The boiler is one of the most important and essential appliances in a home. The boiler not only allows a regular
flow/supply of hot water but also plays a huge role in keeping the house warm especially in winter. Getting a chilly wake up in the middle of the night or freezing cold water in the shower is a reminder enough of how important the boiler is. Like any other appliance, the boiler requires regular servicing and maintenance to work optimally and reduce boiler emergencies. Lack of proper maintenance or servicing can lead to problems and even crises if not handled in time. Some of the most common boiler faults experienced in most homes in the UK include:
1. No hot water in the taps
This is a common problem in most homes especially deep into the winter. This issue can be due to low water levels, failing motorized valves, or broken airlocks. If there’s no hot water in the taps, your first action should be to check whether the boiler is turned on. If ON, you should then check the water level and top it up if the water level is too low. Filling the boiler with water may help improve pressure on the valves and solve the problem. Call a certified technician if this doesn’t address the problem.
2. Blinking pilot light
The pilot light may at times start flashing or go out completely even when the boiler is ON. This problem mostly occurs due to a faulty or broken thermocouple ( a device used to measure water temperature). The pilot light may also blow due to deposit build-up or damaged seals. Although there isn’t much you can do about this, consider checking the condensate pipe to ensure its working and not frozen. Consider calling a technician to have the system inspected and/or repaired.
3. Frozen condensate pipe
The UK has been experiencing extremely cold weather for prolonged periods of time over the past few years. The extended cold weather is the leading cause for frozen condensate pipes, which often causes the boiler to shut down temporarily. This problem can also occur if the condensate pipe is externally located exposing it and its contents to the cold weather. One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is by having the condensate drainage pipe terminated in an internal kitchen, bathroom, waste pipe or an inner soil vent. This protects the pipe from the harsh weather thus allowing the condensate to drain away easily.
4. Low water pressure
Low water pressure can be due to a leaking spot, and malfunctioning pressure relief valve or radiators that were bled recently. Low water levels in the boiler may also cause this, though a very rare occurrence. Check the entire system to ensure there are no leaks, as this could lead to high energy bills and flooding in the house. Have a registered engineer diagnose the problem as soon as possible.
5. Kettling and banging noises
Limescale build-up (in the heat exchanger), low water pressure, and air in the system are the common causes of kettling and banging noises from the boiler. Such are indicators that the boiler needs servicing to remove lime and any other foreign materials from the system. You should also start noticing a spike in energy bills as the furnace demands more energy to boil water (due to the lime build up). This symptom may mean there is a build up of contaminants in the boiler which may mean you need a power flush for more information check out epowerflush.com
These are just but a few of the common boiler faults in the UK that can be corrected by simply having your boiler serviced regularly. While some defects may be easy to fix, it would be best to have a certified technician look into the case to avoid damaging the entire system.