Almost 15% of all boiler breakdowns happen in January. Why? Because the colder months can wreak havoc on your boiler. The sudden drop in temperature and prolonged usage over the winter months make it more likely that something will go wrong with your boiler. Boilers are costly to replace and repair, so we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to your boiler maintenance to stop you from being affected by boiler repair costs.
What Can I Do When Things Go Wrong With My Boiler
There are a number of different things that could go wrong with your boiler. Here are the top five most common winter problems and what you can do about them.
#1 The Boiler Doesn’t Work
It’s freezing cold, the heating goes on, but your house or hot water doesn’t warm up. What do you do? Fortunately, if the heating doesn’t work, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your boiler is completely broken. It might just be a part that needs replacing. Thermostats and valves are small items that may easily break. If you don’t feel confident replacing a broken boiler part, you should include boiler maintenance and repairs.
#2 Your Boiler Keeps Cutting Out
If your boiler keeps cutting out, check the pressure gauge to see if the pressure has dropped. If it is sitting below one, you may need to re-pressure the boiler. If you still have the original boiler manual, then this will tell you how to do so, or you can ask the plumber that’s been called out to do this.
If the pressure is fine, check your radiators. If the radiator is colder at the bottom than the top, it may mean that air pockets have formed, which can cause your boiler to cut out. This can be fixed by bleeding your radiators. To bleed a radiator you should note the radiators in your house which need bleeding. Then turn off the heating and wait for the radiators to cool. Place a cloth under the radiator bleed to stop escaping water. Then open the bleed valve to release air and close it once the hissing noise has stopped.
If your radiators did have a trapped air bubble, after returning to the boiler the pressure should have risen and your boiler should work again.
#3 Your Boiler Is Leaking
Is there water around your boiler? Check for the source of the leak. Remove all surrounding clutter from your boiler if it is in a cupboard, and if possible check the internals of the boiler. If a pressure valve is broken the pressure in your boiler may be too high. If it is coming from pipes or the tank itself it might be a sign that something has corroded due to age or a poor fitting. If your boiler is leaking, you should always seek assistance from your boiler cover provider to have a qualified plumber come and assess for potential damage.
#4 Pipes Are Frozen
Boilers have a pipe that removes the excess water from your boiler and transports it outside. In the winter months, when the temperature drops there is a risk of that pipe freezing. If this is the case, your boiler will display an error or warning message. To resolve a frozen pipe, put a hot water bottle next to it and pour boiled water over the pipes to thaw them out. You will need to reset the thermostat afterwards and then your heating should work.
#5 Heating On, Radiators Not Working
Over time, your radiators will acquire sludge and debris from the central heating system. When this builds up, there is a risk that your radiators will not work properly and even with your boiler on they simply won’t give out heat. Radiators with sludge build-up will feel very similar to a radiator that needs bleeding – cold at the bottom and warm at the top.
Once you’ve bled your radiators, if they still don’t work, you might need to drain them. This is the process of turning your heating off and physically removing the debris from the affected radiators. It’s also important to remove any items from around the radiator after they are drained – this will help heat radiate into the room, rather than being blocked by furniture or other household items.
What Will Help Me Maintain By Boiler For Longer?
Fortunately, there are also a number of boiler maintenance techniques that will keep your boiler running for longer. Solutions include:
- Getting your boiler service – getting your boiler service every year as part of your Boiler Cover is an essential part of keeping costs down and your heating running smoothly. Boiler service must be conducted by a Gas Safe Registered technician.
- Turn your heating on – if your boiler pipes are prone to freezing, turn the heating on low over winter. Even this expense is far cheaper than having frozen boiler pipes. You can also lag the pipes to protect them from the winter chill.
- Get a carbon monoxide detector – carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous and can kill. It is also a sign of a faulty boiler. Place a carbon monoxide detector next to your boiler for an early warning that can keep you safe.
Boiler Cover To Keep Your Boiler Running All Year Round
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