can have a big impact on water flow. That’s because it’s in control of the flow of hot water, shutting when the taps are not in use, allowing the water to flow to the radiators and opening to redirect warm water to the water outlets, so when it begins to stick, this process can go wrong.

As Heatable states “The diverter valve is a boiler component that is prone to failing in older boilers, typically in those over 10 years old.”

So if you have an old boiler and are experiencing this issue, it’s highly likely that it’s the diverter valve going haywire. The only way to know for sure is to consult a registered Gas Safe Engineer, who will be able to check out your boiler and identify the cause of the water temperature issues.”

As a primary source of central heating, functional boilers are essential to any home, especially during cold months. However, in some cases, boiler issues are inevitable. Most of the problems can be prevented by adopting an annual servicing schedule and investing in a gas safe engineer. A professional can quickly identify parts that need replacement or repair to avoid severe damage.

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