How to Spot and Solve Common Boiler Issues

May 19, 2019

Boiler issues can be an absolute nightmare to deal with. It’s the kind of thing where you want to be as proactive as possible, taking steps to ensure your boiler has as long a life as possible and having a plan in place for dealing with the most likely issues. Here are some of the most frequently encountered boiler issues, how to spot them, and what action you need to take when they arise.  

How to Spot and Solve Common Boiler Issues - Rachel Nicole UK Blogger

Low Pressure 

If your boiler turns off when it isn’t supposed to, or it starts making unusual noises, this can be a sign of low pressure. Low pressure will also make it difficult for heat to travel from your boiler to the radiators the greatest distance away from it. 

Fortunately, this is usually an issue that you can fix on your own. You will need to change your boiler pressure setting. Check your boiler’s pressure gauge. If the gauge shows a pressure lower than 1 bar, you will want to raise in until it is between 1 and 1.5 bars. 

If you are unsure how to change the pressure on your boiler, you can find instructions online. Remember that you will need to reset the boiler once the system has been pressurised. Check the manufacturer’s handbook to find out how to do this. 

Frozen Condensate Pipe 

The most common sign of a frozen condensate pipe is gurgling sounds emanating from your boiler when in use. It may also sometimes not fire up at all. If either of these issues occurs immediately following freezing temperatures outdoors, it’s likely an easy issue to fix. 

Cold weather can cause all kinds of problems for your boiler, and a frozen condensate pipe is one of the most common causes of boiler breakdowns during the winter. You can sometimes defrost a frozen condensate pipe by applying a warm compress soaked in hot (not boiling) water. A hot water bottle is perfect for this, and you can find more detailed guides online. 

Problems with Settings for Boilers and Thermostats 

You’ll know you have a problem with your thermostat either because your boiler will simply refuse to turn on when it’s supposed to, or it will do so erratically. On some models, an error message might display on the control panel, which will make the problem very easy to diagnose. 

If the settings of your timer have changed, this can affect your thermostat. If your home has experienced a power outage recently, this can cause all your settings to reset. Double check all your settings and make sure that the boiler is properly set to turn on and off at the correct times. If you have to alter the settings, consult your user manual for instructions. If your thermostat is set to a temperature below 21 degrees, your boiler will sometimes not start up. Make sure you have the temperature set at least this high while you are troubleshooting the boiler. 

Extinguished Pilot Light 

An extinguished pilot light is a common issue, but there are many things that can extinguish your pilot light. Fortunately, reigniting it is usually easy, although the instructions will vary from boiler to boiler. You should check your manufacturer’s handbook for guidance on how to reignite an extinguished pilot light.  If you have to regularly reignite the pilot light, it may be time to call in an engineer. 

You should think about taking out some form of cover for your home and/or boiler so that you will be protected financially from any works that need to be carried out on your property. The best way of keeping your boiler safe is to get boiler cover from a company like Certi. They also provide comprehensive home emergency cover which includes protection from electrical, plumbing and security issues on top of maintaining your boiler. 

Boiler is Locking You Out and Requires Resetting 

If a red light keeps switching on at the front of your boiler, it might indicate that your boiler is locking you out. When this happens, you will need to find the reset button for the boiler and reset the entire unit.  Again, if you have trouble finding it, then have a look online or in the manual. 

You should only attempt to carry out the simplest and most minor of boiler repairs on your own; for anything else, you should call in a professional. If you find that you have to regularly reset your boiler, you should have it inspected for a more serious underlying issue. Sometimes even minor issues can end up snowballing into something more serious if they are left untreated. What is a minor inconvenience now could develop into a much more serious issue later on. 

There are a million and one things that can go with your boiler. Luckily, many of the most common issues are things that you can fix yourself with even the most basic know-how. Always consult your boiler manual before attempting any repairs and if you are at all uncertain about how to perform any procedure, consult with a professional engineer. 


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Any items marked with an (*) have been gifted from a company, PR sample or paid for with a gift voucher. All opinions are my own and honest. Do not use content/photographs without my permission or credit.


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