Boiler Locking Out

What Is A Boiler Lockout?

Your boiler is locking out but you are not sure what is causing it and how to fix it?
A boiler lockout means that your boiler has shut down. When a lockout occurs, the boiler stops working and it’s display flashes up with an error code to inform you of the fault. It’s a safety feature and it happens if your boiler detects an issue with one of its components or alternatively with the entire system.
The problem is that your boiler can lockout for a variety of different reasons. It could happen due to low or high water pressure, lack of or no fuel supply (gas, oil or LPG), a blockage in the system, a recent power cut or a lack of power to the boiler’s electronic components, or even any components failure.

What To Do When Your Boiler Locks Out?

When your boiler locks out, it stops working and the display panel will flash up with an error code to inform you of the fault. To figure out what it means, refer to your boiler manual, it contains all possible fault codes as well as their explanations.
Your boiler may need to be reset and then it could carry on as normal. This might help for a short time, but the problem may certainly reoccur and we recommend to try to solve the underlaying cause of the fault.
Once you know what is causing the problem, you can figure out what is the best way to fix the issue.

Common Faults That Lead To Lockouts

Whilst every boiler is different, the lockout can be caused by different things, there are some common problems that we see reoccurring with practically every boiler that can lead to a boiler lockout:

Faulty Pump

It’s very common that central heating pumps can easily develop faults, blow seals or become blocked and seize up. You can check that the pump is working if you may feel small vibrations coming from it. However if it feels very hot to touch, it may signalise that some of its internal parts might be jammed. In this case you should consult a professional heating engineer.

Low Or High Pressure

Most of the boilers should be operating at a pressure between 1 and 1.5 bars. Some of the models may go up to 2.5 bar with no issues. Refer to your boiler’s manual to determine the pressure your boiler should operate at. If the boiler’s pressure goes up too much or drops too low, your boiler may likely lockout as a precaution measure.
If your boiler pressure is low, you may add some water via the boiler filling loop.
If the pressure is high, you may reduce it by bleeding the radiators valves.

System Blockage

It’s quite common that your boiler could be blocked with sludge or other debris from your heating system. Check your condensation pipe that it is not frozen or became blocked. If your boiler detects the system blockage, it is likely to lockout.
If you have never flushed or cleaned your heating system, we recommend calling out a heating engineer or an experienced plumber to clean the system properly. You may give Belfast Gas a call to schedule a visit for a suitable day and time

Heat Exchanger Blockage

If you hear some kind of whistling or settling noise coming from your boiler, it’s likely that there is a limescale build up which can result in water temperature rising too high and triggering a lockout.

Fan Issues

The fan is one of the most important components of every boiler, as it is venting potentially toxic gases outside of your home through the flue. If your boiler displays a faulty fan, it could become fatally dangerous. Call a Gas Safe registered engineer to replace it.

Ignition Problem

If your boiler failed firing up three times, them most commonly it would experience a lockout as they are programmed to lockout. To determine if this is the cause of your lockout, check the ignition leads, if there’s power then call Belfast Gas and we will fix the issue.

No Power

There are many reasons for a power failure, such as a faulty display board, a blown fuse, tripped electrics or rarely with the PCB which is the most serious problem of all. Whatever the cause, it will most certainly cause your boiler lockout.

Boiler lockouts are a safeguarding mechanism that stops your boiler from becoming dangerous or getting badly damaged. A lockout can be cause by different issues and it is recommended to determine and fix the underlying problem rather than just resetting the boiler.
If you’re experiencing boiler lockouts, get help of Gas Safe registered engineers at Belfast Gas by giving us a call on 0800 054 1186.