Typical Boiler Breakdowns

Modern boilers and heating systems are generally built to last. But as any other appliance in your home, they are not perfect, and sometimes things can go wrong. Unfortunately, boiler breakdown, in most cases, comes without warning. In this article we will provide you with some information helping you to decide what is best to do and if it is possible to get a same day boiler repair.

There are many common boiler breakdowns around and as qualified plumbing and heating engineers, we encounter them a lot.
In this article we are going to detail some reasons why your boiler might develop a problem, what caused them, and what you can do to prevent them from happening.

Before we start, it’s important to understand that each system is different so the causes may change depends on the manufacturer.

Here are the most common causes of boiler breakdowns and how to prevent them from happening:

1. Too Old Boiler

Boiler breakdown can often be caused by old age. Your boiler’s components go through severe thermal and mechanical stress. Over time rust and corrosion build up and spread, causing deterioration to boiler components, pipes and sometimes connections. This eventually results in mechanical failure or troublesome leaks which can leave you without hot water or heat. You may be able to spot some corrosion on visible parts of the boiler, but it usually requires a more detailed inspection carried out by a heating engineer. If your boiler is over ten years old, ask an engineer to assess its current condition and potential longevity.
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2. Lack Of Regular Servicing

Regular annual boiler service is essential if you want to maximise its lifespan and spend less money on repairs. Depending on the brand and model, availability of spare parts, and some other factors, the average lifespan of a modern boiler is around 10 to 15 years. Each time the regular service is missed, this lifespan decreases, and also the chance of boiler breakdown rises. It can cost you more at the end.
Regular boiler service will help you rest assured that your boiler is working efficiently and heating your home without any breakdowns.
You can schedule a visit of our Gas Safe engineer to have your boiler services for as little as £55.

3. Leaks

A boiler leak is typical caused by an issue with an internal component, like a pressure valve, pump seal or heat exchanger. Another most common type of leak that can cause you problems is leaking water pipes, usually those pipes under your boiler. Over time, water gradually combines with the metallic debris within your system to corrode the copper piping. This leads to small gaps through which the water escapes.
Check your boiler and pipes regularly for obvious signs of leakage, especially during the winter months. You may contact our expert heating engineers to assess and fix any leaks.

4. High or Low Boiler Pressure

If your boiler’s pressure is too low or too high, it can stop working. Most gas boiler have a pressure gauge on the front of the boiler showing what the current pressure is. The perfect boiler pressure is usually between 1 and 2 bars, but it’s possible it could go up to 2.5 bars when your heating is on. If the boiler pressure is below 1, that means low pressure. It could be caused by loss of water from your heating system. If the pressure gauge goes above 2.75 bars, that usually means it’s too high. In this case you may need to bleed a radiator or get an engineer to check for faults.
In brief, the reasons for low or high boiler pressure:
Water leak – it means water being lost from your system, lowering the boiler pressure. If it goes on for long enough, your pressure will slowly drop. Check around your pipes, radiators, and even your boiler for water or damp patches. Call a gas registered engineer for proper inspection.
Bleeding radiators – usually takes water out of your central heating system, lowering the boiler pressure.
Filling loop tap – If your boiler’s pressure is too high, the PRV (pressure release valve) will discharge the excess water, or parts will fail, causing a leak. The first thing to check is your filling loop tap. This is usually located underneath your boiler. It should be firmly closed.

5. Strange Noises

There are many reasons why boilers make noises like banging, gurgling or whistling. A small amount of noise is pretty normal for a working boiler. But if it becomes constant or very loud it could mean an underlying issue. If you are unsure that your boiler works properly, get a heating engineer to investigate it.
The common reasons of noisy boiler are normally the following:
Air in your central heating system – try to bleed your radiators to release the air.
Low water pressure – check your boiler pressure gauge.
Faulty pump – your pump pushes water around the system. You will need a help of an engineer to check if it’s faulty.
Limescale or sludge – debris and limescale can build up in your system, causing it to make noise as the water gets trapped and overheats. If it won’t be cleaned out by a professional, it can lead to further problems.

Problem With Your Boiler? We’re Here To Help!

Our local experienced heating engineers are qualified and Gas Safe accredited to perform assessments of your heating system to identify any potential problems. It’s best to get any minor issues checked out before they can develop into more significant problems.
For your own safety and keeping the manufacturer’s boiler warranty, please don’t attempt to address any boiler issues yourself.
If you need some advice, call our friendly team on 0800 054 1186 for help. We provide oil and gas boiler servicing and heating system repairs across Belfast and Northern Ireland.